I've taken a couple weeks off but rest assured that my obsession with alternate operating ststems continues.
First off, a nice little definition via Jon Buys at Ostatic:
A Linux operating system, or distribution, is piece-mealed together, taking parts from the different groups that create them. Linux distributions like Ubuntu do not actually develop most of the applications that they ship with, what the distributions do is curate open source software. What the Linux developer ecosystem has created is a type of gentleman's agreement to work loosely together, producing software that also works loosely within the operating system.
Each distribution picks what it feels are the best parts available from the open source community.
The job of the distributions is to ensure that the software available in their repositories works together without conflict.
Slate's Farhad Manjoo gives an old machine the Ubuntu makeover and loves it. But if vanilla Ubuntu isn't quite your thing here are seven variations on it. Or you can burn your own version of Ubuntu to CD and haul it with you.
It wouldn't be Linux Monday without a little WinMac comparison, and here's Tech Republic's take on Ubuntu's two big advantages over Windows and Mac: Comprehensive software updates and an integrated app store
PCWorld offers a cautionary tale of Five Things to Know Before Switching to Linux, printer and peripgeral issues being the biggest (though I've never seen a problem in two years).
And for the extremely geeky, a step by step guide on installing micri-distro TinyCore to a hard drive (usually one runds it off a CD or other removable media)