As mentioned previously, my old Windows XP laptop died completely upon rebooting it after a "security update" on 8/15, and Microsoft let me know in unsubtle terms that it had deliberately taken out my computer. I tried to diagnose it, and eventually decided that it wasn't worth the effort and likely cost, and put a higher priority on my plan to migrate to Ubuntu. Because of my situation, the loss of my computer, the subsequent total denial of service by my "ISP" (Transworld Network, whose Satanic nature is written into its terms of service, for those who know how to interpret the clues), and the obvious attempt by organized Satanism (such as its division in Tiger Direct's "customer service" department) to prevent me from obtaining a replacement, made it very difficult for me to recover.
To help others who are interested in making the switch to Ubuntu, I created a blog (here) that provides the sort of details which a Linux/Ubuntu-neophyte would probably need just to get "off the ground," from which point it would be fairly easy to learn whatever else they need to know. It has become a depository of useful Ubuntu/Linux-related information in general, but it includes the sort of information I needed just to get booted up, to get on the internet, and to make some basic settings, such as text-editor background color, which I assume everyone would want to know to make it easier to use their computer.
While I'm taking a swipe at Microshaft, I should mention that if you're looking for an inexpensive "Linux computer"  you can get a mini-PC such as a Zotac without a hard drive, and use a flash drive instead of a disc drive (although you'll want plenty of memory to avoid the need for the OS to swap files between memory and the flash drive, because swapping takes a toll on flash memory). The flash drive would contain a "persistent" installation of Ubuntu, as detailed in my blog (here).
The recovery from the cyber-attack on my computer (launched by the no-soul-agency within the NSA, and mediated by Microshaft), included recovering the data from my old hard drive. To make a long story short, I got an IDE-to-USB adapter/case for about $7.50 (these cases include a tiny circuit board, including ICs, that interfaces the USB connector with the IDE connector), and plugged my old drive into it. I then plugged the resulting external USB drive into my computer while booted up in Ubuntu. There at my disposal appeared all of the files - no password required. So much for Window's "military-grade" security! If someone were to steal your Windows computer, or its hard drive, they would have NO trouble accessing all of your files (although some of them, such as Word files, might have to be converted to another format), unless you had taken extra precautions. So, despite all of its show of having super-high security, Windows has essentially no security. It's yet another indication that Microsoft's top priorities are spying on us, sabotaging our computers, and abusing us by making us jump through all kinds of hoops for supposed protection from spies and saboteurs. Sure, it's slick, but I'll a little privacy from Borg Brother over a slick, automated interface, every day.
 There really IS no such thing as a "Linux computer" - there are PCs, which can run Windows or Linux. I suppose there might be some machines which Linux uses more completely than others by virtue of having the right hardware drivers. (A hardware driver is a program that interfaces the OS to the hardware, in addition the hardware drivers provided by the BIOS (which cover all of the typical functions). If a computer has some unusual hardware, such as an advanced video processor, the OS might need the driver that comes with the video processor to be able to make use of its advanced capabilities. But if Linux in general contains drivers that give it more control over certain computers, I guess that would qualify them as "Linux computers."