Best Linux Distro for an Old Acer Aspire 3000 Laptop

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http://www.linuxquestions.org – I’m considering a Linux version for an old laptop because it is starting to limp along under the weight of Windows XP SP3 and the constant updates. I haven’t even looked at Linux since some of the very first versions were made available, so I would greatly appreciate some advice and help getting up to date. I presume things have changed a lot and indeed have gotten much easier and more “mainstream”. I’m very technically proficient with software/hardware/networking under Windows. I’m a former UNIX guy from a long, long time ago but remember very little, even though I was quite profici (HowTos)