Nvidia GeForce FX5500 - autodetected and installed
Soundblaster Audigy LS - autodetected and installed
CD Drive and DVD drive/CD burner - autodetected and installed
Keyboard/Mouse/Monitor - autodetected and installed
Belkin WiFi card - autodetected and installed
Installed Counter-Strike: Source with Transgaming's Cedega through Point2Play and it works perfectly. I also get better FPS in game than I ever did on Windows. When I install new programs or games to my PC, I no longer need to "reboot for changes ot take effect" - thank God.
"I am proud to be 100% Microsoft free!"
Linux users often go out of their way to find flaws with Microsoft systems. This is because they find the corporate desire to protect intellectual property as a hindrance to their technical tasks. Many of the crashes that these technologists speak of are related to their attempt in dominating the system beyond its design. It’s akin to them beating their head against a brick wall and then telling the rest of us it hurts and wishing the wall would be removed.
Simply put, Linux or Unix is for technical people who want to have near absolute control of the system. In advanced sciences of all types this is often necessary so Linux has it’s place for advanced studies and technical development that really is unable to be beat by Windows because of the corporations desire to protect its intellectual property which acts as a road block for highly technical users.
Many Linux devotees also tend to be control freaks, which is necessary in complicated systems in order to maintain order. If the chaos hamsters were ever let loose into the system they would soon find that their stable system was highly unprotected and flawed in ways they had never imagined.
Linux is for those who enjoy order and control to design and create. While Windows is for accepting the chaos of the world and bringing order to it.
Newbie user, “But if I do that in Windows it says it is a violation and crashes!”
Linux user, “Of course it does and that is why it is a unstable system.”
Its advantages over Windows are mainly ideological; it's free, usually in both of the above senses of the word, and the license, the GNU GPL, prevents proprietary implementations from screwing you over (Linux "companies" sell support, not Linux itself, for this reason).
It's also much more stable than Windows, owing to its stricter memory management, access controls, and hardware abstraction policy, and its networking performance is better since it's really meant more for servers than for desktop usage. Linux has finer-grained access control at the user and device level, though to be fair, Windows has had Unix-style file permissions since NT. Reboot times for Linux, however, are measured in months, and the only reason you should ever need to reboot Linux is if you installed a new kernel.
The disadvantages of Linux compared to Windows are mainly issues of ease of use. Linux is hard compared to Windows, mostly because it tends not to detect certain devices. This is a circular problem, because the drivers tend to be written only for Windows to begin with. It also, despite what the makers claim, *does* require some work at the terminal in most cases, and this will scare away most Windows users who never worked with Dos and the 9x series. It shouldn't, because the terminal is much more powerful and easier to use than Dos ever was, but it does.
The other main issue is that, while there are a few hundred different flavors, referred to as "distros," most of them suck. There are a few big, well-supported distros, and many are based on them: RedHat, which is popular in the corporate world, Debian, which is minimalistic and tough by itself but forms the base for the popular Ubuntu, and Slackware, which is the oldest maintained distro and is closest to the "original" Linux philosophy. There are also a few oddballs like Gentoo, which is for experts only (forces you to compile *everything* but does the annoying work for you and gives you incredible performance), and Arch, which is a minimalist hybrid of Gentoo and Slackware.
Save yourself headaches: newbies should use Ubuntu, experts should use Gentoo or Slackware, purists should use Debian, and no one should use RedHat or any RedHat based distro unless you're corporate and need it, in which case you want CentOS (RedHat for free with no tech support). Just be prepared to get your hands a little dirty, and to search the web and your distro's forums for help. There is always, always an issue that pops up that will never be in the manual or installation docs.
Most of all, remember that Linux won't insult your intelligence, but it won't hold your hand either. You can't always breeze through a Linux install like you can with Windows (though Ubuntu and friends are changing that), but you will get a solid, stable, and working system. Linux rewards effort and inquisitiveness, and punishes laziness.