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Hey All Iím a newbie to all this and still run Windows XP Home Edition. Iíve had my machine almost two years, and itís got really slow lately and programs ...
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  1. #1
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    Is Linux For Me?


    Hey All

    Iím a newbie to all this and still run Windows XP Home Edition. Iíve had my machine almost two years, and itís got really slow lately and programs seem to crash and generally with the resources it has the performance is terrible. It seems that the OS gets bogged down terribly and things are slow and I get annoyed. Generally Iíd use a system restore disk but my PC didnít come with one and I donít really want to pay Time sixty pounds for one as Iím generally not in love with Windows XP.

    I have no programming knowledge or the likes but Iíve had a computer since about 1996 so I have a fair bit of experience with playing around with stuff.

    Iíve heard that Linux is a good OS and Iíve had a look around, Mandrake seems to market itself as easy to use and the user interface looks not too dissimilar to Windows and Iím sure with a bit of common sense and messing around I could use it.

    However Iíve got a few questionsÖ theyíve probably been asked before, but Iíd like to ask againÖ

    1. I donít use my computer for muchÖ Web Browsing, E-Mail, Word Processing and Web Design sum up my usageÖ will I be able to run my HP Deskjet 840C?
    2. As I said with web design I have a fair few programs that I like, Adobe Photoshop, Paintshop Pro and Macromedia products will I be able to use these in Linux?
    3. My computer has an AMD Athlonô XP 1600+ Processor at 1.4Ghz and 480Meg Ram. Will I be able to run the latest version of Linux Mandrake on it comfortably?
    4. Will I be able to connect to the internet through my current modemÖ a Webstar. Iíve checked the CD it only seems to have support for Mac and PC (which I presume means Windows)Ö
    5. I like to chat on MSN messanger do any of you know of a Linux compatable version?

    ThanksÖ.

  2. #2
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    1. Yes, I use the 842C and have no problems whatsoever.
    2. I'm not sure if you can use them through WINE or not (it's a windows emulation program that lets you run certain windows applications in linux), maybe someone else can fill this one in.
    3. You'll be able to run it more than comfortably.
    4. I checked the Madrake hardware page and found nothing, but I would be surprised if it didn't work for you.
    5. Yes there are several, but MSN might be making it so third party clients can not connect sometime soon.

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    Thanks... which Linux would you guys recomend for someone like me? I'd like a good GUI with as little programing as possible...

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  5. #4
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    Either Red Hat or Mandrake, probably the easiest distros for new users. I started with Mandrake, it was easy to install and got me going with Linux, so I'd recommend it.

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    Thanks I quite like the name mandrake LOL it's a dragon isn't it?

    I suppose I should contact my ISP... I have broadband set up on a LAN... a technician came and set it all up, I'm unsure if I'd know how to set it up again and as i said the CD that came with it seems to be for windows and Mac...

  7. #6
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    First of all, I think you will find useful information in this post:
    http://www.linuxforums.org/viewtopic.php?t=1675

    To be more specific, though:
    1. Actually, I don't know. What kind of printer is this 840C? Is it connected via USB or via the parallel port? If it's connected to the parallel port, chances are very good that it will work. I guess that SiezedPropaganda should be considered authoritative on that. As for web browsing/designing, e-mail and word processing, though, that will be no problem whatsoever.
    2. Like SiezedPropaganda said, you might be able to use them through wine, but that's not recommended in general. Instead, try the Linux counterparts. The Gimp insetad of photoshop and PSP, and any of the countless HTML design programs out there. There is also the Crossover Office, of which I hear good things, but I haven't tried it myself. Personally, I always recommend editing HTML in a text editor, though.
    3. Enough? It's far more than just enough. You could probably run at least five distros at the same time with those specs.
    4. If that modem is an internal one, chances are that it will be a so called "WinModem", and in that case, your chances are pretty slim of making it work. Some succeed, while others do not. You might consider it a lesser waste of blood, sweat and tears to just buy a real, external modem instead; they aren't very expensive anyway nowadays.
    5. Like SiezedPropaganda said, noone really nows what the future has in store for MSN support in Linux. MSN will soon require clients to have a valid SSL certificate for connecting, and it is unknown if that will be made public or not. It doesn't look too bad, though.

