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Old 12-25-2004, 06:59 AM   #1
timmytytim
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Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Amsterdam
Distribution: Fedora Core 3
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Question To linux, or not to linux?


Hello,

Currently I am running windows XP Pro edition. I've basically never had another operating system, except back in the days when i had an IBM computer running OS/2. That must have been at least 10 years ago.

Simply out of curiosity I am now ready to try something different. Its not that I am fed up with Windows or anything, I just really wanna try something new. This is where Linux seems like a good option for me.

To be on the safe side, I first want to install it on one of my old computers. A Dell, Intel Pentium III, 933 MHz, 512MB RAM, NVIDIA Geforce 2, and a D-Link DWL 520+ wireless PCI card. If I really enjoy it I will later install it on the laptop that I am currently using.

Now I just had a few questions. As a newby to Linux, I am wondering which distrobution would be the best for me to start of with. I've read a bit about Fedora Core 3, Mandrakelinux 10.1, and SUSe. Since these distros in general seem to be the most popular I also thought that one of these would be good for me to start of with, but which one? Are there certain advantages to one distro that the other distros dont have? Or are they all basically very similar? I am also wondering whether these distros will support the hardware that I currently own.

I am also fairly addicted to a few programs on windows. One of them is Microsoft Office. I have a lot of files that are very important to me which are all saved in this format. Will I still be able to use these files?

Another program that I quite frequently use is MSN Messenger. I didnt manage to find a linux version for it. Does a linux version for this program exist? Or is it simply impossible to run this program on a linux OS?

Anyway, I hope that one of you guys will be able to give me some insight into the linux world. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Tim
 
Old 12-25-2004, 07:25 AM   #2
jtshaw
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Registered: Nov 2000
Location: Seattle, WA USA
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I've never used either of those distro's so I'll leave that to somebody else.

OpenOffice is a good office suite replacement that will allow you to open your old MS Office files.

Gaim can do MSN Messenger (as well as a bunch of other chat protocols).
 
Old 12-25-2004, 07:29 AM   #3
Ygarl
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: London, UK
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Good day from another newbie!

I tried Mandrake 10.1 Community, but I have to admit it was way too buggy for my taste. They were the sort of bugs where you think everything is just fine until you get to try something a bit interesting (installing VegaStrike springs to mind... etc.) and then you get the problems... Perhaps the Official release is better but I must admit I am just too lazy to convince the wife to let me splash out on buying a "free" OS.

Sooooo... I am running Fedora Core 3 and it's working out fine for me.

I also have a GeForce, and after reading the How-tos I found online (and installing my Alcatel Speedtouch modem - hairy if you don't know how) its drivers were installed fine. Runs Unreal Tournament 2003 a damn sight faster than it does on XP.

Anyhoo - OpenOffice (included on practically every distro going) loads up MS Office Excel, Word and PowerPoint files. And it's smaller. And it's free.

Also, Kopete and Gaim both are excellent IM programs. Both are included on Fedora Core - and I'm sure Gaim is on Mandrake. They both can access several different IMs - AIM, Yahoo, MSN, etc.

Hope this helps...
 
Old 12-25-2004, 07:29 AM   #4
Cron
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Registered: Jun 2004
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Quote:
OpenOffice is a good office suite replacement that will allow you to open your old MS Office files.
And you can run it in windows. Try and like it. But if you want something lightweight try abiword and gnumeric.
 
Old 12-25-2004, 07:32 AM   #5
Commando464
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Distribution: Fedora Core 4
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'Now I just had a few questions. As a newby to Linux, I am wondering which distrobution would be the best for me to start of with. I've read a bit about Fedora Core 3, Mandrakelinux 10.1, and SUSe. Since these distros in general seem to be the most popular I also thought that one of these would be good for me to start of with, but which one? Are there certain advantages to one distro that the other distros dont have? Or are they all basically very similar? I am also wondering whether these distros will support the hardware that I currently own.'

You can check out the HCL on this site to see which of your hardware will be supported. As for the Distro, i started with SuSE but now i am on FC2 and looking to upgrade to FC3.

'I am also fairly addicted to a few programs on windows. One of them is Microsoft Office. I have a lot of files that are very important to me which are all saved in this format. Will I still be able to use these files?'

OpenOffice is a very good replacement for MS Office, can read and save file in the MS formats.

'Another program that I quite frequently use is MSN Messenger. I didnt manage to find a linux version for it. Does a linux version for this program exist? Or is it simply impossible to run this program on a linux OS?'

Use Gaim which will let you log onto Yahoo, MSN, ICQ and few others. Also Kopete is good if you use KDE as the desktop.

Good luck and if you have any questions once you get on LInux, this forum is a great place to get answers.
 
Old 12-25-2004, 08:23 AM   #6
y2k
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You can also try out of one of those LiveCDs first to see if you like it or not! The granddaddy of them all is Knoppix (latest version is 3.7) which is based on Debian... There's also a free downloadable version, LiveCD, for Novell SUSE Linux; and I believe there is also a LiveCD version for MandrakeLinux as well! But if you want to install it on your machine right away, then FC3 is not a bad choice. Just download those four iso images and burn them to your CDs (as image files, not data files) and off you go...

y2k
 
Old 12-25-2004, 09:06 AM   #7
timmytytim
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Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Amsterdam
Distribution: Fedora Core 3
Posts: 10

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Thanks a lot for all the suggestions!

After some tinkering I have decided that I will try out FC3. I just started the download. So hopefully in a few hrs time I will be installing it on my pc looking forward to it!!

anyway.. if i have some probs during the installation i'll post them on this forum.

thanks again guys

Tim
 
Old 12-25-2004, 09:11 AM   #8
SlackerLX
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Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Herzliyya, Israel
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Heyya all who newbies to linux!
I use Slackware as primary destop, Debian as testing system and FreeBSD as networking.
Now, just give me at least ONE good reason why I should have Windoze on my box?????
 
Old 12-25-2004, 12:34 PM   #9
2damncommon
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Registered: Feb 2003
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There have been quite a few suggestions to use Open Office, if for some reason you need Microsoft Office you may want to check out the Crossover Office.
 
Old 12-25-2004, 12:41 PM   #10
SlackerLX
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I use only OpenOffice and if I need to submit document anywhere I do it with PDF. Simple. For that reason no M$ on my machine
 
  


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