I decided that I should write the story of my Linux journey and how I ended up with Ubuntu MATE so here it is.
My family has never really been into technology, except for a short sprint of my dad with computers in the 1980s, there has not been someone who knew anything about computers, operating systems and such. Growing up we used Windows 98 and 95 computers, somehow skipped XP and Vista completely, jumped to a windows 7 laptop and used only XP and 7 at the private school where I attended. To my family there was only different versions of Windows and somewhere for rich people there was something called Mac, but other than that we were all clueless. Coming out of High School I was pretty well clueless about computers, I might not have known what a CPU was if you would have asked me. The Fall after I graduated I got my own first computer for college, it had Windows 8.1 installed which I soon learned to use. My first spring in college my parents computer died and I gave my laptop to them and they bought a ASUS Transformer with Android Kitkat for me, I easily got the hang of that and I used it for the next 2 years during which time I learned many things. The spring semester that I got my Transformer pad was what started me into linux, for I did a report on the Raspberry Pi which I knew nearly nothing about when I started the report. The summer after I was trying to get my Raspberry Pi to actually run Raspbian, as until that point it was just something to look at. A night in the middle of the summer of 2016 about 10 to 11 I finally got Raspbian to boot after multiple attempts and I was overjoyed. However I soon broke Raspbian, I believe by uninstalling the display manager, through the accursed Synaptic Package Manager. I reinstalled Raspbian and went on my merry way until the fall semester when I discovered berryboot, and it was if I remember correctly with berryboot that I first discovered Ubuntu MATE. However either that fall semester or the following spring semester I bought a laptop with broken hinges from a fellow student for $30, it was with that laptop that I really dove into linux. My first love in the x86_64 linux world was Fedora 25 Cinnamon, I loved it, the quad core i3 made Cinnamon fly, however when moving around partitions I broke the installation, and so I reinstalled. However that installation eventually went into recovery mode of which I had no idea of how to get out and had no idea what caused it, which turned me from Fedora. From there I went distro hopping during which time I tried Ubuntu MATE 16.04 and though I stayed with it for a while, other distros caught my eye and I moved on, eventually I grew tired of distro hopping and wanted a distro that I could keep. Thinking back over the distros I had tried and had actually liked or used heavily, I remembered Ubuntu MATE as the one that I came closest to being satisfied with and as a result Ubuntu MATE is where I found my home in Linux. By that time 17.04 was out and I enjoyed it more than I had 16.04. However my $30 laptop died in the spring or summer of 2017. One of my aunts gave me an old desktop built for Windows XP, on which I soon installed Ubuntu MATE as well as using the Ubuntu MATE from the harddrive of my dead laptop, and yes the operating system on my laptop meant for Windows 7 also booted fine with no hardware problems on my desktop built for Windows XP. I used my desktop and Raspberry Pi the fall semester as my linux machines, as well as trying a failed experiment to convert some of the college library computers over to linux, as I was working for the colleges IT department during this time. The following spring semester my transformer pad was severely glitching, became very hit and miss in regards to connecting to USB drives, the attachable keyboard would become unrecognized, the touch screen would stop working, and the only way to get it to work was to restart it, which even then it did not always work. My parents gave me back my initial laptop and I helped them to get a desktop; during the time that my parents had my first laptop, it was force upgraded to Windows 10, even though we had explicitly told it not to. With only a Celeron N2840 and running Windows 10 it was slower than molasses in subzero temperatures, so that was soon changed to Ubuntu MATE, and while I tried it out with Deepin and PopOS it remains, and most likely always shall remain with Ubuntu MATE as it is the only distro that doesn’t look like it was from the pre 90s and responds immediately on this under powered laptop that I am currently using. Now my family thinks I’m a geek because I use linux and such, but 4 years ago I was as clueless as they are. Ubuntu MATE may not be the lightest or prettiest distro every created, it has the best community of any distro out there period and very importantly for me it responds far faster than any other DE on underpowered hardware without necessarily looking like it is has the graphical interface of a TRS 80.