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Somewhat lazy rookie...but very Linux motivated


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#1 mjwebb007

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 06:29 PM

I am looking into making a tri-boot computer that will be my "hobby" computer (as if they aren't all hobby computers already). I want to use Win98 (for older games), WinXP (so my wife still has a usable computer) and a distribution of Linux. I was looking at Lindows/Linspire because I am not much of a programmer/tweaker. Any thoughts on user friendly versions of that OS or better recommendations?

Now, hardware. Presently I have an ATI AIW 9800 Pro to use for this computer. After looking around a bit it seems like ATI is not necessarily Linux friendly and even more so the AIW versions. So I am willing to get something else as far as video is concerned. This will be an Athlon 64 3400 (754) running on an MSI Neo Platinum motherboard. Are there any recommendations for other hardware choices? Again...as far as gaming and such I will be using the Win98 OS for older games so low power older video is okay and onboard sound. But as far as peripherals and such-I just wanted some suggestions. Thanks for any help.

P.S. Is Linux overclocker friendly as far as within the OS software (i.e. Powerstrip type programs)?

#2 Dapper Dan

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 11:04 PM

I'd go with Suse 9.1 or 9.2 Professional. Try it and see if your ATI works OK. If not, I'd get a reasonably priced Nvidia which are also really good for gaming.

#3 mjwebb007

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:59 AM

Thanks Dan. I wanted to try a seamless version of Linux (as seamless as it can be for a rookie, hence the Linspire version) and I will take your advice and go with SuSE 9.2 (I think the price point is agreeable as well)....I am assuming based on the ATI driver website and this website that I am pretty much going to be using my AIW 9800 as a "vanilla" 9800 Pro rather than the AIW flavor which is fine. If it doesn't work out, I will switch to an nVidia card of relative low cost (less than $100) and sell the 9800...

I was looking at the wireless network recommendations other places on this site and was wondering how agreeable Linksys stuff is since all the other computers will use Linksys (I tend to experience better throughput when the adapters are the same brand). I know Netgear seems to be the adapter of choice but will I have any luck with Linksys?

Any other recommendations?

#4 Dapper Dan

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 05:48 AM

I just don't know anything about ATIs and Linux anymore. It's just too easy to configure an Nvidia. I'd keep the ATI, and see if SuSE detects and configures it as SuSE has real good hardware detection. If it doesn't work correctly for you then I'd consider an Nvidia. No sense spending money unless you have to.

I've not used Linksys wireless cards but do use their routers. Seems like I remember danleff was running a wireless Linksys card at one time.

I use the Netgear MA311 which works very well with my Linksys wireless "B" router. I know "G" is faster, but "B" is faster than I'll ever really need.

The advantage with the MA311 is it works very well and is reasonably priced! smile

#5 mjwebb007

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 02:16 PM

Thanks again. I was looking at the Netgear cards too. My router is the WiFi G with Speedbooster but as long as the Netgear will talk to it (which I know it does) I should be fine.

I ordered SuSE 9.1 last night! laugh

I am really just interested in delving into Linux from a curiosity standpoint - I use WinXP almost exclusively due to compatability but want to see what all the fuss about Linux is about. As stated before it will just be a hobby box. I remember seeing an article one time about a guy who had over 30 O/S partitions on a computer and used every single one of them...even DOS 3.0. At the time Win98 was the latest Win O/S but he had all sorts of Linux and Unix on his computer. Even O/S2 Warp. Anyway, if i run into any problems I will be sure to post them here. Thanks for all the help so far.

#6 mjwebb007

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 02:28 PM

One quick hardware question...I like to use wireless desktops (Microsoft preferred but Logitech too). Is there one that is "more" compatible or should I stick to PS2 wired keyboard and mouse?

#7 Dapper Dan

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 03:30 PM

Originally posted by mjwebb007:
Quote:
I am really just interested in delving into Linux from a curiosity standpoint - I use WinXP almost exclusively due to compatability but want to see what all the fuss about Linux is about.

