To start off, I have no idea of which version to choose. I am very computer literate and am currently in college for Busniess Systems Networking/IT. The controller arm of my HDD just went out and while I can afford the new HDD I don't really have the cash to spare for another OS. HP will not send me a media disk for Vista and to be honest I would rather have Windows 7 than Vista. So it's a clean install.
Somethings I want to be able to do in Linux:
Browse the net
If possible, but not a big deal if I can't: Yahoo and MSN Instant Messenger
I am normally a Windows Junkie, even though this will be my first time using Linux I am sure I will be able to figure it out and learn about with ease.
The Specs of the PC (not sure if it matters)
8Gb of RAM
AMD Phenom quad core CPU
Nvidia 9500GS Graphics card 512Mb of dedicated graphics memory
I have read that some graphics cards are hit or miss with drivers. The PC is two years old so I am crossing my fingers.
Just a side question here: I don't hate Firefox, but it's not my browser of choice. Can I run IE on Linux? Specifically IE 9?
My instructor is a Mandriva fan, but I have heard mixed opinions about Mandriva, Unbuntu and Fedora from some of my classmates. If anyone could offer some insight to which version I should get with the information I have provided I would greatly appreciate it very much.
If you need to know anymore specifics just ask and I will be more than happy to to give them.