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Old 11-03-2006, 12:09 AM   #1
Colonel Forbin
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Distribution: Ubuntu 6.0? (Dapper Drake stable)
Posts: 3

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I want to experience Linux and I don't know where to start


So, here is my situation:

I have:

MSI 6593 mainboard
American Megatrends BIOS 07.00T, 4/2/2001 (just flashed it last night)
Four physical hard drives
WD 80GB 7200 RPM IDE (C
WD 150GB 7200 RPM (partitioned F: (65GB), G: (65GB))
AcomData 250GB 7200RPM USB 2.0 external (H
Maxtor One Touch III 500GB 7200 RPM (I
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 64MB video adapter (I don't game)
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS Platinum Pro (super fancy, the main function of the computer is audio)
Norwood Electronics TV tuner card
Memorex 52XMaxx CD-RW
Liteon DVD-ROM
Memory currently installed: 1024MB PC3200 Bank 1
512MB PC3200 Bank 2

Running a copy of WinXP Pro SP2.
This began life, after I built the system, as a hacked copy of Pro. After the introduction of the Genuine Validation tool, I purchased and installed a WinXP Pro upgrade over the top of the hack. The system has been buggy ever since.

I use Winamp as my primary media player. This is important because I have over 22,000 tracks in my library. I am very anal about ID3 tagging, and how my library is organized (e.g.: Artist/Album (Date and venue of concert)/Set/Track)

I am considering the following:

upgrade to power supply
upgrade to CPU heatsink and fan
adding a Firewire controller
upgrading to a really nice Logitech wireless
keyboard and mouse (bluetooth)

I need to either
a: purchase XP home full version, format C:, F:, G:,
install, update, run XP Pro upgrade, update all
drivers...continue on with Windows

-OR-

b: format F:, G:, learn to dual boot, and add a
Linux distro suitable to my needs and learn it
(I'm far from dumb or afraid concerning computers)

-OR-

c: really live on the edge and format C:, G:, H:,
and just put a Linux distro on as my sole O/S.

Obviously there is a fair amount of money, time, and a learning curve involved here. My basic questions are:
1. Where do I begin?
2. Is there a really good distro for audio, and
specifically my sound card?
3. What are your opinions? Should I quit being a
pretentious ass, pretending to understand PC's,
wanting to learn more, and stay a slave to
Microsoft? (I mean really they seem to have
something for everything I want to do!)
4. Or will you cool froods help me out and give me
some really groovy pointers ?

Colonel Forbin
 
Old 11-03-2006, 12:17 AM   #2
chrism01
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Sydney
Distribution: Centos 6.8, Centos 5.10
Posts: 17,241

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Have a read of the many similar posts here, but basically, I'd go with dual-boot until you get the hang of Linux.
You might be really unlucky and find there's an MS prog you need that isn't avail on Linux, although you can always run an MS emulator eg Wine to handle that.
 
Old 11-03-2006, 12:21 AM   #3
cs-cam
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Australia
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 3,544
Blog Entries: 4

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There are many linux apps that will cater to your anal ID3 addiction, I know because I have a similar sized collection and am exactly the same I use Asunder to rip and MPD/Gmpc for playback however I like very basic software, you'd probably like something like Amarok which should handle both and will be install on most distros that ship with KDE.

A good distro would probably be Fedora, Suse or Kubuntu but there are craploads around so it's really like experiment until you find something you like. I remember Microsoft had a version of Virtual PC that the released free a while ago, my suggestion is grab that and install a very distros in virtual machines to find one you like.

Here is the ALSA driver for your sound card, ignore the install instructions as it'll come with your distro however read the user comments at the bottom. That is a good place I've found for info re: sound cards and ways to get good, working setups
 
Old 11-03-2006, 12:22 AM   #4
ithawtewrong
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Mile High
Posts: 161

Rep: Reputation: 30
The best way to start is to try out a Live distro and see what you like. I know that Ubuntu has a live version and I'm pretty sure SuSE still does. I started with SuSE and switched to Ubuntu recently. I can only comment on them, but they are both pretty good to learn on and have a very large community to ask questions to.
I would recommend you look around those forums and just get familiar with common pitfalls before you do a full blown install, but by running the Live version you'll at least find out if all your hardware is supported.
 
Old 11-03-2006, 02:10 AM   #5
kbutcher5
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2006
Distribution: Arch and yes winblows on one :P
Posts: 105

Rep: Reputation: 15
Go with dual boot until you get a hang of it, my suggestion would be a graphic linux distro, like kubuntu, xubuntu ot ubuntu. Many graphical distros are outdated and lack alot of manuverability, but the are a good entrance to linux, and as the buntu's runs over debian (a very easy non graphical linux), i suggest to try them.
I've never tried a graphical distro myself, but i have heard some things here and there about suse and fedora being a bit too much like microsoft.
As your soundcard is a sounblaster (way to go :P), i should think that alsa supports it fully, so you can jump right ahead and ty it out good luck with it all.
 
Old 11-03-2006, 03:12 AM   #6
Emmanuel_uk
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Mandriva mostly, vector 5.1, tried many.Suse gone from HD because bad Novell/Zinblows agreement
Posts: 1,605

Rep: Reputation: 53
Quote:
The best way to start is to try out a Live distro and see what you like
This is fine initially, but learning curve is slow if you do not
dual boot sooner or later, so install whenever possible

Quote:
WD 150GB 7200 RPM (partitioned F: (65GB), G: (65GB))
If you have 20 Gb free this enough to install a linux distro

Quote:
1. Where do I begin?
get a live distro like knoppix
read rute guide
linux newbie admin guide
free a partition and install linux dual boot,
and goes the learning curve. Linux can be adictive

booting from a usb drive is not "always" easy,
so booting from one of the IDE would be good
 
Old 11-03-2006, 05:31 AM   #7
Mohtek
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Denver Colorado
Distribution: Kubuntu/Debian
Posts: 120

Rep: Reputation: 15
Lightbulb One more thing:

The others covered the distros nicely. I don't need to add to that except one thing:

www.distrowatch.org

This will allow you to see all of the possibilities: Don't get caught up in that right now.
Look at the distros the others mentioned and read up on the reviews.

Linux should be able to read stuff on your Windows drive, but not write to that drive. (NTFS, closed proprietary drivers issue) However, you can create an extra fat32 drive that both your Windows and Linux can read and write.

You found the perfect place to start Linux, Welcome aboard!
Mohtech
 
Old 11-03-2006, 05:36 AM   #8
Emmanuel_uk
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Mandriva mostly, vector 5.1, tried many.Suse gone from HD because bad Novell/Zinblows agreement
Posts: 1,605

Rep: Reputation: 53
Quote:
Linux should be able to read stuff on your Windows drive, but not write to that drive. (NTFS, closed proprietary drivers issue) However, you can create an extra fat32 drive that both your Windows and Linux can read and write.
This is correct, but kind of no longer true since
linux ntfs-3g is available, albeit in beta version, that allows
write as well
Still a fat32 for sharing is a good/better? idea, and the advice stands

A good read is the faq on ntfs resize for linux (re messing with partitions
resizing, which has become quite easy with gparted and co)
 
  


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