Yes it's getting closer and closer to Christmas, so why not plan on a nice Laptop Computer for Christmas. You could set it up as a dual boot system and run your favorite Linux distribution. There are some distros like Andy's Ham Radio that has lots of ham radio programs. You can find it at this link http://sourceforge.net/projects/kb1oiq-andysham/ . Another favorite place is DX Zone at http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Software/Linux/Linux_Distributions/ here you can find a few different pieces of software for ham radio and Linux. Some of these are live discs where you can just boot off the cd and run it.
As far as laptops go I would just make sure you have a extended warranty and a accidental damage warranty. Most of the time you can pick these up for an additional fee. I work as a computer service technician and I can't tell how customers wish they had done this. As far as brands go you can purchase dell, msi, hewlett packard and many other laptop computers. Just make sure to read the reviews before purchasing and you can save yourself alot of headaches.
My advise is pick a Laptop Computer with at least a 15.6 inch display. That way it will be easier to see. Otherwise you could go with a 14 inch display and use a flat panel lcd display or as it's call an external monitor. Things to consider today are at least a 1tb hard drive and 4gb to 8gb of system ram memory. Also remember to back up your system just in case Murphy rears its ugly head and ruins your day. I have been there a few times and it's not fun.
So get out there and buy a good laptop today for Christmas and Linux.