I'm stuck on my sofa with a chest infection and a broken laptop (CPU burnout, I think), reliant now upon my ancient netbook and XP. Time for a new machine, I reckon. Trouble is, there's nothing I really want. I have/had a Samsung 15" NP350 something-or-other running Windows 7, still using Office 2007 and it still meets all my needs, though it was/is due a RAM upgrade. I get this feeling though that it's time to get my brain out of hibernation and take more control of my computing needs... but I need a bit of help deciding which direction to take from people with experience. I know I could take this to computing forums, but it helps to know what other writers think/use So... Macs are out, financially and ethically. The last one I had was a Mac Classic! I've borrowed macbooks and ipads from people since and I find the navigation really counter-intuitive and frustrating. I also dislike the way they operate: how despite paying over the odds for everything, you never truly buy it, only rent. So, truly, no Macs please. I word process, edit and surf. That's it. I like to be able to run a thousand windows at once though. Laptop (15/17") or Desktop? Laptops look like better value at the moment, to me (UK)? I've not had a desk top machine for ten years, but I'm wondering if a larger screen would be better for my eyes these days... but separates or all-in-one? What are the drawbacks of all-in-ones, and do they matter to someone whose technical ability only extends as far as being able to change e.g. my RAM or CD drive. OS: I don't like the look of Windows 8 or the sound of 10. I don't want to pay a subscription for MS Office either. I was happiest with 98SE, 2000 was okay, Windows 7 I've learnt to live with, but it micro-manages so much. I think, maybe, I need to be looking at making the switch to Linux. I understand it's easier for the amateur these days? Which distribution is best for a new user? I think I would need to keep Windows as well, for a few programmes, which would presumably impact on what hardware I need? I've never run two OS on the same machine before. Basically, what I'm suffering from is knowing enough to know that I know nothing and being very very rusty. If I don't do this now I can see myself getting more and more frustrated as the years pass and Microsoft become more Apple, Samsung become even more Apple, everyone becomes Apple and having to be highly educated to be able to control your end-user experience becomes the norm. Or I may just be grumpy because I'm 80% mucas. Ugh. All help appreciated.