CAUTION: If you choose to install Ubuntu, please understand that there is a possibility that it will overwrite your computer's operating system and data. Please consult the Ubuntu documentation before installing so that you won't make this mistake, especially if it used in a working environment.
So I just wanted to take some time to make you aware of Ubuntu. It is an operating system for your computer. What does that mean, you ask? An operating system is the software that communicates with your computer's hardware. Microsoft has many operating systems (e.g. Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, etc.). Apple also has an operating system that they put on their Macs or Macbooks. A somewhat recent operating system by Apple is OS X. (I'm not too familiar with Apple, but I do remember this operating system.)
Ubuntu is an operating system, which is based in Linux. Linux is the type of operating system, while Ubuntu is the distribution. A distribution is the "flavor" of operating system, much like there are different versions of Windows. Well, okay, it's more diverse than that but I'm trying to be general here.
Most, if not all, of the Linux operating systems are free to download and use. That's something that is very unique to Linux. You wouldn't dare want to do this with Windows or Mac operating systems...well, at least I wouldn't.
"So why should I care? If it's free it must not be good."
Well, it's actually a pretty good deal. Free operating system + your old unused computers = a fun learning activity. There's also tons of free software that you can download for linux. Some of the free stuff is even better than the free stuff you get on Windows. One example that I like it KdenLive vs. Windows Movie Maker. You get movie maker for free, but you don't really get all the customizable options in it that you would in KdenLive. GIMP is a whole lot better than Paint. You just really need to try these out (and yes, they're free).
The reason I wanted to bring your attention to this subject is because in 22 days there will be a new version the will be released. This would be a great time for you to join in with the whole experience. The more people, the better. Just think, if Microsoft or Apple become bankrupt one day -- okay, I'm stretching it -- then Linux will be all that's left to fill the computing void. Other than that, you can save a bunch of money if you use free software. The best way to getting more support for the little guys is to help what they call their "market share." That's the number of people who use it.
The more people that begin to put some effort into using it, the better it becomes. Just think, one day we might just wake up, install our security updates and continue on with our lives without having to worry about buying anti-virus software. Consequently, the lower market share of Linux at this point eliminates the effectiveness of viruses on the operating system. The viruses have no way to communicate with the operating system on how to carry out its devious plan.
I'll just encourage you to download Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on April 29, 2010. Here's a countdown for those who are interesting in keeping up with what is going on. If you click it, you'll also see more information about the new version.