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Old 16th April, 2003, 05:54 PM
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Read the manual?

Do people study Linux for a good while before buying their first distribution? Do folks ever obtain a general reference book for Linux before they install or try to install the OS?
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Old 16th April, 2003, 06:13 PM
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Well, er, um, er......um :P
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Old 16th April, 2003, 07:53 PM
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Personally, I hide in shame when the topic comes up! (Lazy Daniel, Bad Daniel, STUPID Daniel to not use Linux!)
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Old 16th April, 2003, 08:41 PM
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Well, er, no. I chose my first distro by picking up the box and taking it to the checkout. No further research was ever planned...
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Old 16th April, 2003, 08:49 PM
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Hey! I did that! Then I failed and failed and failed... I find I prefer shame and infamy!":O}
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Old 16th April, 2003, 10:22 PM
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If you follow my thread about my Dual PIII board, you'll know my answer!!!

NO!!
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Old 17th April, 2003, 01:11 AM
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Shocked. Shocked I am! I studied everything I could find on the Web for six months before buying my first distro. I bought "Unix for Dummies" shortly after installing Red Hat 5.0. There weren't any "Linux for Dummies" or "Idiot's Guide to Linux" books then. I took a chance on Mandrake 5.3. Found that I liked it more than RH 5.0, even though they were nearly the same.

Yeah, yeah. Big deal. How am I using/liking Linux now, one might ask. Not much/not much. I'm waiting for The Bill to start carpet bombing the defenseless unfortunates somewhere. THEN I'll ditch MS. I swear it by the holy rood!
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Old 17th April, 2003, 01:43 AM
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Hey Big C.! That's why I prefer shame and infamy, way to much like work!!! LOL
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Old 17th April, 2003, 11:47 AM
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Actually, it wasn't an entirely honest answer on my part there - I did try to use a copy of RH6.1 that came on the back of a "For Dummies" book a couple of years earlier. Problem was that the computer I had was mostly onboard, so I had no sound, dodgy graphics and no way to dial up through my fake modem. It only stayed on there a day... I don't count that.

What I did do was choose (most) of my hardware rather carefully in the 2 years following before my next foray into Linux use. By the time I was ready to have another go, the only difficult piece of hardware was a lucent chipset winmodem (for which there is a Linux driver). Oh, and an ATi video card, which ATi promises us is supported.

So my next foray into the world of Linux was SuSE 7.3, which turned out to be a rather lucky guess. I figured it would be fun to try SuSE 8.0 when it came out, which wasn't a lucky guess. By this time, of course, MDK9 was making its appearance, which was a very very lucky guess. Just to prove that linear upgrades do work, MDK 9.1 is also exceptionally good.

I think the only real message to take away from that is to choose the hardware on which you run Linux carefully, then just get on with it.

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Old 17th April, 2003, 04:59 PM
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So true, Kaitain! I use to investigate hardware choices very carefully. Window shopping is less expensive.
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Old 17th April, 2003, 06:14 PM
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Thankfully the hardware's getting to be less of a problem - where hardware is still a problem it only goes to prove where Windows is papering over cracks. It's no longer a case of buying only expensive hardware-only solutions, or clunky old legacy-only kit. Just to give you an example:

I have a USB mouse and a Logitech iTouch keyboard - these work perfectly in both the Linux and the Win2k halves of my machine. Even the extra buttons run fine

I can access a USB-based digital camera and a firewire-based camcorder, a USB or parallel scanner and both a USB and serial Palm-Pilot. My g/f's brother connects his Linux machine to a wireless network using a cheap dabsvalue wireless card. It wasn't that long ago I was connecting to AOA through a cheap Winmodem (look on www.linmodems.org for more).

All my hardware is supported, provided it's not too new. A couple of weeks on the shelves seems to be the development time needed now for most hardware. Except ATi graphics cards

But (yes, there's always one)... you have to be prepared to fiddle. Most of my stuff runs out of the box, but, e.g. the palm pilot requires that I create a symlink from /dev/pilot to the serial port it's using (who'd have guessed that?), while the modem required me to compile another kernel module. None of this is really too complicated, just very different to the Windows way. And hardware shopping only requires ONE (yes, 1) extra expense for Linux than for Windows: a sound card.

For the money on M$ licences you save, £10 on an old SBLive! has gotta be worth it...
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