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Old 07-10-2006, 10:34 PM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2006
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Want to learn Linux - Can it do all my stuff?

I have a laptop that I'd like to load up with Linux, if it is capable of doing all that I need. Here's a quick list of what I use it for:

- Web Browsing
- Emailing (Web mail, POP3 via OE)
- Watching RSS Feeds (Free stuff on CL and other stuff)
- Calendar Use (ie, Keeping track of appointments, work shifts, etc..)
- Word Processing
- Budgeting
- Simple Calculations (Generally done with Notepad & Calculator)
- Watching DVDs
- Downloading files off of P2P (Music, software to replace apps I had before I was robbed, mainly old games..)
- Burning Data CDs
- Playing Games

The games I frequently run are:

- Star Trek: Bridge Commander (Runs fine under XP)
- Star Trek Deep Space 9: The Fallen (..)
- Star Trek: Klingon Academy (..)
- Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit (..)
- Star Trek: Klingon (Requires 3.1/95/98)

I also have a few older games that I haven't played in ages, but still want to have available. They may run natively under windows, or they may require DOS.

- Duke Nukem
- Eye Of The Beholder 2: The Legend Of Darkmoon
- Star Trek The Next Generation: A Final Unity

My system has the following specs:

- Compaq Evo N160 (Laptop/Notebook)
- 1.13 Ghz Intel Pentium III-M
- 256 MB PC133 SDRAM
- 12 GB HD
- 14.1" TFT LCD (ATI Mobility Radeon @ 8 MB @ 1024x768 @ 16 bit color)
- Intel Pro/100 VE NIC & CXT SoftV92 Data/Fax Modem
- SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio
- Internal DVD-ROM
- External parallel port 4x CDRW (Backpack Model 190130)
- Currently running WinXP Pro SP2

I'd like to set the system up as a dual-boot between a minimal Win98SE (With no network capability) for gaming and Linux for everything else. If possible, I'd like to dump Win98 and run my games under Linux.

From what little I have heard of Linux distros, I am considering using Ubuntu. I have several years of tech experience, but it's all DOS/WIN based - No Linux. I'm comfortable at a command line, and would like a distro that I can eventually tweak for minimal resource usage and maximum performance. (I still remember networking two IMB PS/2's with 8086's, 512k RAM, no HDs, and 2 720k floppies, to load and run Windows 3.0, albeit VERY slowly.)

Any suggestions on how I should proceed from here?

Old 07-10-2006, 10:42 PM   #2
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Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian
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If you want a somewhat easy-to-use distro but which you still can tweak and play with you should use Debian. If you want to play games under Linux try using WINE or Cedega (search their site to see if the game is supported). If you're lucky you will not need Windows anymore. Still, having it side-by-side via dualboot is not a bad idea when you're new to Linux.

It's a whole new world for you to learn. So take small steps at a time and it should work out fine.
Old 07-10-2006, 11:16 PM   #3
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: New York City
Distribution: Debian Sid 2.6.32
Posts: 2,100

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The only thing that is a yes/no issue will be the games. Everything on the list of "what I need to do" is quite possible to be done on linux. If it couldn't be done, do you think we'd all be here using it?

You can look at cedega/wine's webpage and get the full list of supported games, as already suggested. Generally the more popular a game is the more likely it will be supported through their programs, but there probably are times that even a hugely successful game won't happen under linux. I haven't been a gamer in a long time, so I'm sorry that I can't be of more help in that regard.

One thing you will see are tons of opinions on subjects like, "what's the best browser, email client, burning software etc". There are usually more than one way around problems, but one bad thing for new folks is that you have so many options to choose from, you have trouble finding a starting point. One great way to wade through that is to look on the polls. These are just a collection of votes taken for the "best" desktop enviornment, browser, email client etc. That doesn't at all mean you have to use them, just gives a starting point. If you find the most popular browser doesn't do what you want, then try anything else.

Good luck!

Old 07-11-2006, 01:45 AM   #4
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Registered: Jul 2006
Posts: 6

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Ok, have a problem now...

I downloaded Ubuntu 6.06 LTS and burned it to a CD. I booted with it, and after a lengthy startup, it dropped me into the desktop. I looked at the menus, opened the movie player, played the example files, opened the sound control panel, adjusted my volume, closed it. Then I clicked on the icon to open the web browser.

After about 15 seconds, the system locked up hard. I rebooted, and when the CD prompted me, I ran Memtest, even though I believe my system to be solid. No errors. So I rebooted again, and tried to get back to the Ubuntu desktop. After the graphical startup screen came up, on the second step, after "Loading essential drivers <OK>" it sits for a while, then drops me to a command line that looks something like this:

Uncompressing Linux... Ok, booting the kernel.

BusyBox v1.01 (Debian 1:1.01-4ubuntu3) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
/bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off
# _

I have rebooted and tried to get back to the Ubuntu desktop, the same thing happens. XP boots up fine from my HD like it should, which is where I'm posting this from.


PS - The only Linux commandline commands I know are ls and chdir, though I don't know any parameters for them. In other words, I'm a struggling newb, lol.
Old 07-11-2006, 01:43 PM   #5
Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: xubuntu, grml
Posts: 451

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This is a doublepost, maybe continue over here.


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