Linux - student POV - need advice!

view full story

http://www.linuxquestions.org – There is a TLDR on the bottom! I've got quite a problem. I am a full time college student taking 22+ credit hours, it's not very challenging but time consuming. I've read countless posts, researched countless hours of "Why Linux" and stumbled upon the same things; free, stable, secure. I've been wanting to get a strong grasp of Linux from an early age. I messed around with Fedora, RedHat and SuSe in my early years, but that was merely installing and "getting the feel" of a Linux system. Aside from that, I haven't ventured much into it. Although, about two years ago and last year, I was pretty determined to get Slackware fully functional on all my home computers, including my parents. I managed to install + setup most of my peripherals and drivers. All of my computers weren't fully functional, and the little kids hated Linux because they couldn't download games they played. Maybe I just took more of a bite than I could have handled, so I ended up reformatting everything back to Windows 7 Professional. Recently when I herd Slackware 13 was out, I've had this desire to install it and get it fully functional as a desktop OS, for my laptop. I can't tell you exactly why, but something inside of me urges me to use Slackware and get it perfect, the way I want it. My issue here is, I have been a Windows user from ME through 7. Windows XP was stable and secure for me, although it crashed time to time if I had done something stupid... same goes for Slackware, I've messed stuff up and have had to restart / reinstall, but maybe that can be attributed to my knowledge of Linux. I now use Windows 7, and it's flawless. I've been using it since the release candidate during beta, and have never received a virus nor has it crashed on me. The automatic updates installed every possible driver I had on all my machines without hassle, things just worked. It does everything I need it to do, without any work required on my end. This, is the very thing that keeps me from switching over to Linux. I've put Slackware 13 x64 on my laptop via making new partitions by shrinking my hard drive through Win 7 -- it's a neat feature, enabled me to shrink and combine after I took Linux off. I've installed Slackware 3-4 times on my laptop and took them off hours later. I went through the entire Slackbook and got a greater understanding how the system is composed, but it still hasn't helped fix problems I was having. My main issue is time. I know getting everything together will take lots of reading, plenty of time to tinker and figure out why something doesn't work. That, I don't have. I have classes from 6.30 AM and I don't get home until 7 PM, somedays 8 PM. I then I have to fit in my schoolwork + leisure time between the hours of 8 PM and 12 AM, then off to bed or I'll feel like crap in the morning. I don't have a problem with reading, asking questions and learning, but I can't dedicate the tremendous amount of time it is required to have things functional. I mainly write papers, create spreadsheets for data analysis, code in C++/Java, and occasionally watch videos. This I can do on my Windows machine w/o configuring anything. What do you guys suggest, how should I approach this? I am content with Windows, it has never given me a problem, mainly because I am aware of what I am doing, not downloading random shit etc etc. TLDR: Inside I have this craving to learn Slackware, but I am just not able to satisfy it. The amount of time I have to spend learning Linux is way out of my league, I've got other things that have higher priority. Should I spend one or two hours a weekend messing around on another partition or should I just not bother, and continue with what I am doing? Thanks! (HowTos)