So, I have this older laptop and heard about this hot version of Linux that's supposed to be so easy to install and use. It's true, even if you aren't a super geek (and I'm not) you can install Ubuntu Linux.http://www.ubuntu.com/
First, you download an .iso file (almost 700 MB) and burn that as an image to a cd. Then you boot from that cd on the machine where you want to install. Then answer the prompts and pretty soon you're rocking Ubuntu. It even recognized the external monitor that was connected (laptop's screen is unusable) and the wireless worked right off after entering the WEP key! When I checked it the next day, Ubuntu had downloaded updates and waited only for my click to proceed. Did I mention the free anti-virus software available in the online repository?
Totally free and has all the software necessary for the typical home user. Honestly, unless you're a gamer, I can't think of a single thing the typical user would miss.
Also installed it on a really old desktop (30 GB HDD, 256K RAM, stone-age Pentium) and it worked, but it's slow. However it's snappy on the laptop which is old enough to have been running XP.
So there you go.