Till last night, both systems ran Fedora Core 5. Today the laptop is Ubuntu 6.10. When I get a chance, I'll take the desktop to Fedora Core 6, so that I can maintain access to a Fedora system.
Read what and why Steve Carl did it
Everything is faster. Firefox, Evolution, menus, terminals. I installed VMWare's vmplayer from a tarball freshly downloaded from http://vmware.com, and it popped up and ran my pre-existing VM's no problem. Codeweavers is working, with all the apps like MS Word and MS Excel. It is all like I got a processor upgrade. I don't understand everything I know here. I clearly had some grungy build-up from all my years on this computer that got cleaned up. Either that or Ubuntu just runs less stuff by default. Or the new init replacement is uber-quick. Or all of the above.