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Re: For the computer guyz. Linux or not to Linux?


 
12/23/2005 2:29 AM
bob p Re: For the computer guyz. Linux or not to Linux?
if you are having problems with random crashes and corrupt installs with a bunch of linux distros, your PC is probably the culprit.  
 
some PC chipsets are fully supported on linux, some are experimental, and some are totally unsupported.  
 
if you are having problems, then you either have defective hardware or hardware that is incompatible, experimental, or not fully supported. wintel extreme graphics motherboard shared memory chipsets are notoriously bad in this regard.  
 
my recommendation would be to research your hardware and/or to try to find alternate hardware that is certified to work with linux. in my case, my first linux box was a dell optiplex (Red Hat Certified) that always locked up in X. through research i found that the Intel i810 extreme graphics chipset was not actually linux compatible -- although there was free information exchange between the wintel monopolies, information about the chipset was withheld from the linux driver developers. as a result the linux drivers had to be labeled as experimental and that chipset was widely known to be a troublemaker. people with that chipset were screwed.  
 
of course, this type of compatability problem didn't stop Red Hat from certifying the Dell product as part of their optiplex server co-marketing effort (wink, wink). i found that i was able to solve all of my problems by not using the on-board graphics chipset and plugging in a cheap used matrox PCI card. now I use two matrox milennium 2 cards in that box with 21-inch monitors in a dual head setup under linux and it is stable as rock -- the intel on-board video chipset remains unused because it would be guaranteed to lock up the box if i used it.  
 
unfortunately, there are alot of PCs out there that have shitty chipsets in them -- chipsets that are designed for wintel deployment and have undocumented idiosyncrasies that were designed into them to keep alternative OS from gaining a foothold. as a result, being a linux user requires that you get to know alot more about your PC hardware than windows does. don't ever buy the most inexpensive PC that has everything integrated on the motherboard. it will have bargain basement hardware that will lock you into windows. pay extra for good components. it will pay off in the long run.  
 
hth.
 
12/23/2005 1:50 AM
bob p
No, I wouldn't buy that.  
 
Avoid anything that calls itself a "Live CD." Live CDs are CD-ROMS that you put into your CD-ROM drive and reboot your computer from. They allow you to test-drive a linux installation on your computer without actually installing it.  
 
Although this sounds appealing, they are resource intensive, the CD-ROM is slow media, and the experience with them is usually a turn-off. To make a Live CD worthwhile, you'd have to have a blazingly fast PC (like a newer P4) with gobs of RAM (like a gig) and you still won't be satisfied because everything is held-up by the slow access of the CD.  
 
I'd recommend that you resist the temptation to try a Live CD for anything beyond a brief demo. Its really impossible to get a good feel for linux by using them because they're so damned slow. If you choose to try out a Live CD, try out Knoppix, nothing else. Don't buy it. Download it for free. Google for Knoppix and you'll find it.  
 
 
I am very surprised at the dissatisfactory opinion others have expressed about linux being unstable. My systems are stable as rock -- far more reliable than any of my Windows boxes have ever been. It seems that after a while all windows boxes tend to hang up at shutdown or bootup, or just lock up. That's never been the case for me with linux.  
 
Unlike windows, you don't have to constantly be downloading software updates. Once your linux system works to your liking, stop updating it. You don't need to update it for security purposes, and constant tinkering with frequent updates only increases the chance that you could run into a problem. Experienced linux users don't constantly tweak their boxes.  
 
Note that I didn't recommend Fedora in my previous post. IMO its just not as good as people think it is.  
 
Just my $0.10.  
 
bob
 
 
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12/23/2005 2:02 AM
bob p
if you have a broadband connection, don't buy linux. download it for free:  
 
download and burn this live CD for a demo:  
 
http://knoppix.org  
 
 
download and burn this DVD or the 5 CDs to install on your PC:  
 
http://www.novell.com/products/suselinux/  
http://www.opensuse.org/Download  
http://www.novell.com/products/suselinux/downloads/suse_linux/instructions_eval.html  
 
 
if you have dial-up, you'll have to buy the CDs or have somebody burn them for you.  
 
have fun.
 
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