I'm Matt Kuiken, an computer/electrical engineer from Goleta, CA. Goleta is a fairly small town right next to Santa Barbara, CA.
I am new to GNU/Linux (as of 11/2005), and am using Ubuntu, as the community is well supported, and my first try with Debian told me that there was way too much manual intervention necessary to make it a viable operating system for my computer. I stumbled on Ubuntu by chance while I was searching for information about Debian, and everything seemed to fit very well. Breezy installed very well, with the only problem being a slight problem with sound. As I was searching for the fix for the sound, I created an error which caused the sound to stop working altogether. I was very disappointed. I am currently (1/2006) working with the Dapper Drake Flight 3 in the hopes that once Dapper is complete, I will be able to do a fresh install and have everything just work. I have high hopes, as my sound is currently working better than it ever did in Breezy, but my video seems to have taken a step backwards.
I have already learned quite a bit about packages, backports, and the operating system features of Ubuntu. That said, while I am an embedded programmer, I like my computer to just work. I do not want to have to debug my operating system. After a short time reading messages and studying within this community, I can see a fracture between people who understand this point of view, and those who think that everyone should be able to hack away at a command line. I can hack away at a command line. I understand it, and will do it when necessary; however, I cannot recommend the same for my parents. I have a difficult enough time helping them fix problems over the phone when we are using prompted installers. I applaud this community for going after windows. I think it is a very admirable goal. If Dapper works fully on my machine, I may even be able to drop Windows. In time, I may even be able to move my parents over. It will take a bulletproof installer, and great helper utilities before it will happen. I can't wait to see what the future holds.
To see my efforts in the LaptopTesting area, go to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingTeam/SonyVaioVGN-TX650P