Well, I finally did it.
I installed Linux on this little netbook that came with Win8 on it. All this stuff about spying, hacking, etc. in the news, and the infuriating arbitrary changes MicroSnot made in its user interface. And I just continued to use it, logging in with the Chrome browser and not using any of the 'cloud' crap that came with it.
Last Saturday (2013/07/13), a page ;was taking too long to load or something, and I called up the Task Manager. The Win8 task manager has lots of little tabs, and looking at 'Application History' or something like that, I noticed that the 'Camera' application had used 22 seconds of CPU time. That was the final straw. No idea whether that means anything or not, but I haven't been using the netbook's camera for a while, and it didn't seem right.
So now I'm posting from the Ubuntu partition. There is a right-click selection in Win8 disk management that allows you to shrink the C:\ drive, and I used that, freeing up about 93G. Fortunately the BIOS menu allows me to turn off UEFI on this puppy. So far, I don't have Ubuntu booting from UEFI, and have to visit the BIOS menu to switch OS's.
Anyhoo, there's probably eleventy brazilion lines of code in this thing, and I'm not gonna read 'em all, so the NSA could be mining bitcoins out of my Ubuntu partition for all I know. But it's not more snot from MicroSnot. Interestingly, Ubuntu has its own 'cloud' ... should I activate it?