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Old 09-27-2006, 07:17 PM   #1
duped
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2006
Posts: 7

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Unhappy Just need a working OS for laptop


Hey gang,

My XP is bungled. I have no reinstall cd, as I bought this laptop last week for pretty cheap.

So here's the deal. Consider me what you will, but all I'm looking for is a fast, program-rich OS that will give me Internet, office suite and multimedia playback. I don't know a lick of programming, nor any coding (like ipconfig -i etc) in linux. I want functionality now, and would like to learn linux as I go on perhaps. For now, I just need practicality and user-friendliness.

I downloaded Suse 10.1, as I had once installed 9.1 on a friend's computer and liked what I saw. However, my wireless card is a Netgear WG511 v2.0, which does not seem to work, even for linux veterans, on the OS (or maybe several others).

If anyone could walk me through a good, beginner-friendly linux OS and get my wireless card running, I would be eternally grateful. In all honesty and sheer non-kiss-assery, I envy your expertise.

-ryan
--------
Dell Inspiron 5100 (no overheating, thanks )
P4 2.4 gHz (x86)
384 MB RAM
ATI Radeon 7500 32MB
 
Old 09-27-2006, 07:42 PM   #2
bulliver
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Edmonton AB, Canada
Distribution: Gentoo x86_64; Gentoo PPC; FreeBSD; OS X 10.9.4
Posts: 3,760
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I don't use it, but hear that Ubuntu is one of the best for automatic hardware detection.
Word of advice: A wireless card is probably going to be a PITA no matter what distro you use. Prepare to read docs! If your Netgear WG511 uses Prism chipset as mine does, then you're lucky, as drivers are included right in the vanilla kernel.

Decide what you want to use, install it, then post a new thread with any specific problems you have...
 
Old 09-27-2006, 09:54 PM   #3
duped
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Registered: Sep 2006
Posts: 7

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Thanks Bull,

Some problems arise there, too. It seems any install would require wiping out XP -- partitions too would seem to do that -- and I don't have the install disc. So if internet didn't work, i'd be stuck. Also, I am not sure what sort of chip my card has nor am I familiar with vanilla kernels - or really kernels in general.

Maybe linux isn't for me - but everyone says it is a solid, fast and overall awesome alternative to windows. Does this newb stand a chance?
 
Old 09-27-2006, 10:11 PM   #4
bulliver
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Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Edmonton AB, Canada
Distribution: Gentoo x86_64; Gentoo PPC; FreeBSD; OS X 10.9.4
Posts: 3,760
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Quote:
It seems any install would require wiping out XP
That's simply not true. The installer will spot the XP install and leave it be if you wish.

Quote:
Maybe linux isn't for me - but everyone says it is a solid, fast and overall awesome alternative to windows. Does this newb stand a chance?
You can only answer that yourself. If you do not want to learn anything, then no, you will not have much fun, and you should probably stay away.

If you want a sneak-peak, then burn a knoppix or other livecd that will run from memory, and not touch your hard drive. Just play for a bit and see if you like it...
 
Old 09-28-2006, 07:50 AM   #5
solar1951
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Registered: May 2005
Location: France
Distribution: Ubuntu Feisty and Mint Cassandra
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For a start have a look at PCLinuxOS.
You can run it as a live CD and then install if you like.
Very similar in looks to XP and if your laptop is old - mine is ancient PII @ 300mhz with only 128mb - then you can try the mini-me version with a minimum of soft and add what you like from the repro.
Also friendly and not too geekish forum
To download
http://www.pclinuxos.com/page.php?7
 
Old 09-28-2006, 08:19 AM   #6
hoe
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Fredericton, NB Canada
Distribution: Mepis
Posts: 81

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Ubuntu has an official book and CDs available now to help new to linux people get started. I saw it a couple of days ago at Chapters Bookstore for #34.50CDN .

I use Simply Mepis on both my desktop and Toshiba laptop. PCLinux is also very user friendly and an excellent choice.

http://www.ubuntu.com/news/Official_Ubuntu_Book

Wayne
 
Old 09-29-2006, 03:21 AM   #7
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

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search for mega thread what distro for some suggestions,
Dell Inspiron 5100? Well any modern distro should do,
mandriva, suse, pclinuxos, whatever see distrowatch, just install one
and keep a spare 6gb partition to install another for test at a later date

you may need the noacpi kernel option

You wireless card is supported
http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/m...index.php/List
but it will not work out of the box with any distro if you
have to use ndiswrapper
EDIT what I mean is you will need the inf file and follow
some menus GUI, in that case if you have the inf file handy it
is nearly out of the box, or sometimes you need to compile ndiswrapper. your milleage may vary, that is what I mean

10 of your laptop with lots of instructions
http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/dell.html

Quote:
If anyone could walk me through a good, beginner-friendly linux OS and get my wireless card running, I would be eternally grateful
PS: just think you are going to the lazy side here.
Self-help + homework is recommended, if you run in difficulties
and explained what youd did and what searches you did
people will surely help

Quote:
and would like to learn linux as I go on perhaps. For now, I just need practicality and user-friendliness.
see http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
learning is a requisite

Quote:
Does this newb stand a chance?
Yes you, as long as you make some effort

Get a live knoppix cd (for example) and look at gparted
if you want to keep Zinblows it is possible,
you can resize the ntfs partition

Ypu need to read this
http://www.geocities.com/epark/linux...w2k-HOWTO.html
and
http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfsresize.html

Good luck, many many people have dual boot
you are on a learning curve, if you have posted here you
are 50% done

Last edited by Emmanuel_uk; 09-29-2006 at 04:56 AM.
 
Old 09-29-2006, 04:41 AM   #8
jacook
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Townsville, Australia
Distribution: PCLinuxOS .93 Junior
Posts: 437

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Wireless and Linux don't tend to Mix real well,

However On my Wireless Kubuntu seems to work nicely

http://www.kubuntu.org/

Also you might want to try PCLinuxOS at the link stated above

Mephis might also be worth a look

http://www.mepis.org/

and as Always: http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/

Jake
 
Old 09-30-2006, 01:34 PM   #9
ctkroeker
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Registered: May 2005
Location: Paraguay
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Have fun finding the distro your going to love!
 
  


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