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Old 03-03-2005, 11:38 AM   #1
RichMan1
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Registered: Mar 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA
Distribution: Fedora Core 3
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Re: Internet and Hardware


Dear All:

Thank you for receiving my two-part question. One, what ISPs support Linux? I can't find one that I've researched that supports Fedora Core 3.0. (I am accessing the internet right now from my college's LAN network.) Second, I want to buy good hardware cheap. Do you recommend buying from an OEM like Dell and then getting a refund on Windows by mailing the software back to Microsoft, or buying from an independent vendor? If independent is the way to go, which vendor do you recommend for low prices and solid hardware/dependability? An answer to any/all of these questions would be greatly appreciated by this newbie.

Sincerely,
Richard
Senior Undergraduate
 
Old 03-03-2005, 11:47 AM   #2
bigjohn
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yer gonna have to be a little more specific RichMan1, cos these forums are pretty damn international.

Where are you, what do you want to do, etc etc etc

regards

John

p.s. like for instance, I don't know about linux support with US ISP's but here is the UK we have this lot plus, although I've heard of various sources for pre-installed linux machines, I've also read of people just having to go for a barebones type system and going from there.

If you're in the US, then I understand that you can get a machine with linux from walmart for less than 500$ (with mandrake installed I believe). erm, on the other hand one of the guys that I know from my linux user group mailing list (actually he's a developer) got a twin Xeon workstation direct from Dell in the US (the uk branch couldn't/wouldn't help) with Redhat pre-installed, but it did cost him a couple of grand('s which would translate into 3500 to 4000 $'s US).

Last edited by bigjohn; 03-03-2005 at 11:52 AM.
 
Old 03-03-2005, 11:51 AM   #3
RichMan1
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Registered: Mar 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA
Distribution: Fedora Core 3
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Well I'm in New Orleans, LA, hoping to go back to Chicago, IL, when I graduate in May. I will need a new computer to do things at a decent speed. MSN, America Online, etc., don't support Linux, only Windows and Mac, and I am determined not to deal with buggy Windows software, have to buy Windows, or have to buy the Symantec virus protection every year for $50. That's too expensive for a crappy operating system. I need decent (but not top-of-the-line) hardware.
 
Old 03-03-2005, 12:03 PM   #4
bigjohn
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Well maybe you should have a go at installing a linux distro on something cheap/basic first (you could always use a windows system that you got as cheap as poss' and then re-parition it to make room for a linux distro - mandrake would be good to try that).

Most ISP's here in UK, well as soon as you say "Linux" you get a dearth of silence. Besides, it's not the ISP support that you want, because virtually all of them operate using standard TCP/IP protocols, whereby you just need to know what the dial up phone number is and the server names etc and you just do the dial config yourself - you're in the right place to learn about that.

maybe you'd have cable or broadband or whatever when you get back home, then you'd probably just want to have a modem or a modem/router device to handle the connection and you just have to install an ethernet card (mine is a pci one straight into the mobo). That way, it's pretty similar to plugging in a LAN system you just need to know what the IP address is and then bingo. It may take a little more effort if the ISP you choose uses DHCP, because the modem/router or modem needs to know that, but it should be still reasonably straight forward.

You don't need a degree in IT or stuff like that (shit, I'm a truck driver). You should still be able to get set up for 3 or 400$ for something that would do pretty much all the stuff most do at home (hardcore gaming being a possible exception).

Have a good look around this site, cos theres a hardware compatibility list, a wiki, distro review, tutorials, etc etc.

Enough to keep you busy after graduation, I promise.

plus a wealth of vvv knowledgeable people, and not just enthusiastic idiots like me!

good luck.

regards

John

Last edited by bigjohn; 03-03-2005 at 12:04 PM.
 
Old 03-03-2005, 09:16 PM   #5
RichMan1
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Registered: Mar 2005
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Distribution: Fedora Core 3
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OK well for $300-$400 though, BigJohn, won't that--plus the upkeep it takes to take care of the server, and having to buy a new server when the old one becomes as obsolete as my computer--cost more than if I just use Windows and pay $15 per month for an ISP connection? My goal is to experiment with Linux, which most people never touch because they are scared, but also I'm heading into the job market for the first time and I want to save money and aggravation of Windows, but if I have to upkeep the server and spend money buying a new server and computer every 5 years or so to keep it up to date, then it might just cost less to do like everyone else . Please respond.

Sincerely,
Richard
 
Old 03-03-2005, 09:27 PM   #6
audibel
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Depends what you mean by support. I can't name one ISP that will provide customer support for Linux, but you can use Linux on (to my knowledge) ANY ISP, mostly because almost all ISPs are run on a *nix system.

