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well, as far as i know, you can write programs in windows too...
if u only want to use linux to write programs but are going to use windows all the time, stay with windows because what will end up happening is that if u are unable to get linux running, you may draw some bad conclusions about linux
back to the subject, if u really want a bare minimum with only what you want, go for LFS (linux from scratch) or slackware 9.1, but stay at your computer and choose exactly what packages you want/need.
Gentoo is supposed to be good as well, but i have no experience with it and have not read much about it
Read something about LFS. This is a "handy crafted" linux which contains a base system without any extras usually set in typical distros. The advantages are:
- you will learn more about all basic program dependencies
- you will see how the scripts can be small, readable and fast
- all the programs canl be built up for your CPU for best performance
The disadvantage is that you need to spend some hours to build it. But it is really worth the time you invest. On my Athlon2000 the KDE starts within 11 secs
I don't like windows - the only reason I use it is for gaming, adobe photoshop (gimp just isn't as good in my opinion), windows-only compatible thingies, and MS office (which I think I can emulate with WINE anyway) - MS just has such a big monopoly on that stuff - ppt, excel, doc, etc
I've already installed Red Hat 9, but dislike it because of the boot load time (it's just so damn slow)
I'm off to check LFS, thx
oh, btw, the problem is downloading massive 700mb files when I don't actually use the rpms. (not the matter of choosing to install them) - my ISP caps me, and I've used 97% of my 3gb/month (3000 MB - bastards) already
I would buy the distributions, but 1) I need to find a good one, 2)none of my local retailers offer (new) linux distr. - I'm in Australia - I don't like forking out bucks for shipping - plus CC security concerns