"Linux is a real world option these days. It is free
and legal to download, use and redistribute. It has come a long way
to becoming more user friendly and compatible with lots of hardware
out there. Not only that, but gives you more control over your
system and many fixes are simple editing of text files using the
command line. While this intimidate mosts, they need to get over
it... the command line is the isht when X windows wont start.
"Applications are also a dime a dozen, and if this old Windows
Server Admin has managed to find applications to do everything I
used to do in Windows (from editing photos, docs, spreadsheets to
even color calibrating my monitor and playing games) so can
everyone one of those users taking risks on illegal OSsoftware. And
the beauty of it all is that all those options are also free and
legal to download use and redistribute."