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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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That means buy a computer with MSwindows and Linux both preinstalled. You reboot to switch between them.
I don't know if you can purchase a duel boot laptop. If you want a duel boot system, most distro's have a partitioner program that will resize a fat32 or ntfs filesystem, leaving room to install Linux. Since new laptops will have Vista preinstalled, unless you buy one with either Linux or no OS preinstalled, you might want to research on the web whether Vista will even run your games. If not, using Wine or Cedega, you may be able to run these games on Linux.
I like Slack. Have used it on an old IBM Laptop, works fine except you have to configure the sound card. On my IBM desktop the i810 is an issue but easy to fix once you understand why it won't work. You have to change a BIOS parm to increase video memory to 8 mb, display then works better than under Windoze. Don't know about Ubuntu, but people seem to like it. Slack is easy and powerful. It does help to understand the concepts of the Unix file system and some basic concepts about Linux which are different than Windows to make the best use of Linux.
You guys are awesome, really helpful, thanks for all the tips they are really appreciated. I think I'll start with ubuntu and then try a couple other distro's in the next few months to see which one I like best before I give my old POS to my little brother and invest in something new.
There a lot of live CD's for linux. when you get some blank disks download a few. That way you can try out a few different linux flavors before you do a full install.
If I remember right Ubuntu runs as a live distro before install.
My first distro was Mandrake 10. it was pretty user friendly. but haven't used it in some time so can't speak to the recent releases.
I believe Madriva, (formerly Mandrake) offers a live distro.
Novell offers a live DVD version of openSuse 10.2. There are other good ones out there too. take a look around.
super_bum: As old_geekster said You don't need a floppy drive to install most of the newwer variants of linux.
Slack ware is not recommended for beginners do to the fact it would drive you nuts with problems. Id reecommend something like mepis or Ubuntu which are both based on the debain project which is al so quite beginner friendly.
Sorry buddy games won't work in linux unless you can find a special release of the game in question for the linux market place.