Heres a briefoutline for this post: Introduction, Installing ubuntu (including dual boot with Windows XP), First steps into ubuntu, Concluding thoughts
Stepping out of Windows
Me writing a post like this (stepping out of Windows and into Ubuntu) is somewhat self serving because anything I can tell you here has already been documented (usually better) elsewhere. Most of what Ill do here is help you learn to help yourself by pointing you to those resources and inserting some witty commentary along the way. Im writing this post with the average Windows user in mind.