Since installing Ubuntu on Doug's laptop, that is all we have been running on it. Windows still sits in the background, taking up a large part of the hard drive. Just in case though, I don't want to delete it entirely yet. Little has been saved to the computer as of yet, so I don't know if I can share files between the operating systems, though I am sure there is a way. Afterall, the first computer I saw Ubuntu running on was a Mac laptop. The guy had the Mac OS running at the same time as Ubuntu, and could switch between the two without restarting.
The latest homemade change was to the hardware of his laptop. After spending hours getting Vista reloaded I learned that the "/?" key was no longer working. Doug said that it had been giving him some trouble in the past, but that it always worked eventually. After an entire weekend without that key functioning, I looked around online for a replacement part. I found several do-it-yourself ways to take apart a keyboard to get tiny pieces to fix it, but that seemed way beyond my ability. Then I found that Amazon.com had a keyboard for the computer for $15. A whole lot cheaper than the Dell website.
Sure, the warranty can be voided by not using the proper parts, but it isn't under warranty anymore anyway. And the fix was easy. One panel to snap off, and two tiny screws to remove. Now the computer has fully functioning buttons again. Still not sure how much I will actually use it for school, but it has been getting lots of use since I got it running better.