I’m considering a Linux version for an old laptop because it is starting to limp along under the weight of Windows XP SP3 and the constant updates. I haven’t even looked at Linux since some of the very first versions were made available, so I would greatly appreciate some advice and help getting up to date. I presume things have changed a lot and indeed have gotten much easier and more “mainstream”. I’m very technically proficient with software/hardware/networking under Windows. I’m a former UNIX guy from a long, long time ago but remember very little, even though I was quite proficient at the time. We’re talking pre-windows days here! This particular laptop is an Acer 3000 originally designed for Windows XP SP2. It has an AMD Sempron 2800+ (1.6 GHz) processor with 2 GB of RAM and a 38 GB drive currently formatted as FAT32. I would prefer to be able to run Wine so that I could use Windows apps—for starters MS Access 2003 and MS Office 2007 Suite (although I would consider OpenOffice if it’s compatible enough) as well as Firefox. I would also need for the Linux OS to be able to see the shared folders on my local networked Windows machines (both Windows XP SP3 and Windows 7 machines) and the Windows machines to see the Linux shared folders. Is this even possible? If so, what is the “best” (whatever that really means) version of Linux you would recommend for this purpose and hardware? I really don’t want to fiddle around constantly with the OS or have to compile my own executables, find my own drivers, etc. Thanks a lot!