Transition to the GNU/Linux Ubuntu Operating System
Last year (2007) we setup up a computer with internet access, in the breakfast room for guests to use. To help keep costs down and to reduce maintenance we installed the Ubuntu 7.04 operating system - which comes with Firefox 2, Open Office etc. It has been a great success with guests commenting regularly about how useful it is to have quick and easy internet access while staying with us.
We also switched our office computer to Ubuntu at the same time and have been very happy to find that we have had no issues with viruses, malware or spyware since switching. Computer maintenance time has been drastically reduced - maintenance now consisting of installing Ubuntu updates when notified by a little icon on the task bar - couple of click every so often and that is it.
Since installing Ubuntu the computers have run flawlessly. Last week we decided to upgrade both the office and breakfast room computers to the latests version of Ubuntu, Hardy Heron 8.04, which was released in April 2008. This is a long term support (LTS) release, the desktop version is supported with free security and software updates for the next 3 years, and it comes with all the latests software including Firefox 3 and the latests version of Open Office etc etc. With a bit of luck all our computing needs should be taken care of for the next good few years - all for free and with much reduced maintenance time and effort!