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Old 02-27-2001, 04:07 PM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2001
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I'm almost a complete beginner at this. I've played a little bit with small distributions (no X) that install on top of DOS, but didn't use them for anything terribly productive other than starting to learn my way around.

I've recently installed RedHat 5.1 on a P75 with 24MB RAM and 517MB HD. (48MB of that is swap.) I just want a simple system that will let me do all the basics--writing, number crunching, email, Internet, HTML editing, et cetera--on a standalone desktop... no server or development tools. The packages I selected from RedHat occupy about 250MB, and I hope to add either WordPerfect for Linux (purchased WP8 for $20 less $20 rebate) or StarOffice.

(And if you're wondering why I'm using RedHat 5.1 rather than a more recent release is that it's something that will work on an older machine. After all, isn't part of the beauty of Linux that you can extend the useful life of older boxes that M$ wants to make obsolete with increasingly bloated OS and software? My even older machine runs IBM DOS/Win3.11/OS-2Warp3 and does everything I want, except that some web pages with too many bells and whistles will crash Netscape. Win9x? No way am I putting that on any computer of mine!)

ANYWAY.... RedHat was not able to "find" my parallel port Zip drive. (For that matter, it took more than one try installing RedHat because sometimes it found the CD-ROM, sometimes it didn't. It seems not to find the CD if I merely reboot; It seems to work only if I shutdown AND turn the power off and back on.) The Zip drive is important to have, because (among other reasons) the Zip disk is the media for my StarOffice download and will no doubt be what I use for other software, not to mention backups and such.

What should I look for in trying to solve this problem? I'd like to have a productive Linux box, but I wonder if I'm just better off reformatting and going back to Win/OS-2.



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