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I'm currently using Win XP. I have never used anything else but Win, however, with the security problems constantly being released about Win and Homeland Security telling everyone to get the MS SP2 I've been asking other Win users how it went for them after hearing nightmares of loss of data, etc.
I have eventually decided not to install SP2. The number of people who have had to reformat after SP2 outweighs the number of sucessful installs. I spoke to no less than 100 people. 78 of those people had to reformat! That scares me!
I have been very upset with a lot of issues I have with Win and started looking for an alternative. Everyone tells me Linux is the way to go. Therefore, if someone could kindly give me some pointers as far as getting started it would help. I've been told that Redhat is something I should go with.
Can someone post cons/pros Lin v/s Win? It would be a great help to me to have something to read. Yes, I'm the type of person that requires flowcharts. LOL.
I'm on dialup, highspeed is not offered in my area, so downloading a Linux distro is not an option for me. A friend said "buy a Linux manual that comes with the CD's". Any suggestions on this from anyone?
I am TOTALLY new to this and don't even know where to start. I don't want to lose what I do have on my hard drive so it was suggested that I purchase a new hard drive to install in my tower and have some sort of "dual bootup".
Thanks in advance for anyone willing to assist with my questions. I'm sure I'll be frequenting the forum often. And thanks to the people who make this forum and site possible.
This isnt a problem, and neither is windows SP2 IMO. I installed it and the only odd thing was that I was getting dialogue boxes telling me "whatever" was blocked by default and would I like to unblock it.
As for getting additional hard discs to dual boot linux? well I'd say that that is an unnecessary expense. If your current hard drives are big enough, then you could go for the mandrake option and it'd just be a case of letting mandrake resize the windows partition.
Or you could look out a free partitioning tool and do that under windows and then just tell mandrake or whatever distro you choose to install to the new partition.
I've always done this, and I've never lost any windows data/apps/whatever at all.
You say that youre on dial up, well you should try and establish exactly what modem you have i.e. if it's internal. Because most internal models are whats known as "winmodems" which are software modems designed to work with windows. That's not to say that they can't be made to work with linux, some of them can, with good levels of success.
This is a good place to start checking that out, once you know what type the device is.
Should you be lucky to have an external model, it could still be a winmodem, it'd worth checking it out. though if you have an external model that's not a winmodem (i.e. what I'd call a "proper" modem), then linux is no problem.
The book versions, like the one that comes with the "dummies" series of books, are often out of date, unless you can get one just after the books been published/updated. I point that out, because having to download a massive amount of updates could be just as time consuming as trying to download a whole distro on dial up. maybe a download manager in windows is the way ahead, then you can still download/resume downloading etc when you're not using the phone line and in theory at least, it shouldn't be a problem.
As for assistance, you've already come to one of the best places to find help.
Perhaps you might want to search LQ for "which distro" threads, theres quite a few (eveyones needs are different), that may help you to make your mind up.
Distribution: Slackware 11.0 [both lap & pc] WinXP
Im not an expert, but i started off with Mandrake Linux and it worked pretty good, its very easy to control, and configure. I would recomend you start with this, and after you learn, you could use other free distros, that are more effective on your range, what ever it will be, I recently started to use slackware, but ive had some problems with the installation, ill make sure to fix them up ^_^
Oh, and the k1ll3r_x has pointed out a good reason to do research into which distro might be best (yes, the mandrake suggestion is very good and the latest 10.1 official version has only just come out so you wouldn't need to much in the way of updates etc - plus it's very newbie friendly).
Slackware (along with my current choice of distro, Gentoo) are OK if you don't know anything, but are prepared for an exceptionally steep learning curve (more of a vertical climb than a learning curve ), but enjoy the learning.
The mandrake suggestion is a rather more sensible (IMO) idea. You can even get genuine discs from mandrake they're a bit dearer than the ones from the "cheap linux" stores/sites, but those are usually just pre burned download versions.
Another choice is the Knoppix distribution. It is able to run from the CD (you don't need to install it!) so you can have a look without changing anything in your hard disk. Of course, if you like what you get, then you can install it permanently. This distro can also detect most of the hardware, so if your modem is supported, probably Knoppix will be able to configure it properly. Of course this does not solve the "how do I get a CD" issue, but it would be useful anyhow...
The thread has moved from the subject and is not one of the 'Windows vs Linux' (which belong to General). Please keep it that way. I'll request the title to be changed as it's misleading at this point.
Windows is very famillar. Most applications are written for it. Just about anybody can offer advice. The downside is it's virus and security problems.
Linux is a strange and unknown bit of code. It's very stable and secure, because any body can change the code for it, send it in, and explain what bug the new code ( called a patch ) will fix. There aren't many virus out for Linux, either. On the downside, many distributions change little bits and peices here and there, making the official documentation for it slightly different that how it will actually run. Also, it takes some time to get used to the naming and file managements conventions of linux.
One cool thing that windows can't touch, is linux's configuration. Linux if configured entirely via text files. If you crash linux somehow, you can boot with either a cd or floppy. Then, you can copy your backup configurations back to the respective places ( mostly in a directory called /etc ) and you are back up and running again.
My reasons for switching entire to linux are:
less headache with virus
less headache with scumware (spy, ad, sneak ware)
I'm always learning something new with it
Originally posted by natblog This is all very helpful and I certainly appreciate the quick responses to my questions.
I have made note of the links, etc. and will get to work.
Again, thank you very much. This forum and your responses are very helpful.
Please don't get too discouraged when you run into some difficulties. I switched over to Linux almost two years ago because I could no longer use Windows with a clear conscience, due to the unscrupulous marketing practices of its manufacturer and the control that Microsoft wishes to exert over consumers.
With the help of a computer professional in my city who understands Linux well, and help from users on this forum, and also from advice I've found by using Google searches, I've been able to overcome the problems I've encountered and on the whole I enjoy using my computer MUCH more with Linux--and I don't feel guilty about my operating system.
Do visit LQ often--it's probably the most helpful single thing you can do for yourself as a Linux user.