: Hi. I have been considering trying the Linux operating system, but I don't
: know if I could really learn to use it or not, or if it would do what I need.
Absolutely you can learn Linux... anyone can... Linux is not hard, it's
just than many new users cheat themselves by not carefully reading the
documentation. The main stumbling block that most people run into,
is they just skim thru the installation/post-installation documentation,
and therefore, they end up missing certian details that they need to know.
As for what Linux will do?... Heehee :)... I could ramble on for hours.
But mainly, if you want a reliable UNIX clone, that has many decent office
applications, and stability that sickens the commercial vendors, then you
will like Linux. Here are some of my favorite sites:
http://www.linux.org -- The official Linux homesite
http://www.goober.demon.co.uk/linux/ -- Hundreds of Linux applications
listed, and available for
ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/ -- The Sunsite Linux FTP archive
: The main reason I have been considering it is simply because I am sick of
: contributing to Microsoft's pocketbook, and because I want to try an
: alternative. I am looking at buying a laptop soon because I am going away to
: college, so one of my first questions is will Linux run on a laptop?
Yup. I run Linux on a 4MB/486SX25 Compaq 4/25 Contura, in addition to my
big iron. :) . The laptop works very nicely, especially as an IRC
client. Linux will run beautifully on a more contemporary model.
Linux by itself does well in 4MB of memory. Linux and The X Window System
(which it's easier to just call X) needs at least 8MB of RAM.
: I have pretty much considered 3 options to get away from Windows.
Whatever you may need help with, other Linux users, or the vendor you
bought from, will gladly oblige.
: I am not a programmer, and I don't know anything about Unix. But I am willing
Neither was I... and I emphasize the word "was". :)
: to learn it. I do know quite a bit about Windows and DOS though. Can someone
: like me learn to use Linux? Can I learn to to set it up, and set up X Windows
: and install the apps I want to use, and use them in a reasonable amount of
Yes, you can. For the easiest installation you may wish to go with RedHat
Linux distribution v5.0. You can purchase it on a CD, or you can download
it from their site:
Actually, when first starting out, I suggest that you set your machine up
to dual boot both Windows and Linux. This means, that if you get stuck on
Linux, you can still boot into Windows, and access the internet for help,
if you cannot find it in the docs.
: I will mainly be using the laptop for a dial up connection to the internet,
: and I will also need a word processor and maybe a time manager and
: spreadsheet. Are there any reasonably priced office packages available for X
: Windows that will do what I need?
Yes. You can get WordPerfect for Linux from Corel, you can get
StarOffice from Stardivision/Caldera, you can get Applixware from RedHat,
you can get LyX for free, etc. Chances are, if you need an application,
someone has created a commercial offering, or you can find one for free.
Oh, and BTW, all of the above run under The X Window System, per your
: Is Linux something I can use? Or would I be better off just living with
: Windows? Also, if I can use Linux, which distribution would you recomend,
Nope!nope!nope! :) Anyone can learn to use Linux. The trick is, it
takes a bit of time to learn the finer points, but once you learn them,
you will get work done quickly, and you won't have a single crash to your
: what is the best book for a newbie like me?
There are several very good books:
Linux in a Nutshell
Check out your local Barnes & Noble, or comparable bookstore. In fact,
many Linux books come with a Linux distribution on CD.
Feel free to post here, to comp.os.linux.setup, or even E-mail me, if you
have more questions, need help, etc. :)
Stephen S. Edwards II -- Support GNU... run UNIX... be happy.
*** You have been kicked off of channel #sane (banned: Welcome to hell!)
"Don't *WHAM* touch *WHAM* that! *WHAM*WHAM*WHAM*" -- Michael J. Peterson