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I have a compaq presario C300 laptop. I have been using VISTA for 8 months and got pretty much fade up ! I want to switch to a Linux Platform. I have read some reviews on Fedora Core 8 and Ubuntu but never used them before, though I have used Fedora Core 4 on my desktop ( which had some problem in supporting my printer ).
I actually need some suggestion / opinions on which Version of Linux should I use.
The h/w configurations are given below -
Processor: Intel Celeron M
RAM: 256 + 512 = 768 MB
LAN Card: Realtek RTL8139/810x Family Fast Ethernet NIC
Wifi Device: Broadcom 802.11g Network Adapter
Printer (External): Lexmark Z645
I use this laptop for document (word, exel, ppt, pdf) processing and light weight coding (not heavy weight s/w development) on C/C++, Java and Matlab.
I would really appreciate if you kindly, give me some idea on this regard.
Those specs are way light for vista!!! I'm surprised compaq had the nerve to ship that with vista. Your hardware is more than adequate for recent linux distros, however.
At any rate, I'd try mandriva 2008.1 as it has very good wireless support for broadcom wireless cards at the present moment. You could try the recent ubuntu release, 8.0.4. I also assume you have onboard intel graphics; that shouldn't be a problem with most recent distros.
Whatever distro you choose, getting your broadcom wireless to work will require some effort but is generally doable. You will need to use ndiswrapper instead of the bcm43xx driver in all likelihood. You will also need download the windows driver for your broadcom card and extract the driver files from the exec file. Here's a nice discussion of that process on the ubuntu forums specifically dealing with this issue:
The procedure would be similar for mandriva 2008.1, i.e. you install cabextract, find the windows driver on the hp website and extract the driver files from the exec then run the wireless network configuration tool and tell it to use ndiswrapper and direct it to the appropriate windows driver file, usually bcmwl5.inf.
I'd suggest the previous Ubuntu release, 7.10 (Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon). The latest release seems to go smoothly for many people, but it also has kinks yet to work out. In the meantime, the previous version of Ubuntu, which is still also supported, may be a more pleasant experience.
No offense, IsaacKuo, but Ubuntu has been nothing but trouble for me. I can elaborate upon request, but that's not what this post is about.
I can understand why you want to ditch Vista. Using Vista is a lot like trying to turn a brick wall into a computer.
Anyways, Ark Linux should work just fine for you. I'm not sure if you're printer is supported (I'm not home to check right now), but if it isn't supported, we can probably help you add the drivers for it. Also, you might have some slight troubles setting up your wireless card (we have some documentation on getting wireless cards setup, and can even help you out with that in the forums and live support), but 99% of all Ethernet cards are supported under most distros, including Ark, so that should not be a problem. As for the four document formats you mention, Ark has OpenOffice to deal with all four formats, and has a couple other programs to deal with PDF. It also ships with Wine so you can install Micro$oft Office 97, 2000, or 2003 via the instructions at Frank's Corner.
EDIT: If you check out this link, you will see that your printer is not supported under Linux. Lexmarks are cheap printers anyway, my grandmother's won't even print in color, and when one tries to copy, it makes those copies very light shaded (and this is on Windoze where her all-in-one is supported).
I certainly would not have taken any offense, except that you used the expression "no offense". I don't understand why anyone uses that expression, since its effect is ALWAYS the opposite. Think about it:
No offense, Pikidalto, but...
Think about it, whatever follows "but...", what's your immediate reaction already?
Whatever. For a new Linux user, the best distribution is the one which works without trouble out-of-box. Usually that's Ubuntu, often it can be some other distribution. I suggest Ubuntu because it has the most extensive user help forums. This is the primary reason why I rarely suggest my favorite distribution, Debian 4.0, to newbies. I love Debian 4.0, but it's community isn't as "newbie oriented" as Ubuntu's.