I have a Compaq Presario F500 laptop, which comes with a built-in Broadcom wireless network adapter. Vista Home Premium came pre-installed, but the system only has 1Gb of RAM, which is the it’s maximum.
Vista is so power-hungry that things were never going to go well. The straw which broke the camel’s back came one Sunday afternoon when I was surfing the web while listening to music on WMP. I navigated to a site with an embedded flash video and the system froze, completely. I rebooted and tried again but got the same problem, the system was totally maxing out. It’s worth mentioning that I already had Aero and all the fancy, (read sparkly; pointless), effects turned off. I came to the conclusion that Vista had to go.
The system is distinctly mid-range and I only use it for surfing the web, chatting online and email so I decided that Linux in anUbuntu flavour was the way to go. The software and feature list which comes with this distribution is pretty good and installing was a cinch so I was really happy… for a few minutes, at least!
As it turns out, Linux hates the Broadcom wireless adapter in my laptop. It took me hours of Google searching, driver installations, plenty of swearing and a complete re-install to get it working. Even now, it’s buggy to say the least. I really think it’s issues such as this which put people off using Linux over other operating systems, which is a shame.
Anyway, the solution to this too-common problem can be found here.