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Hello, first post here! Anyway, I've been using Linux on and off for about 3 years (mostly off however). I was thinking about switching my main machine to linux only ...
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  1. #1
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    To make the plunge?


    Hello, first post here!

    Anyway, I've been using Linux on and off for about 3 years (mostly off however). I was thinking about switching my main machine to linux only and was wondering what kinds of problems I will have and was hoping you could help me. First I'll give the specs of my computer.

    1.21 GHz AMD processor
    256mb DDR Ram
    80Gb HD/ 40Gb HD
    Radeon 9000
    Plextor CD RW
    "Generic" DVD RW
    ADMtek 10/100 network card
    SoundBlaster sound card
    WinTV capture card

    One of the main things I'm concearned about is being able to do most of the things I normally do on Windows on Linux. The reason I want to switch to linux is:
    1. I'm tired of windows
    2. I like program in the linux enviornment better
    3. I've lost my copy of Windows XP pro and don't want to drop the money to pick up another copy
    4. Something new to do

    The things that I regulary do on Windows are:
    1. Surf the web (obviously not a problem on Linux)
    2. IM with Trillian (I believe there is a Trillian port to Linux, correct?)
    3. Program C/C++/Java/PHP (I know C/C++/Java are no problem on linux, but what about PHP?)
    4. Watch TV with the WinTV card (Will this work? Its very important to me since this is my only tv at college and I'm a tv-aholic)
    5. Console gaming. As I said I have no other tv, and I've heard hooking up a console to the capture card is possible.. or at least on windows, will it work the same on linux?
    6. iTunes - This was another big question I had.. am I screwed with my iPod? I don't use it to download music, but I need a way to organize/ transfer my mp3s.
    7. Burning DVDs/CDs

    Do you foresee me having anyother problems? I'm not asking you to be a mind-reader, but is there anything glaring that I'm overlooking? I still plan to keep a partition for Windows just in case, but I really want to try linux out as a main enviornment. This wasn't a "what distro should I use" thread, but if you think there is one that fits my needs nicely I would be happy to hear it. That goes the same for a windows manager.. since I always have a much harder time picking that out then a distro.

    EDIT I guess I should note the distros that Ive used before are: Debian, Slackware and Gentoo

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Flatline's Avatar
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    1. As you said, web surfing is not a problem.

    2. I think Trillian actually started out as a *nix project and was ported to Windows, so I don't see any problem. There are a few very good IM clients for linux.

    3. PHP programming shouldn't present any problems. I have a couple of buddies who use a lot of PHP on their sites and they use *nix to do their HTML/PHP coding.

    4. The TV card probably will just depend on the model of the card. If the hardware is supported, it will work...if not, it probably won't unless there's a painful workaround.

    5. Never tried it, so I'm no help on this one. Sorry

    6. SuSE 9.3 Pro has iPod support, although I haven't tried it since I don't have an iPod. Techiemoe could probably give you some advice on this one.

    7. K3B is a great DVD/CD burning app; I actually prefer it to anything in the Windows world. I believe Nero also recently released a version for linux, but I love K3B.

    As far as distros/desktop environments...personal preference as much as anything else. Since I know that SuSE 9.3 Pro has iPod support, you may want to give it a shot (although the free version hasn't been released yet).

    Most of the "big player" distros come with a variety of desktop environments/window managers, so my advice on that would be to try a few out and see what you like. Personally, I am a fluxbox/KDE/Enlightenment guy for the most part (although I do fiddle with and like Gnome), but that's just me.
    There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence.

    - Jeremy S. Anderson

  3. #3
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    I have almost the same stuff, 1.13 AMD Tbird, no capture card and more ram. I do have a ATI 9700 and i can't get 3d support working, i have been trying to do the walkthroughs i find but i am still too new to linux to really get it working, with Xorg i am able to get 2D to work fine with resolutions higher than 1024x768.

    The only thing that might give you problem is the video since ATI is lacking in the driver side of things. and i don't know about your vide capture since i don't have one.

    always fun to try new thigns with linux though.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice guys.

    I forgot, I also tried SuSe and liked it. I had it installed on my laptop, and the only problem I had was that it didn't support wireless yet (which I heard was fixed in the most recent version?). I also ran fluxbox on it which worked very well, and suit me. I liked KDE too, however the loading time is a killer.

    As for the video drivers- hopefully it won't be to big a deal. I am plannign to upgrade my computer this summer-- pretty much doing a full overhaul. I might get a video/capture card. Any advice for a decent one thats well supported in linux?

  5. #5
    Linux Guru Flatline's Avatar
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    Wireless support definitely gets better with each version, and SuSE lets you download the firmware for most unsupported cards via YOU (YaST Online Update). It can still sometimes be a bit of a bear, though.
    There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence.

    - Jeremy S. Anderson

  6. #6
    Linux Engineer psic's Avatar
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    From what i've read, Nvidia cards are easier to setup in linux, I have an Ati Radeon 9200 and I couldn't get the drivers to work. Though I don't really need them, I don't use linux for anything graphics-intensive.
    Stumbling around the 'net:
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  7. #7
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    As for iPod syncing, GTKpod is quite a riot. The others I'm sure are possibly, but some might require a little (or a lot) more work than others.
    ---sxeraverx---
    Linux without a C Compiler is like eating Spaghetti with your mouth sewn shut. It just doesn't make sense.

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