    Be aware, however, that although Windows and Linux's GUIs might sometimes look similar, they are built on completely different foundations. This isn't a bad thing, but be prepared that some things might not be as you expect them to be, and you might have to learn to think differently. What I'm trying to say is, don't give up just because something seems strange.

    I'm not sure if I should recommend Mandrake or RedHat. Personally, I'm not very fond of Mandrake, but this is just a personal opinion. If I were to make a recommendation, it would be to try both and see which one you like the best. They are free, after all.

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    No my modem is a USB one... my ISP issued me with it when i got broadband from them... although I have an internal one it's a 56K...

    My Printer, like my scanner is currently connected over the USB port as Win XP seems to like that, but they both have the parallel port sockets and cables so I presume they could be ran though those...

    You mentioned something about running several OSes... would it be possible to run Mandrake as well as windows on my machine just to make sure?

  9. #8
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    A USB modem, huh? Then it could work, but I really can't guarantee it. The best way to find out is probably to try. You can try to download Knoppix, which is a so called LiveCD. It's a distribution that runs completely off a CD and never touches your hard drive unless you request it to do so. That's a good way to try and see if your hardware is supported.

    I was only mentioning several O/Ses at the same time because your hardware would be enough to do that. In practice, you can, of course, only run one O/S at a time. That doesn't prevent you from having several ones installed at the same time, though, and having a dual boot to choose one or the other when you boot.

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    ahhh right.... Actually I've just been looking over the Red Hat site and it looks more 'polished' so I'll probably go with that one LOL it seems the widest used here... and I can tell I'm in good comany...

    I'll give Knoppix a try and see... if not I'll talk to my ISP about a new modem or some such...

  11. #10
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    Hey Okpara,

    I make this suggestion allot. If at all possilble I would try and have 2 pc's. One for messing around and getting Linux to work the way you want it and one for MS. This way your not shooting yourself in the foot when you run into linux issues, what ever they may be.

    I've seen to many times (I've done the same thing) where someone totally new to linux blows away MS and goes full-on linux. This isn't a bad thing. But it is inevitable that you are going to run into times where you're going to loose your mind trying to get something to work or trying to fix something you broke because you were frustrated trying to get something to work...

    This can and will diminish linux moral a bit and leave a bad taste in your mouth especially if you can't fall back onto something you know that works for the time-being.

    As a base, one thing that you are going to always want working is your internet connection so that you have the ability to get to this and other linux forums/lists when you run into trouble. I have a MS pc that I know can get out to the internet any time. This has saved my bacon many times. Ya gotta have net. Without that your cut off from the rest of the world. Icky, Icky feeling...

    When I first started out I totally got pissed off at Win98 because of something very trival and blew it way and installed linux. I installed Mandrake and couldn't get out to the internet because I was using a win modem. All of the sudden I was totally lost and had no idea what to do and I had no idea of even where to start. Actually kindof a weird feeling. I had no way out to the internet to ask what to do and didn't know anyone that I could've even called about this.

    To make a long story short I wanted to basically mutilate my pc.

    Eventually I had a friend help me out by giving me the same advice I'm giving you. I found a peace-o-crap pc and installed winblows 98 on it so that I could get out to the internet at least. (my fail-safe backup at the time) I ended up buying a 90$ US Robotics Hardware modem for the Linux pc and my linux life is allot less frustrating, thus much more fruitfull..

    Take it or leave it. But I've watched countless friends ignore this advice and witnessed the same thing on this forum and others where people just endup setting themselves up for failure. I'm not knew to building pc's and am very comfortable troubleshooting networking issues and firewalling. ALL of this was learned on MS though.

    Using linux I had to relearn allot of things but for the most part Iinux is the best dam thing to happen to computing in my opinion. It by far blows MS winblows out of the water in somany ways, it cracks me up to think about it. I only wish that I could've gotten interested many years back.

    Hope this helps Okpara..
    JB

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