And so this column is coming to you courtesy of Ubuntu. But not just any Ubuntu, it's the Netbook Remix, and I'm typing this on a wee little Asus Eee PC. I said I'd try the latest build of desktop Ubuntu a couple of months back, but this looked a lot more fun. And it has an interesting name.
The good news is that there is nothing - absolutely nothing - fundamentally wrong with this operating system. And in that respect it's just great. Pop it on a bootable flash drive - the website will show you how - reboot and away you go.
All the hardware on the Asus netbook works beautifully, a happy result of the fact that netbooks are mostly based on only a handful of variations on the same hardware. Working wireless, correct screen resolution, everything. Even the webcam works straight off.
The basis of the Netbook Remix is a sort of bolt-on interface that takes over the whole screen and presents you with nice, easy shortcuts to get to the usual netbook applications: web browsing, office tasks, media playing. It works too.
The interface itself is pretty, or at least something approaching pretty. At any rate, it's cohesive and avoids the typical rambling Linux menus larded with near-identical applications.
Superficially, this is really quite exciting: a proper, easy-to-use netbook version of Linux that looks good and has ease of use on its side.
And coming from Ubuntu it bears the authority of a brand name, in an area of computing that's barely heard of the idea. It's a rallying cry for those blood-stained, tear-streaked Linux warriors still binding their wounds after a near-total shift from Linux to Windows on netbooks.
But those Linuxy people do have this terribly determined habit of blundering off and sticking their own spear in their foot wherever possible, and over such tragically obvious things.
Owners of the original HTC Touch smartphone - with its TouchFLO 3D interface slapped on top of Windows Mobile - will know that there's nothing as disappointing as a beautifully slick UI that's only a millimetre thick.
And with the Netbook Remix the transparency, slick animations and general coolness last for precisely as long as it takes to click an icon. The breathtakingly ugly Linux Monster then jumps out at you clutching a wet haddock, slaps you across the face with it and sits on your head, laughing.
Just try clicking on the Rhythmbox music player, for instance. Actually, don't: it's too awful and I wouldn't want to inflict the trauma on anyone.
Another example: the default format for OpenOffice Writer documents is ODT, the OpenOffice Document Text format. Those open standards, intended to forge the way ahead to a new future free of proprietary lock-in, are admirable. But they're as much use as a dictionary to Katie Price when it comes to sending your mum your Christmas list.
Try this simple test: write something in OpenOffice and email it to the friend or relative of your choice. Now sit back and wait for hilarity to ensue when they think they can't open the stupid thing.
Making ODT the default is a classic example of geek idealism overcoming common sense.
OpenOffice even retains Clippy the paperclip - a character Microsoft wisely abandoned years ago - in the mutated form of an irritating and wholly bizarre cartoon chimera made of a lightbulb and a lifebuoy.
He pops up when he thinks you need help, or simply to let you know what a great job he's doing by, for instance, automatically correcting ERroneous capitalisation. He's looking at me now, having popped up when I typed that deliberate error.
There's a puppy-like hopeful smile on his face, as if he's expecting a biscuit. He makes me fidgety
and a little bit cross.
The Ubuntu people know all this, of course. At least, the ones with any hint of ambition to get the OS into the mass market do.
The advent of the netbook presented the perfect opportunity, but the ball was well and truly dropped. With Microsoft producing a netbook version of Windows XP - for emerging markets at least - and Windows 7 running just fine if you turn the fancy bits off, netbook Linux is on the rocks.
It's a cruel and ironic fact that even though Ubuntu Netbook Remix is a totally solid, stable, usable and free operating system, I'm just not that fired up about it.
There's innovation here, but not enough. There's some hint of a focused, resolute attempt to produce an OS for everyone, but not enough.
Lurking behind the veneer of spinning icons is the feeling that the grassroots Linux developers don't really want the unwashed mass getting their grubby paws on their lovely, ugly operating system.
They're going to carry on lurking in the shadows, wet fish in hand, ready to strike. They want a learning curve. They want you to have to use the command line. Damn it, they want you to suffer.
For more Linux adventures by David Fearon, also see his 7 day experiment with Linux