Which distro to use, a really easy to learn one.. for a newbie ;)
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I recommend mandrake 9.2 or later. the new version 10 release is very user friendly and supports booting from a floppy so you can install it on the same computer as your dad's windows xp and he'll never even see it unless he wants to, which is nice. It also runs the new kernel like FC2. Only bad thing about FC2 is that it has four ISO's and you cannot boot it up from a floppy.
Get MEPIS at http://www.mepis.org . It just works. It is Debian based so it won't be a big learning curve for you and it has the best hardware support and integration of any distribution I have found. I have a somewhat full-featured laptop and I had a desktop and wifi in minutes and have nearly ever doo-dad working after a day. I tried Fedora Core 2 and the install was easy, but much of my hardware didn't work and it was not particularly user friendly. I have not tried Mandrake for some time. It is good, but I would have difficulty believing it is better than MEPIS. This is the best distro that I have seen since Corel. I think that you and your Dad will be please with it. It also works and plays well on a Windows network with ICS II am using that config right now). Good luck.
E.P; am newbie too, was under impression that most distros have a gui in them.? Oh one other thing am an old newbie 73. still learning but then fell
out of grace with windows. so linux much better! running mdk8.1 good but
looking towards up grading into mdk10 >. good luck with your father.
Damnit, you guys got me in doubt now well, though i'm pleased with it... i took a look at mamphis... looks nice i think the choice is between Fedora Core and Memphis (i haven't looked at mandrake, got to that next )
But now i will discribe some things that must be possible to do on the system (or which apps i need to get):
* Userfriendly interfaces (GUI)
* Text additing with language correction, the editor must support *.doc files
* Network Printing (Canon i550, no drivers but maybe in some distro?)
* Browsing and emailing (think that will be Mozilla?)
Well, that are some points that most be done....without command line-ing
E.P.; gui; kde,gnome; text ed.,vi; you will have to look through the hardware knowldgebase online for the particular printer, ah yes mozilla
good,konquererand others you will have to try. as long as you have a working knowledge your home free, so nudge your dad by helping him learn by your side. linux is (contagious)small med joke,we caught it did not we. ha ha. suggest download some of what may appeal to you and expose
your dad to it. he may decide to try after all.
Distribution: Gentoo 2004.2: Who needs exmmpkg when you have emerge?
Ive heard good things about FC2 (never used it myself), but that doesnt outweigh the bad thing I heard about it on /., and its that FC2 tends to chew up and destroy partition tables. Nasty. Try Mandrake 10, or, if you cant get your hands on that, some Mandrake 9.x.