I'm confused by your last post, are you trying to run your own server? Or are you just trying to get onto the internet? As far as having to buy a new computer,etc. etc. Linux operates better on old computers than Windows could even fantasize about, so I don't understand your statement there. Your jargon isn't parsing. If you're just trying to connect to the internet, you pay the same 15 dollars to connect using linux, Linux will connect to any ISP Windows will connect to, there just isn't customer service (SUPPORT) for Linux by most.
 
Old 03-03-2005, 09:33 PM   #7
RichMan1
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Sorry I was not clear; I was just thinking that cause on the websites for America Online, etc, and other ISPs, it says that System Requirements are Windows and Mac, and the one ISP that says that it supports Linux is like $7 for 20 hours or something like that and that's crap. So, yes, while I do not want to run a server, I thought I had to because there are no ISPs that support Linux, and that I would be out of luck if I tried to install the online programs that these ISPs give you when you sign up, and then the programs wouldn't install on Linux, and I'd be screwed. I just don't want to buy Windows, and am willing to pay for ISP service per month like everyone else, bottom line. I was under the impression that I would have to use ethernet or run my own server.

Sincerely,
Richard
 
Old 03-03-2005, 09:59 PM   #8
audibel
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I do take back what I said, AOL will not work in LInux, use a REGULAR ISP and you will be fine, something like NetZero, or Netscape, or any local ISP will work fine. What they do to attract non saavy computer users is bundle their connection with a whole bunch of useless crap software. You don't need any of what an ISP sends you for linux. All you need from them is this info: The telephone number, the pop and smtp server addresses (the last two for mail purposes) . That is all for regular dial-up connection, You run a program called pppconfig and you're set. No worries. Again, though the tools that you talk to on the phone may not know it, they are most likely dishing your dial-up through a *nix variant.

Last edited by audibel; 03-03-2005 at 10:05 PM.
 
Old 03-03-2005, 11:36 PM   #9
RichMan1
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Registered: Mar 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA
Distribution: Fedora Core 3
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Last Thing

One more thing this is the last one I promise: this pppconfig program, where do I find it? And, since it was mentioned that Linux runs better on old computers, does that mean I don't have to keep upgrading to a new computer everytime Intel comes out with a new chip? That would be dandy. Do I have to buy an ethernet card or anything to use NetZero, etc.? Finally, you're sure that I can use MSN, Earthlink, etc, even though they don't list Linux (because when I went the the NetZero website, it said "we don't support Linux, only Linspire" because it recognized my OS and Firefox)?

Sincerely,
Richard
 
Old 03-04-2005, 02:02 AM   #10
ampex189
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Part 1: Most, if not all broadband isp's can handle linux, dial-up Im not sure. Don't use msn, because it is another microsoft product and will probably not support linux.
part 2: If you want to save money, make a more powerful system, or have a system that is easier to set up under linux make it your self. Don't buy one from the likes of Dell (another reason not to go with dell is because dell uses 2nd tier parts, they aren't as good). That way you dont have to pay for windows For example I can make myself a fully funtional brand new system with a 2.66Ghz celeron, 256MB of ram and a 30GB hd for $300 Canadian, that right there is more than most people need, and is really easy to upgrade if need be. To do that I suggest that you find a wholesale hardware vendor in your area, they usually will sell in smaller quantities (ie: 1 or 2 part minimum).

Have fun and good luck!!!
Ampex189

Last edited by ampex189; 03-04-2005 at 02:09 AM.
 
Old 03-04-2005, 02:20 AM   #11
amosf
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I've used a whole bunch of ISP's here in australia over the years with dialup no problem... As long as they use a fairly standard dialup PPP you should be fine...

Hardware. I like to build my own, but other than that I like the little independent shop built types rather than brand names. Easier to fix and upgrade generally...
 
Old 03-04-2005, 02:40 AM   #12
Baldrick65
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I would have to agree with amosf. I've used dialup, dsl, and cable in Australia all running on Linux of some description and when I moved to NZ, dialup and dsl without any problems. With dialup, all you really need is the phone no, pop3 and smtp servers the isp uses as audibel already mentioned.

My Windows box never touches the internet and only exists for the games and video editing. Don't let the ISP's scare you into thinking that Linux is problematic ... after all, most of them use linux or a unix variant.

Baldrick
 
Old 03-04-2005, 04:25 AM   #13
audibel
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Quote:
Originally posted by Baldrick65
I would have to agree with amosf. I've used dialup, dsl, and cable in Australia all running on Linux of some description and when I moved to NZ, dialup and dsl without any problems. With dialup, all you really need is the phone no, pop3 and smtp servers the isp uses as audibel already mentioned.

My Windows box never touches the internet and only exists for the games and video editing. Don't let the ISP's scare you into thinking that Linux is problematic ... after all, most of them use linux or a unix variant.

