Actually, nothing so dramatic happened. My 2005, low-end laptop was running out of hard disk space, and so, after asking Mary’s permission and waiting until we got back from Johnson City (she needed to work on a paper there), I reformatted the hard drive and re-installed Ubuntu as the sole operating system. I was using the cheap Compaq laptop as a dual-boot, XP-and-Ubuntu system, but Mary has been the only one to use Windows for the last year or so, and the Windows XP installation was hogging 28 of the 40GB in the hard drive, and even without being a music downloader, I used up Ubuntu’s 12GB in a hurry. Since I’m not a downloading junkie per se, the 35GB or so left over after the latest (free) operating system (it’s only a 40GB hard drive overall) should hold me for a while, and since Ubuntu’s operating system and open-source software make hardware last much longer than do Bill Gates’s children, I imagine I’ll be able to hold on to this machine until I land that gig at some college somewhere. (Mary has agreed to let me buy a new laptop as a reward to myself if I land a real job. I’ll probably buy a cheapie, which will run me about five hundred bucks and perform three or five times faster than my current computer, and install the latest Ubuntu on it.) So when I finish updating my new operating system, I’ll have the computer on which I’m writing my dissertation ready to go.
So if anyone’s keeping score, one more copy of Windows has disappeared from the computing world, and nobody has bought a Mac as a response. Long live Linux!