What about the functionality?
Quiet often people drop Linux because it is a tad harder to get going.. but with a good guide and strength of heart and an iron-will (kidding!) you can get it working.
4) Get the Players and the Codecs.
Without a doubt the best way to get that movie or song playing ASAP is to drop whatever program you are using and switch to mplayer. It may not look like much and it’s not as powerful as Xine (Totem), but it’s the most straight-forward player out there. And no player on Linux, Mac, or Windows is complete without a decent set of codecs, so check these out.
This is where most people lose heart. Don’t switch to FAT32.. Please! When it comes to NTFS, forget all the different packages and patches out there, forget recompiling the kernel and everything else they taught you, you only have two options. The first (what I use) is Captive-NTFS, the first and original NTFS read-write program out there.
It’s not as efficient as we would like (erm… not efficient at all) but the latest version is very straight-forward: run the RPM or build the source, run captive-install-acquire and mount the drive; unfortunately Captive-NTFS is no longer being developed (if you want to adopt it, its available!) Another (better) option if you are willing to fork over the dough is Paragon NTFS Linux, which is a (much) more efficient and still actively developed software that does the same thing. If you *only* want to read from an NTFS, Linux-NTFS is the way to go.
No guide about functionality on Linux is complete without a reference to Wine, the free framework that makes Windows programs run on Linux In our opinion only recently has Wine become a viable alternative, an actual reliable framework that can be used to run the apps you need. It is nowhere near complete, but it supports a wide variety of programs and installers at the moment.
It isn’t pretty (think Windows 3.1 GUI) but it gets the job done. Cedega is a better (commercial) framework, built on Wine, but expanded and more compatible.. But it’s not free. And it defeats the purpose of open-source: it takes and never gives back to the community.