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This is the place I found the "CHGuy", who sends out cds for Canadians. Its, of course a list of places to get Debian, but most also give/sell other flavours as well. He's reputable and I found dealing with his outfit to be a real pleasure (didn't actually get Debian from him). I've bought NetBSD, Mandrake 9.1, Yoper, and knoppix from him.
or go to any of your local large book stores like Books-a-million or Borders or Walden books. most places will have a computer section. just look for what ever flavor of linux they will have there and buy their books. 90% of them will have the CDs in the back of the books.
Thanks so much for all the options! Wasn't looking forward to days and days of downloading. I've already looked at one of the sites. I can't believe the difference in price.. under $10 for a linux distro vs. $100s for windows xp! I think I'll get a couple of different kinds to start out with...maybe the less complex ones.
I echo the sentiment about Mandrake. It seems to be one of the best choices for newbies and those who like to 'get dirty' as well. Another option, which nobody will likely share with me, is Debian. I'll explain.
It was the fisrt distribution that actually worked on my computer when I was looking back then. It has the best package-management and dependancy resolution. It is totally free as in freedom and cost (which means it'll likely outlast any corporate efforts). It has the largest package repository of all the distros.
What that means to you is that its easy to maintain and easy to install new programs.
There will be resistance to my suggestion, as Debian's installer is not pretty (you use the keyboard instead of the mouse) and it asks you a few questions about your hardware. I must say, though, that installing with the Debian installer (slated for the upcoming release of SARGE) asked few questions - seems to be taking a page from the Knoppix book.
If you really feel shaky, order a boxed set from any of the major distros. You'll get a nice install manual with it as well, and the $$$ you pay will go towards keeping that distro alive.
Hey Guys....try finding a copy of Linux Format magazine in your bookstore...each copy comes with 3 cd's or 1 dvd...each issue has a couple of distros included...it's between 10 and 15 bucks a copy but, at least, i feel it's worth it...