I got a refurbished HP laptop off a discount site a couple months ago, so that I could have a machine for doing hacker/maker stuff away from home (we have a macbook, but it’s flakey with arduinos and only runs a two-year-old version of Repetier.) It only took two whole days to install Ubuntu on it.
And most of one day was spent downloading and installing all the windows updates that had been issued in the month since I lasted booted the machine up.
It could have been much worse, I guess. I read the instructions and navigated around the installer bug that reportedly wipes out the windows side while not installing properly. I only had to turn off secure boot, rather than turning off the entirely post-2010 boot system. And only a few Windows-side incantations.
But wow. Windows 8.1 really hates people who try to do things the way they used to. And people with slow fingers. Start menu takes a couple minutes to load (and yes, I shouldn’t need it once I have shortcuts set up, but I need it or a working file browsers to set up those shortcuts). And every time the trackpad-controlled cursor was on top of a button for more than a few seconds, something in the system software helpfully pushed the button for me. Made things take much longer than needed.
So I’ll be installing a bunch of software on the linux side to do basic design work, control my (somewhat) portable 3D printer, program arduinos and so forth. And maybe a few programs (sketchup? heeks?) on the windows side, athough mostly I think I’ll be booting that up to keep up with updates and the slogging job of hunting down an exterminating all the bloatware the machine came with.