One week ago, I bought a new Toshiba C40D-A laptop to replace a 15+ year old desktop computer. My past computer was hampering my productivity, and I felt it was time to begin anew with a modern quad core platform that can handle far more complex tasks. I required a machine that could compute complex algorithms without having to take a lunch break every time I initiate a task. While many people are using tablets today, these are not practical for the connectivity, precision of item placement, and clicking on very small icons that only a mouse appears to offer. Where I haven't used a Macintosh computer in years, I felt it was most practical to stick to an operating system built on what I already knew. That was clearly a fatal mistake. This new computer, like all currently being sold locally, comes preloaded with Windows 8 but omits the familiar boot disk. I would soon find that was the least of my problems, and that the horrors had just begun. Microsoft incessantly made note to remind the myself to create a Microsoft Account, which apparently shares data with Microsoft servers (and who knows who else) in a similar manner to that of the Xbox 360. It keeps tabs on software and ancillary hardware being used, and is supposed to improve user support when issues are encountered. Unfortunately, I came to learn rather quickly that Microsoft's new live help platform is as useless as the preloaded text type had been for the past decade and a half. Crippling limitations, restrictions, deleted options, and the absence of a back button had started to manifest right from the moment the computer was turned on. When I am trying to do something, a random popup telling me the news or weather will appear and I cannot close it because there is no close button. There was no start button, and thus no familiar shortcut to settings, documents, and programs. This of course, was not before being repeatedly taken to the worst recurring touch screen-type GUI that I have ever been faced with. This "Metro" layout is not practical or efficient, nor is it going to be productive for my tasks. Once the 8.1 update had completed, my computer literally locked and will not allow me to turn it off or backstep; it will only allow the creation or entering of a Microsoft Account, this is nonsensical communism. The work that I do requires quick switching between open programs and viewing several smaller windows simultaneously. In other words, I have to be in control of the computer, not the other way around. It also requires that I open documents and other programs without hesitation. Everything is so deeply buried that I can't even find the option to turn the computer off. I primarily use my PC for running computer assisted drafting, modeling and engineering design software. The programs include LTSpice and Altium Designer. I also use it for extrapolating measurement data alongside Agilent/Hewlett Packard and Audio Precision hardware amongst a host of MSO and DSO equipment. I am familiar with Windows XP and its functions. Windows 98 and XP form the backbone of the engineering sector because it is what all the hardware and software was designed for. I can go almost anywhere and find a CAM machine running on DOS or Windows 95. The thing is, at some point I am going to need a 64Bit operating system for other uses, but it needs to be familiar. Time is a privilege that engineers and circuit specialists do not have, and learning these engineering programs can take years on their won. The sheer confusion brought on with Windows 8 is virtually inconceivable. It is marketed towards tablet users and consumers, not producers, who use a computer for an important functional task. I found this forum and am asking for help with Linux/Ubuntu. The computer that I am on cannot run videos and is inconceivably slow, so video instructables are a no-go. Can Linux be configured to look, feel, and run software and hardware as well as Windows XP? I'm in my twenties, I am quite skilled with PCB layout and logic/circuit design, and trying to do a start up to produce some new electronic devices. Unfortunately, I am not experienced with other operating systems. In the past week, I have been able to accomplish nothing on Windows 8. Any help and guidance is appreciated.