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My broadband internet connection has held up for a month now without dropping, which I think is quite impressive compared to past experiences with dialup. (I leave my computer on all the time, so this is quite nice - the internet is always just there). I guess lots of people don't know what it's like to have a computer that stays up for a month without needing to be rebooted. Let me take this opportunity to show you a more excellent way:

Linux is a free, robust, secure, and powerful operating system, that is also easy to use and and easy on the eyes. Next time your Windows machine needs re-installing, bogged down by viruses, or just by using it, why not consider a Linux system? Linux has a fundamentally superior design to Windows, which means that you basically never have to re-install, nor does your system start slowing down over time -- it just doesn't happen. It also has thousands of easy to use programs which more than replace the ones you'll be familiar with from Windows. I found a nice list of equivalents that SimplyMEPIS Linux ships with.

Microsoft is now trying to retrofit a security model similar to that of Linux into their own operating systems. Unfortunately, you can't design an operating system like that, so in order to get some kind of compatibility with older programs that relied on their previous broken design, they are having to add a load of hacks for the next version of Windows, Longhorn. I suspect this isn't really going to work, and it certainly makes the system a lot more complex that it needs to be. Windows XP Service Pack also gives more reasons to switch to Linux.

Tempted? Ubuntu is pretty good distribution. I've also heard really good things about SimplyMEPIS, which, like Ubuntu is a Debian based system. Unlike Ubuntu, it comes with some software that is not free software included by default, which will probably give you a better experience out of the box with certain multimedia apps. Both of these come with versions that you can try out without installing, called LiveCDs. You can download them (including the full versions) completely for free, so you've got nothing to lose!

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