I've been using Linux for between 4 and 5 years after becoming fed up with Windows constant nag screens, background updates, ongoing slowness due to anti-virus/malware/pop-up blockers etc and after having spoken to other Linux users, I decided that my best way forward was to try Linux. From their advice, I decided to install Slackware as the only operating system on my laptop to force myself to use it and learn what I was doing, rather than taking the easy way out and dual booting on the basis that if I had the chance to dual boot, as soon as I hit a snag I drop back to Windows and lose ground with what I was trying to learn.

I've never been one to always take the easy way out.

After 9 months using Slackware, I decided that while having so much choice, it was limiting on time having to comile applications and generally have to configure something everytime I wanted to change the system so I had a look round, considered knoppix, debian, fedora and took advice in irc channels, but finding that nobody really helped with a suggestion.

After more reading and learning, I eventually decided on Ubuntu based on website recommendations.

I started using Ubuntu with 6.06 and found that it was considerably simpler in day to day use and haven't looked back. I've been upgrading through the different versions since then, initially waiting for release day to upgrade and then gradually upgrading with release candidates, beta and alpha versions as I've become more confident in how to handle any problems.

Once I'd gotten Ubuntu installed, I then found out about Ubuntu's community on ubuntuforums and through IRC which was a great help and I try to give back what help I can whenever I get the opportunity.

After I'd been using Ubuntu for a while, I decided to convert my home windows server to Ubuntu which which went quite smoothly, subsequently, I've set up a webserver running off the same machine and converted from XChat to Irssi which I now have running through Screen 24/7.

After seeing how much easier and less problematic I found Ubuntu, my wife decided that she wanted me to install it on her laptop which I have done and she's been using it as her preferred operating system for the last 2 years.

At the start of 2009, my parents had a series virus infection with their laptop and couldn't find the Windows install cd for me to reinstall for them, so they looked at how we used our machines and were quite easily persuaded to move onto Ubuntu. Apart from a minor query since, they've been quite happy using the system.

After rebuilding a desktop for my father-in-law, I decided to make it dual boot with Windows and Ubuntu as he'd asked a couple of questions about Ubuntu, within 2 weeks, he'd decided to change over permanently and asked for his email and settings all to be converted over to Ubuntu..

I'm always amazed at how easy Ubuntu/Linux is compared to Windows once you get over the initial realization that its not difficult, just different.

I try to help out in #ubuntu when possible, although if I don't know something, I prefer not to suggest anything, bad advice is always worse than no advise.

I also spend quite a bit of time in #ubuntu-uk with occasional advice and discussions.

Most recently, I've been working on getting an ubottu clone up and running which is called ukbot. So far it seems to have been sucessfull, but hasn't been under any load as yet.

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