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Old 06-30-2001, 05:04 AM   #1
TimRPH
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Registered: Jun 2001
Location: Trumbull. CT USA
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Question Major advice needed


I am a disabled person who is very limited on funds. I do a lot of volunteer work via the internet but I have been spending the najority of my day in bed lately. Buying a laptop is just not in the budget. I have an old desktop system a friend is giving me. It would rewuire Windows 3.! and I'm not a fan of Windows but use it on the family desktop.

Could I set up Linux on this system and use it in my bedroom with just a monitor and keyboard attatched. What I need it for is to access the internet via modem and to do some simple word processing - primarily just to jot down notes and meetings agendas for my use only and work on the websites I have done for people. I wasn't even thinking of attaching a printer. (The Mrs. would kill me as I've taken over the whole addition to our kitchen with all my other system, programs and peripherals.

I know nothing about LInux but have just heard great things. Can anybody advise me on if this is possible and how to get started if it is. my email address is tpfrph@yahoo.com or use the one in my signature. Please help as most of my days are spent in bed and I have so much online work to do but just can't sit at my desk anymore nor can I tolerate lockups and the blue screen of death.



Multi System Atrophy Info and My story
 
Old 06-30-2001, 05:19 AM   #2
jharris
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Have you got any more details about the hardware in the system? Processor, memory, hard disk size??

You can run linux on very low spec hardware but you may find yourself having to use older distibutions if you are low on hard disk space and these tend to not be as friendly to install.

As for getting started... read up on some of the distributions. The main ones that newbies on this forum seem to be using are http://www.redhat.com and http://www.mandrake.com. There is also a mass of details at http://www.linuxdoc.org although this will probably be more useful when you actually come to install the system and set things up.

cheers

Jamie...
 
Old 06-30-2001, 05:24 AM   #3
TimRPH
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Jamie,

Thanks for the input. I'm not aware of the hardrive info as my firend is not computer savy. I'm sure some of my firends would have a larger hard rive I could install - What do you recommend as far as size?
 
Old 06-30-2001, 05:30 AM   #4
jharris
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The usual HDD recomendataion - as big as possible! I'd give myself at least a few gigs, but the distro's all vary in the space they say they need. Have a look on some www sites, they'll tell you how much you 'need' then add a good chunk on for luck.

You also want as much memory as possible, although you can get away with 8/16MB I wouldn't recommend it if you want to run the newer word processors under X.

HTH

Jamie...
 
Old 06-30-2001, 08:55 PM   #5
GonzoJohn
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Hi Tim,

Coming from a publishing background, I know that hardware and software manufacturers are always interested in finding computer literate folks with access issues for feedback. It occurs to me that in your situation, I'd be willing to bet money you could find a company to provide you with some hardware in return for your feedback on the product/products from your perspective.

Just a thought, the only thing they can say is no. I'd recommend looking up the PR departments of various hardware suppliers.
 
Old 07-01-2001, 03:30 AM   #6
TimRPH
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Thanks

Now I'm so interested in Linux I was thinking of setting it up on my current system. Can I partition my 10gb hard rive an run windows and Linux or do I need to in order to run things like Microsoft Office?

Thanks for the info. Anymore input would be appreciated.
 
Old 07-01-2001, 06:38 AM   #7
drjimstuckinwin
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Hi

It is perfectly feasible to repartition and run both, there are howto's all over the place, and searching the forums here will probably explain it all fully as well. I use two hard discs, and have actually deleted win98 on my desktop now, so can't specifically advise on this issue.

As to MS Office, I wondered how I'd do without, until I tried Sun Star Office (download from www.sun.com ,on magazine cover CD's, or buy it); this offers compatibility with MS Office files, though there seem to be a few problems with Office 2k file formats.

I would get some network cards, and connect the two machines with a hub or crossover cable, so you can access the main PCs drive. That way, your bedroom machine won't need vast drive space to store your work. You will need to setup Samba to share files between systems, but you can work on them with star office, and save them back where they came from as MS files again, so you can send them to windows users without fear.

The only caution here is that once you start using Linux, you'll spend so long tinkering and playing with the settings in order to get everything perfect, then better again, that your voluntary work will lie forgotten!

Go for it.

Jim
 
Old 07-01-2001, 09:51 PM   #8
TimRPH
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Tinkering

I'm always tinkering with my computer anyways - have to have a hobby.

I'm hoping someday I will be infatuated with Linux and run windows on the small machine then I'll put that down stairs. My wife won't adjust well. I tried using Eudora once for email and it through her for a loop.

I'm not too concerned about compaitbility. Just wanted confirmation that the software out there is as good as or better than Windows. Iplay around with windows too much - have too many crashes, too many BSOD's. Nothing worse than writing a proposal and having the system freeze up on you. Besides, I'm the Fundraising Chairman so I have the pleasure of delegating authority

Thanks for the input!

Tim
 
Old 07-02-2001, 03:14 AM   #9
drjimstuckinwin
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If you like to tinker, then Linux is for you!
 
Old 07-02-2001, 03:02 PM   #10
TimRPH
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Question More questions

I'm up in the air about what to do.

As I mentioned - I am a disabled pharmacist so money comes in to play with my decisions.

I'm debating to repartition my hard drive which is FAT32 - will this be a problem.

Or I can probaly find a friend who has on old hard rive with a few gigabytes on it that they wouldn't mine giving up - hopefully. My wife refuses me to put more another large domputer in the bedrooms so adding another drive to my then "state of the art" monster 10gb drive. Amazing the difference a year makes in the computer world. I do have a pentium 3 550 ghz processor in this computer with 256 ram. Are IDE hard drives easy to put in? Like i said - I've put in Ram, a CD RW, an ethernet card and more. I'm trying to read but there is so much info on different types of LINUX.

Which is easy for me to start with ?

I've got so many questions and trying to read a ton of info.
 
  


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