From previous RTLSDR research I concluded I needed a Linux machine to use the RTLSDR as a GPS/ADSB/ WiFi decoder. I was having too much fun with the RPI to use it so I looked in the storage room and found a spare SATA drive for my Dell D630 laptop with caddy which would allow me to swap between windows and ubuntu easily . Web search revealed others had use a Dell laptop to isntall Ubuntu successfully, so it was time to try.
I downloaded the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS .iso image from http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop and made myself an install CD. Booting the laptop from the CD drive the install started. I allowed it to install updates as it went (over the LAN connection) but it took 3 hours to finish (never again will I complain about the install time of WINXP) Then it took another 3 hours to navigate round Ubuntu and see what I could do. Google.com searches answered all of my "but how do you do it in Linux" questions. I also got to install some packages, just like I did on the Sparc based network infrastructure of Nortel! It was amazing how much Linux I had remembered! The fun was terminated at 1am.