Please just keep in mind that the difference between Windows and Linux is the difference between a new Cadillac and a New Hummer! If you are patient and spend the same amount of time learning Linux that you did when you first learned Windows, you'll be all right. Take your time with the partitioning, the install and running SuSE 9.1. Expect to probably fail at all three at some point, and to have to try again! You are in new territory and will make mistakes. Learn from them rather than allowing your mistakes to deter you! BE PATIENT! Impatience is your worst enemy when learning Linux. smile

Quote:
I remember seeing an article one time about a guy who had over 30 O/S partitions on a computer and used every single one of them...even DOS 3.0.


Was his name danleff by chance? wink

Quote:
Anyway, if i run into any problems I will be sure to post them here.


As I run SuSE 9.1 and the Netgear MA311, I'll be able to help. Just ask! smile

Quote:
Thanks for all the help so far.


You're quite Welcome!

#8 Dapper Dan

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 03:34 PM

Originally posted by mjwebb007:
Quote:
One quick hardware question...I like to use wireless desktops (Microsoft preferred but Logitech too). Is there one that is "more" compatible or should I stick to PS2 wired keyboard and mouse?

I don't use wireless so I'd be afraid to advise you. Anyone else?

You can always have them installed at OS installation. If SuSE sees and configures them, then you should be OK. If not, try wired to get going.

#9 mjwebb007

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 05:10 PM

Thanks for the advice Dan. I am prepared to have multiple problems during install. The Microsoft people hear from me almost monthly to reactivate as I reinstall WinXP after bad installs of software and such so I am used to starting from scratch.

The box with Linux will be built purely to "mess up" but hopefully with separate partitions and such, recovery will be less painful. This is also why I am willing to do it as it will be on a separate computer than my main Windows run computer. I would love to get to a point one day when I am purely using the Windows computer to play Windows only games and using my Linux box as my main computer but for now that it a long way off.

I will try your recommendations and have all hardware present at initial install. Hopefully it will go smoothly.

the article was in maximum pc when it was boot magazine so my memory of the author or subject of the article is limited.

Thanks again and I will keep in touch as I progress....

#10 Dapper Dan

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 06:38 PM

Originally posted by mjwebb007:
Quote:
I would love to get to a point one day when I am purely using the Windows computer to play Windows only games and using my Linux box as my main computer but for now that it a long way off.


That's gonna come sooner than you think! smile You think Windows XP install is easy? Wait till you see how easy the SuSE install is!

If this box is dedicated to SuSE 9.1 only, then I'd do three things for sure:

1. Just let SuSE figure out your partitions for you.

2. Install everything if you have the drive space.

3. Clear out your Windows box, and get ready to replace it with your new SuSE box wink


#11 taeuler

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 08:43 PM

I've had good luck with the netgear cards, especially on suse 9.1. I'm using a netgear wg311(g). I have an older revision that uses the madwifi driver, I think the new one, rev 2, uses prism dirvers, either way it should work.

Suse 9.1 detected, and configured, mine perfectly during the install, which I should throw in, makes it simpler than setting one up on windows.

#12 danleff

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 11:40 PM

Quote:
The box with Linux will be built purely to "mess up" but hopefully with separate partitions and such, recovery will be less painful. This is also why I am willing to do it as it will be on a separate computer than my main Windows run computer.


The proper name for such a system is "test box."

Sorry, could not resist! :P

#13 mjwebb007

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 12:53 AM

I appreciate all the replies and suggestions. I am very receptive to them.

Sorry..didn't mean to offend anyone by saying "mess up" vice test box! :P

I think I will just try it and see if I am destined to fail or rather destined to let go of my wayward Windows ways....

Thanks again guys...it will be a little while before I actually assemble it and install...

I would install everything anyway...can't see what it is like without testing everything....plus I have a 250Gb HD to install it on....

#14 mjwebb007

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 01:30 AM

Oh, and any suggestions, comments, ideas about the overclocking?




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