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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
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I prefer KDE but it's pretty much up to you. I would say KDE is the most like windows, especially if you get the latest release which by the way is awsome. I still find myself using gnome too sometimes and on my computer the gnome apps startup faster.
KDE is for dull people, who do hospital corners and eat cucumber sandwiches.
GNOME, is for *slightly* less dull people, who occasionally eat jam sandwiches too.
Gnome all the way.
rh71 is the next version of redhat, has improved general everything and such like. Upgrades don't work the sanme as in the windows world. Getting the newer version of a linux distro won't make it harder to personalise, and use in your own way, it should simply be more reliable and such like.