Hello everyone and let me thank, in advance, anyone who takes time to read and/or reply to this post. As you proablly guessed from the thread title I'm new to the Linux community and looking for advice on the best way to learn more about Linux and OSS/FS in general. Here's some quick info about me, why I'm looking into Linux now, and what more specifically I'm looking for information on:
My name is Chris Seltzer, I'm a 19-year-old living in the US (Western PA more specificly). I'm a LCpl in the United States Marine Corp and because of this commitment my free time is limited. I'm a self taught computer enthusiast who loves computer programming and has expirence programming in C++, Java, Basic (and subsequent verision like Visual Basic and Dark Basic), and Python. I have three computer certifications: A+, Net+, and my CCNA. I've dabbled in open source before (as mentioned I spent time programming in Python) but never seriously became involved. I hope to someday attend a university majoring in computer science. I speak English but also can speak some German.
Why Linux/Open Source Now
I've had limited exposure to linux before, I have freinds who run their computers on Linux and I've tried it once or twice just for fun myself. Recently one of my computer's Windows XP instillations became corrupted and not XP wouldn't even reinstall on the box. I opened my CD case to look a program that might help and found an old Knoppix CD I'd been given at a programming contest I attended. It worked first try (with the expection of not having any sound). My computer has been running Knoppix 3.4 off of CD for the past 3 weeks now. The expirence finally pushed me to look deeper into the Linux community.
What am I looking for?
Afew things...mostly information. Here are some questions I have that I wondering if someone here would be kind enough to answer:
- Is there/what are the best resources to become aquainted with using Linux.
I.E.: Are there any books or online tourials that cover basic linux commands or provide an overview of the software that's avaliable for the OS?
- While I'm not fimilar with too much high level progamming I have done work using DirectX and Databases. I'd like to understand more about how operating systems work. What's the best way to learn about this?
*I know this part of the post might belong in the Distrobutions forums but I didn't want to break up the post or make repeated posts if there wasn't a need.*
- What's the best distrobution for me to start out with?
I'm looking for something that I won't have to spend a lot of time configuring or looking for plugins/addons for but still allow me to dig deeper into the OS at a later time. My freinds are split on wether I should use Ubuntu, Slackware, or Xandros (Sorry if I spelled any of those wrong)
I've decicated a single computer as my Linux Box, here's it's Specs:
3.8GHz Intel Pentium D processor w/800MHz FSB and a 2MB L2 Cache
256MB PCI-Express x16 NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS High Def 7.1 Surround Audio
2GB of Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz
In the form of two 1024MB Strips of RAM
Two Hard Drives in a Non-RAID configuration
The System Drive a 120GB
The Storage Drive a 250GB
Both Drives Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s at 7,200 RPM w/NCQ and an 8MB Cache
A single 16x Dual Layer DVD±R/W 52x36x52x CD-RW Drive
No Second Drive
No Floppy Drive
A cheap 17 CRT Monitor
A cheap basic keyboard
A cheap basic two button and scroll wheel mechanical mouse
A cheap pair of speakers
Thanks in advance for any and all help, I really do appreciate it.