Luckily, I had power and was able to log on to Kiowa Linux Beta 3 and surf the internet for weather updates and just use this great operating system. And Kiowa really performed well! Despite the fact that this is a beta release, it's incredibly stable! I talked with Kiowa's founder Matt several times during the weekend and he alerted me whenever a new package came online in Kiowa's repo. Pidgin Messenger works wonderfully well! XMMS is simply great! But the big attraction for me is how terrific Kiowa's version of Wine is!
If you've never used Wine, or are unfamiliar with it, Wine acts as a translator of sorts so you can install a needed Windows application. The absolutely great thing about Kiowa's Wine is how it works invisibly in the background. Just pop in your disk, find the Windows .exe file needed to install, double click, and Wine takes over. The software installs just as if it were on a Windows system!
Now, I'll caution you that not all applications are going to work. You'll have to check the Wine application database to see which applications work and which are still being worked on. But PhotoShop 7 installed in a snap! As did the compression utility Expander and Dropstuff (for when my Mac friends send me a stuffit file).
I've used a few versions of Wine and have found that Kiowa's version of Wine is by far the easiest to use. Get Linux, get Kiowa and get Wine. Then say goodbye to Windows.