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Old 05-07-2008, 09:59 AM   #1
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Registered: May 2008
Location: Bradenton, Florida
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 2

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Post Building My First Linux System

Hello. Today I discovered this forum. I used UNIX heavily back in the late 70's and early 80's. They I rode the Windows bus for 30 years. Now I'm starting my journey with Linux. Here's my status report from 5/6/2008:

Today I responded to an ad on Craig's List and bought a computer (no
HDD) for $60. It's in a nice ATX tower case, has 400-watt power supply,
1 GB of RAM, Sony CD-RW drive, the VIA M7VIZ motherboard, and an Athlon
processor running at 2.0 GHz.

I picked up a Western Digital 320 GB PATA HDD at Staples for $60.

Step 1 -- First, on my Windows computer I downloaded the ISO image of
the latest Ubuntu release -- Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) and burned it
to CD-R.

Step 2 -- Next I booted my new computer from the Ubuntu CD, to see if it
would work. No problem!

Step 3 -- Next I installed the HDD and then installed Ubuntu on it,
accepting all the default options during that process. I think it made
two partitions and used the entire hard disk.

Step 4 -- Reboot from HDD and it works great!

To say "I'm excited" is a bit of an understatement. I feel like a kid
who just discovered a new flavor of ice cream! :-)

Ubuntu is very impressive and intuitive from an eye candy point of
view. It's all set up in the garage temporarily. Still need to test
the on-board sound and the on-board LAN. That stuff can wait until I
get it into the den. I hope to pick up a 19-inch or larger LCD monitor
tomorrow to dedicate to this. Both Staples and Office Depot have them
on sale for $149 this week.

Once it's set up in the den, I'll be trying to network it with my
Windows computers so I can swap files. Will keep you all posted on
progress. Thank you all for your continued encouragement and ideas.

Old 05-07-2008, 10:06 AM   #2
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Mineral, Virginia
Distribution: Debian 8
Posts: 7,893

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Welcome to LinuxQuestions.

Steve Stites
Old 05-07-2008, 10:07 AM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Cary, NC, USA
Distribution: Fedora, Kubuntu, RedHat, CentOS, SuSe
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Welcome to LinuxQuestions and the wonderful world of Linux as well. We'll be here to help if you need any.

Old 05-08-2008, 12:42 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2008
Location: Bradenton, Florida
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 2

Original Poster
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New Linux Machine - Status Report

Update (5/7/08): I bought a 19-inch wide screen monitor and set the
system up in the den. The 15-inch monitor I was using in the garage was
borrowed from another computer in another room. At my desk in the den I
now have a 2.0 GHz machine running Ubuntu Hardy Heron and a 3.3 GHz
machine running Windows XP. Both have 19-inch wide screen monitors,
which I placed side-by-side.

Monitor Test: I connected the new 19-inch monitor and rebooted. Either
the BIOS or Ubuntu automatically detected the new monitor and set the
screen to match the native resolution of the monitor (1440x900). That
was simpler than Windows!

Eye Candy: System > Preferences > Appearance > Visual Effects. It is
set to "None." Options are "Normal" and "Extra". If I select either of
those options Ubuntu struggles for a moment and then tells me it cannot
keep that setting. Wondering if this could be the inadequacies of the
on-board video. Next to the Extra setting it says: Requires faster
graphics card.

Sound Test: The monitor has built-in speakers. The speakers came alive
at the same time the Ubuntu desktop came alive. That was simpler than

USB Test: The motherboard manual says it's USB 2.0. I plugged in one
of the flash drives I use regularly. Ubuntu detected it and immediately
displayed its contents. That was simpler than Windows!

LAN Test: Not working! Tried System > Administration > Network Tools >
Ping, but nothing. Also, System > Administration > Hardware Testing
reported it could not find an internet connection. I think it's a
hardware issue, since the lights on my router are dark for this
connection. I swapped cables, and still nothing. The person who sold
me this machine gave me disks. One of them has a Linux driver (kernel
2.4.x) for the LAN. The readme.txt gives some instructions for
compiling the source code on the disk, etc. I ran out of time tonight
to get into that level of detail. Also, I'll like to build some
confidence first before I launch off into compiling code! This will not
be nearly as easy as loading a Windows driver.

Learning: I picked up a book today: "The Official Ubuntu Book" (2007,
410-pages, $34.99). The cheapest Ubuntu book was $29 and the most
expensive was $49 (as thick as a phone book!). I picked The Official
Ubuntu Book because it appeared to be well written, well indexed, and
well organized. It also has 5 authors, so maybe it has been well
researched and proof-read prior to publication. (By the way, of all the
Linux books at my local book store, Fedora had the most shelf space.
Ubuntu was second.)

Thanks for the welcomes to this forum! If I cannot fix my LAN/internet problem, I'll be sure to post that issue in the proper forum.




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