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I am a college freshman and next semester I am going to start Linux I (in 2 weeks) i am trying to get a jump on the class. I have ...
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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Diving in head first.. Sink or Swim!?!?!?!


    I am a college freshman and next semester I am going to start Linux I (in 2 weeks) i am trying to get a jump on the class. I have always been interested, and have researched many distros. I finally decided Gentoo was the one for me (it was a toss up between this and Slackware). I first tried to install Debian as a 'dry run', it failed from my minimal disc saying i didn't have an Ethernet card. I was wondering if anyone out there would be nice enough to help me out with:
    http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/noteboo...098024p,00.htm Toshiba Satellite A100 (Core Duo Processor T2400 1.83GHz, 512MB RAM) (this is my laptop with a few differences.. nothing too special though)
    1) What NIC would you suggest? (wireless maybe?)

    2) i am a pretty quick at learning when it comes to technology, but am i in over my head?

    3) I am very interested in the programming aspect on Linux (mainly because im trying to become a programmer =P) ... So far my skills are very limited but i know the very basics of C++, VB, Java, and JavaScript as well as a good bit of knowledge in XHTML and CSS. Where should i start? Any good books that you would recommend?

    4)I'm open to anything else you might have to say!!!

  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast likwid's Avatar
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    IMO you are better off trying a different distro like Ubuntu or Fedora. Gentoo is going to be a little difficult to get going without some linux knowledge.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pen45us
    I first tried to install Debian as a 'dry run', it failed from my minimal disc saying i didn't have an Ethernet card.
    Were you trying to use the netinstall disc? That one does indeed require an internet connection of some sort. About the smallest install I would recommend for Debian is their first DVD. You might also prefer to use a single-CD install of a Debian-based OS, such as Ubuntu.

    1) What NIC would you suggest? (wireless maybe?)
    NO! Wireless cards are notoriously finicky on Linux because the companies that manufacture them like to keep their firmware a secret, which doesn't let Linux drivers get developed unless the company themselves release them (this is by far the exception). Regular wired ethernet is probably your easiest bet.

    2) i am a pretty quick at learning when it comes to technology, but am i in over my head?
    With Gentoo? Probably. It's not one I'd recommend for a new user. Yes, you'll learn a lot, but you run the risk of seriously burning yourself out halfway through the install, which can take several days.

    3) I am very interested in the programming aspect on Linux (mainly because im trying to become a programmer =P) ... So far my skills are very limited but i know the very basics of C++, VB, Java, and JavaScript as well as a good bit of knowledge in XHTML and CSS. Where should i start? Any good books that you would recommend?
    If you're familiar with C++ and Java, your programming experience should carry over almost word-for-word. In Java, you could probably grab your Java sourcecode and run it without any modification whatsoever.

    You won't find VB in Linux, unless you're interested in learning .NET and using the only Linux .NET framework available right now: the Mono Project.
    Registered Linux user #270181
    TechieMoe's Tech Rants

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