Originally Posted by agentchange
Is this possible? How easy is it to change distros once I take the plunge?
Also, do I need to Format my hard drive with Windows and just do a clean install? (Not really enough space on my hard drive to mess with partitions.)
The Live Knoppix recognized the Comcast modem and everything worked alright, though there were issues with display functions not performing properly. This is probably just due to flawed mechanics in the Live Version, correct? I have at least 256 Megs of Ram, so that should be enough to accomodate simple things such as display functions. On one website that I visited, only small portions of the screen were showing up. On several occasions, parts of the screen would get whited out and start partially reappearing as I moved the mouse over them.
If I do format the hard drive and start the Knoppix CD with a fresh complete install, will it pick up the Comcast cable modem as easily as it has in the Live Version, enabling support?
Lots of questions and not many answers.
If you have a windows CD then all you have to loose is time.
You could try different Live CD versions i.e. Kanotix is based on Knoppix, but rather than using knoppix repositories/mirrors for packages, it uses debian ones.
It's more aimed at hard drive install than knoppix is.
You can either download Ubuntu, or google for it and then follow the "shipit" link. If you're not in a hurry then thats a good way to go, as Ubuntu has good hardware detection/recognition.
"Proper" distros ? Everyone has their favourites. For the new user, then maybe Mandriva or SuSE or Fedora. If you just want to use, rather that learn something about the guts of the OS, then maybe Linspire (but I understand that you may have to pay some to get the best from it).
As for the modem thing you mention, well what kind is it ? USB or Ethernet ? If it's ethernet, then there should be little or no problem with it working under linux. If it's USB, then that can be quite a different matter (some USB devices are complete SOB's to get working, if at all). The ethernet models are usually fine, because it's not the actual modem you're having to configure, it's the link out from the OS (i.e. I just put in the IP's for eth 0 that I allocate according to what I have my router/modem set at - I use the ISP IP addresses for DNS and bingo, it's up and running - I believe that if your cable provider uses DHCP i.e. dynamic/changing IP's then it should - alledgedly - work fine. My aunts did when I was showing her Kanotix).
As for the graphics things that you mentioned, what would the amount of RAM have to do with how websites display ???? Thats down to the graphics card/chip(if onboard). Inadequate RAM, would mean that the desktop functions would run slowly (as I understand it). As for the "whiting out" thing, thats probably more down to a poorly produced/coded website than it is your graphics card/device (unless it's a mega rubbish one).
Plus, why might you not have room to run a dual boot ? Have you got loads of stuff ? or a mega small hard drive ? (I ran a dual boot on this system when it only had a 40 gig hdd). It's handy to start with, because you have something to fall back on if you experience problems i.e. you just boot back into windows and bring up a browser and hunt for answers/ask.
Theres lots of advice/info about dual booting and/or repartitioning hard drives about. I understant that Mandriva will partition up a hard drive during install - or you could get a partitioning app (download the ranish partition manager for free!) and use that first. You'd only need to make some unallocated space and then tell the installer to put it there. As long as you make sure that you put the bootloader on the first section of the MBR (major boot record) of the first hard drive (if you had more than one - yes that does mean that it will overwrite the windows bootloader - but thats what you'd want it to do so that it can see all installed OS's and offer the choice).
So as you can see, it depends on quite a number of things.
Maybe that gives you something to think (and read) about!
p.s. Oh and changing distros is easy. It's the differences in the installer(s) and how the distro actually works that can cause confusion