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I attempted about 5 or 6 months back to completely switch from Windows to Linux (FC4), and to be honest didn't make a very good job of it, the one thing i need most the wireless I could not get to work and I didn't want to spend long trying to get it work, so I ended up back on Windows.
Fortunately I haven't let this little event deter me I still want to move across to linux and have been monitoring this board and other linux sites to be better prepared for a switch (that and i will do a dual boot). I do have some questions though.
1. I think fedora was probably not the best solution for me, but I've been closely looking at suse 10.0 I've been looking at the retail version because it seems my wireless should work with that (intel 2200bg) am i correct in this assumption?
2. I'm looking at a creative 7.1 sound card, does linux support this?
3. DVD movie playback, I've noticed people often complain that dvds won't playback in linux, is this correct? if it isn't natively supported is it easy to setup?
4. I have an ipod nano and its important that i can manage it, I've found a program called GTKpod but can't see if it supports the nano?
5. I quite often backup dvds, I use dvd shrink at the moment, can I use this in linux or are their simliar programs?
I think that is pretty much it at the moment, trying to make sure I've got myself sorte before I try and switch this time. Thanks for taking the time to read
Unless you have studied enough to know the benefits of paying for a distro, I would recommend starting with a free distro such as Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, etc. Use that as a platform to learn what works where.
I have an ipw2200 working flawlessly in Slackware as well -- that's a very well supported card.
As for DVDs, you may want to poke around on these forums - the big movie makers don't like the little guys (us) 'cracking' the encryption on their DVDs so we can see them on the platforms of our choice. Sometimes its a little hit or miss.
if you move to a RPM based distro playing dvds will be easy. after you set up your sources you URPMI LIBDVD as well as win32 codecs and it will find the package from PLF(penguin liberation front). mplayer and totem do well. when working in linux there is almost always a way to get things to work. I agree a dual boot is a great way to get your feet wet. any problems hop to XP and ask for help.
congrats on not crying and giving up. it does take some time to migrate but well worth it for those who try hard and dont give up.
if you use something like mepis or ubuntu, i think it's actually far easier and quicker to install than windows. remember having to download 101 drivers? 1000 service packs? reboot after reboot. you can install ubuntu in about 30 mins... everything working...
And satinet brings up a good point -- the only time you need to reboot your computer is when doing a Kernel upgrade -- every other service on the machine can be stopped and restarted without the computer as a whole being interrupted. Definitely an advantage over anything Microsoft has put out.