Baldrick
Baldrick, just as a side note, have you tried cinelerra video editing for Linux? If not, you might take a look at it...

and richman, I guess M$N would be another one like AOL, it's not reallly an ISP (I don't think). It connects you to proprietary servers and from there connects to the internet, which makes for a slower internet experience all the way around. I might be mistake, but I know AOL is that way. Just go with something cheap or local like I listed, and you'll be okay. I can't imagine you wanting to connect to M$N if you want to use Linux.
 
Old 03-04-2005, 10:35 AM   #14
bigjohn
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Yippeee!

Well done everyone else whos' "chimed in". Like I said earlier, the RichMan1 has come to the right place for answers!

I suppose that it's one of the "lack of knowledge" things. RichMan1 say's he's close to finishing college, but if his college experience, and my "inside" knowledge of how college systems work (my brother manages the system at "Sussex") and I can tell you straight, "they" don't like/want/need/allow the students to have any "more" than they need i.e. as far as they're concerned, the system is "their" toy, that the students can use, but not mend/modify/tinker with!, mainly because of educational budgetary reasons - if one of the students messes with the system, the cost can run into hundreds of thousands ('s that is).

Hence they only want to offer a "user experience".

I'm getting the impression that the RichMan1 is being very sensible/prudent, but seems to want to have the kind of control over his system that the linux world has come to experience/enjoy.

Good on yer!

One of the reasons that most ISP's won't "support" linux is because the very choice that "we" enjoy, means that they'd have to pay "proper" IT support people to run their customer help/support lines, instead of some call centre drone who's been on a 5 day course in how to read questions from a screen and then point you in the right direction from a multiple list of possible solutions.

The AOL's of the world, well they don't want you to be able to sort out problems by yourself because that way, when things go "tits up", they get to charge you for support. You also have to do things "their way".


How the "service" actually gets to the system is pretty much up to you. When I first started it was dialup, but as soon as adsl broadband services started becoming common in the UK, I changed to that, mainly because it was faster (it also has a few other advantages). That came with a USB modem, which was fine, until I discovered Linux. The USB modem worked OK with linux, except that it was a complete bastard to setup/configure (that's 3 years ago, things are very much easier now). But because of the way things worked, I got myself an ethernet card and a combined modem/router device, which has been by far the best solution. It's also a hardware firewall (got a software one as well, but that's a different story).

What that means is that the device is what controls my connection, not the PC, so if I boot back into windows (my partners a teacher and they only have windows stuff at her school) or to and from linux, the connection makes no difference, I just have to put the LAN address into the system (both windows and linux so they know where to look for the connection service) and I'm up and running. Brilliant!


Also, don't get too hung up on phrases like "support". The ISP adverts say it a lot, but all they actually mean is that if you ring up with a question, they can only answer (or try) the question if it's about windows. As someone else already pointed out, most ISP's actually manage there service with linux (and yes the person on the end of that phone won't have a clue about it, they have seperate system administrators to sort that out!). The actual connection is done using the TCP/IP protocol, and windows, mac, linux, unix, solaris, etc etc etc all use that to talk to "the net".

Your only concern would be to make sure that if you have dialup, then the modem can work with linux, because a lot of the internal devices are what is known as "Winmodems", which aren't "proper" modems, theyre software based mechanisms designed to work with windows - yes there are ways that you can make some of them work, but you'd be better off starting with one that'd work directly with linux - there seems to be quite a following for external modems from what I see (well, I suppose it's because they're more likely to work straight away, without much, if any, set up nonsense).

If you're not so confident about trying to build a system (despite what people here would say), you only have to look around the linux world for pre built systems that seem to be popular, get the one that you can afford and you should then (well, in theory) be able to have most of the choice that those who've "rolled their own"!

give it a go!, and don't be overly concerned with all the "smoke and mirrors" shit that abounds in the IT world, they always try to make it more difficult that it actually is (most of the time), because if they can scare/worry/concern you out of trying to do stuff yourself, then they can bill you for sorting out the "solution" (why's everything a f*****g "solution" these days? Bastards!, I don't want to buy a solution, I want answers, and preferably for free - ha ha! welcome to linux )

regards

John

p.s. Heres an example of the kind of thing that you can lay your hands on from a built and pre-installed system. Sure the article mentions that it's preinstalled system in lindows (now called Linspire), which I understand is very usable for a linux based windows substitute - but like the windows world, Linspire/lindows is part of the proprietary "add-ons at a price" business school.

I suspect that if it will run linspire/lindows, then it'd be a pretty basic thing to get a copy of mandrake or something and install that over the top. But from the POV of $$$'s look at the price, 5 year's+ of computing at that price makes it very cheap IT! worth consideration, I'd say.

Last edited by bigjohn; 03-04-2005 at 10:46 AM.
 
  


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