This morning I installed Xubuntu 8.10 on my ancient (circa 2001) laptop. I’m using it to make this post right now, so I guess you can tell that it was a success! I picked Xubuntu because it is supposed to be less demanding on system reqs than full-on Ubuntu.
I’m happy to report that the process was very easy and almost everything worked in a plug-and-play fashion. USB drive, CD, opening .jpg/.doc/.pdf and other files, connecting to the internet, using a wheel mouse all worked without me doing anything. This might not seem like much, but I was guessing I would have to go hunt down drivers or something for a lot of that.
The one thing that needed a little doing was DVD playback. Codec issue. I searched about it and found a solution within a few minutes.
All in all I am very pleased with Xubuntu!
For anyone who is interested, I found http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/index to be a very useful reference during the installation.