The machine would try to boot into Windows but would hang. I guess it was a corrupt file system problem.
So I installed Ubuntu from a cd and it's been working fine, so far.
I really like the Add/Remove Programs app. I can pick from lots of apps. Installing apps that aren't listed, like TweetDeck and Chrome, are a little more work. I'm pretty sure I can add an entry somewhere to have the app look for apps in other places. I'll have to check on that.
Installing NetBeans & Java 1.6 was a breeze thanks to Sun.
I installed a media player called VLC (recommended by @codeless). It seems to work well.
I have to edit the etc/resolv.conf file everytime I reboot so that I can get to the internet. I haven't looked into why.
Another issue I have is that sound comes thru both the speakers and headphones. I found lots of others with the same issue. One solution looked like it was patching the kernel. I don't think I'll do that. I'm sure the problem is a hardware driver kind of thing.
Since I don't really know much about routers and connecting to networks, I haven't been able to get the machine to talk to my wireless router at home. I think part of the problem is a hardware driver.
Overall, the experience has been fine.