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I've done it before, to no avail, and always switched back to the dreaded XP after a couple of days and few more grey hairs.
This time, not so! I've spent a fair few hours in over the weekend configuring, learning, installing, tweaking, cursing and smoking but my setup's almost there. This time it's a permanent fixture on my laptop (and any other machine I can lay my hands on).
I decided to install Slackware 10.0 as it was the only distro I had at the time, I installed it once before and it went quite smoothly. Sound worked, mouse, keyboard, etc. etc. which was nice because it was installed on a Thinkpad T21 and I'd heard that laptop installs aren't as smooth as desktops.
This time, I installed the distro and then decided that, after what I'd read about Slackware being a less user friendly distro than others, I should install something like Suse instead - ease of use for a newbie, get up an running quicker etc.. I downloaded the .iso image, burnt it to DVD and then tried to install it.
Not so! It seems that XP does something wierd with DVD RW's and UDF?!?!? End result: I had to stay with Slackware - for the time being.
Now that's the first time I've thanked Windows for f@#king up for me...
It's forced me to really think and research and understand what I'm doing before I do it. I've spent many hours burning the midnight oil here, at LQ, over the weekend, but it was worth it.
My machine runs quicker, it's more stable (XP was crashing with BSOD would you believe it?!?!) and it's a hell of a lot more fun to use. If I had less time on my hands then I'm not so sure I'd have enjoyed the Linux conversion experience as much but, as it is, it's been nice. Certain things made me appreciate the completeness of Windows but then as time progressed it made me appreciate the simplicity of Linux and detest the 'completeness' of Windows. When I say simplicity I mean to say the way it all hangs together seems to be so 'simply logical' - not something I'd associate with Windows.
By trade I'm an AS/400 RPG programmer (yes, us old green screen addicts do still exist) and it's nice to be able to do more with the CLI. I know you can use it with Windows but the inclination was never there. My attitude, now, is that if I use the CLI to do more then I'll learn the basics of Linux quicker and more thoroughly therefore using the GUI (KDE 3.2 - some nice features in GNOME but KDE suits me more) will be a piece of cake.
So, there you have it... Yet another Linux convert, a Slackware convert and a thoroughly enjoyable experience it was too.
My one, single gripe is that I have given up trying to configure my Sagem Fast 800 USB modem and went and bought an ethernet modem this morning (I got it talking with Tiscali but it was being booted out). I don't like giving in but there are some things, ie. the Internet, that I can't do without. I WILL get that problem solved but for now it's just nice to be able browse.
...Now, time to investigate about CUPS and my old deskjet...
Good to hear you ended up staying with Slack instead of going to SuSE, you'll probably learn more and end up feeling a bit more comfortable in the end.
Just a note, you said you were running 10.0. I don't know if you are aware, but you can hand upgrade (ie: without a reinstall) Slackware to the latest 10.2. Check out UPGRADE.txt that comes with each new release. Basically you drop to single user mode and upgrade a few packages.
Just as a note on your Tiscali connection, I used to have problems with them under Linux, and bought a basic ADSL modem / router, available for about £20 for pretty much any decent computer shop or online store. It takes your Tiscali connection settings and simply lets you plug in your computer via Ethernet cable. £5 extra gets you a 4-port switch built in.
Tinkster: go for it - I was unsure, originally if this was the right place for the post.
Vgui: I'll have a look at that - I'll most likely wait until I get a few other issues resolved first, but we'll see (there's nothing like a challenge!).
Fouldsy: That's exactly what I did - Modem/router (PC world - OK, I was desperate!) - plugged it in and roberts your fathers brother, Internet!
I gotta say people, thanks for all the help and encouragement. It's good to know that there's like minded people out there. I don't ever recall getting support like this with Windows 'stuff'. What's nice is that with such a huge forum as LQ out of all the issues I've had configuring my Slack install (I use the word issues in a positive way because I've actually enjoyed it - not a word I'd use with WinXP) I've not had to ask one question (I think?) but found almost all the info I've needed right here on LQ.