My son is getting ready to start med school and he will need an updated laptop over what he has right now. His current rig is a Dell laptop, I really don't know the specs but it is about 4 or 5 years old. Seems like it has a 60GB hdd and 512 MB ram. When I see him this weekend I can get more specs off the laptop. His minimum requirements for med school include Core 3 processor, 4gb ram, etc, and the current rig comes up short. Enough of the boring stuff... My background: I know absolutely NOTHING about any OS besides Windows, currently running XP. I have been reading about linux and ubuntu. Since this will be an extra laptop, I will have time to play, learn, screw up and everything else that it involves. I'm not a tech genius, but I can research problems and try to figure stuff out. Which OS would be a good one for an OS virgin to get?? I am guessing I will do a clean install, been reading on ubuntu's website and linux's website and it seems the more I read, the more confused I get. By clean install, I am assuming that when I install the new OS it will erase Windows, format the drive and install the new OS. Here's what I'd like for my computer to do once I load the new OS. You can tell me if this is possible or not. I want it to come on to a "home screen" just like XP did when I first bought that computer. I'd like to have a browser available so I can connect to the 'net. Web surfing and gmail is 99% of what I would do with this computer, it will be an extra that I will use from a second residence I have associated with work. I want it to connect to my wifi so I am not tied to a wire. I'd like to learn the system and then can decide whether I'd like to teach it to my wife and convert her HP laptop. Thoughts or suggestions?