…I did it. Yes I did. I broke down and bought a new laptop. I got one preinstalled with Ubuntu Linux from System76. They get good reviews (especially for customer service), and the laptops are priced competitively. I narrowed down the choices to this one, and an IBM Thinkpad from Lenovo, and this one won out, because I could get the same options for a little less, and, (the big one) it comes preinstalled with Linux. Less messing around for me to make sure everything works. I’ve been using a Gateway laptop for the last 2.5 years, and installed Ubuntu (starting with 4.10–Warty Warthog) on it with minimal fuss. I don’t think I’ll ever buy another Gateway, since I ‘ve had nothing but trouble with the last four computers I ‘ve bought from them. The Lenovos are really nice (I just bought one for my stepdaughter), but the System 76 seemed a better fit for me at this time.
I’ll be blogging some more about this as things unfold. I’m really hoping this is closer to the Thinkpad than the Gateway in sturdiness: that’s really my biggest concern.