First time user needs help with bypassing a start up screen.
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I would suggest you add a new user (don't use root) and use that. You might want to poke around and see if there is a different window manager or other programs.
Chances are, if this was meant for business, the computer probably has a very minimal install. You might be better off downloading a new distro and installing that... beats me though. Maybe it has everything there.
Now that I am in, I am confused on how to proceed because I have such little options. I am so new to Linux. It was probably installed with very minimal options. I don't even know what to download or where to get it. I already set up a new user before I even was able to log in.
distro == distribution: the kernel plus all the software required to make a functional Linux system. Popular distors include Mandrake, Fedora Core, Slackware, Debian, SuSE, etc. At this point maybe you should slow down a bit. What do you want to do with this system? How involved with learning Linux do you want to get?
First off, if you're running Mandrake 7.1 that's quite an old release (dating from 2000 or thereabouts) and your software is going to be quite obsolete. You may have trouble getting more modern software to work. You should think seriously about just wiping the system and installing an up to date Linux. This way, you don't have to guess as to what's on the system -- you know because you installed it.
Anyhow, the question is what you want to do with the system. For a good general introduction to Linux, many will recommend the Rute user guide, to be found at http://www.icon.co.za/~psheer/book/ . It will teach you how to use Linux from the command line, which is a very good thing to know if you're going to be seriously mucking around with the OS. Another good resource is Running Linux now in its 4th edition and published by O'Reilly.
I have been perusing the forums and I see what a distro is. I have heard good things about Mandrake as well as Slackware. For now I am going to stick to Mandrake 1.7 until I can actually get on the net and get programs running. It looks pretty simple so far.
I don't do that much on my windows computers as it is. I moderate a chat room, (the link is below) and I just browse the net and download occasional files. I am really looking to use this computer just for learning Linux. Accessing chat is really the only "necessity" right now.
I should be online for a while. Aim name is the same as this one except switch 23 for 2600. I don't know how much help I can offer but I am willing to try. May have to quit a little early though, because I work tonight,