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'[OT:] Linux info'
2004\02\13@023205 by Luis Moreira

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Hi Guys
I been reading a lot of stuff on this list about Linux, and I am not very
pleased with windows I would like to look at alternatives, specially if they
are cheap or even free.
The problem is that I been using windows for such a long time that I can not
get my head around the Linux concept.
and then there are Linux, Debian, etc. I am confused...
any really good sources of info that you can recommend ?
From all the info I got from a Electronics engineer's angle this system
brings a lot of advantages in terms of hardware control.

thanks in advance for any help, and sorry for my MS windows corrupted little
brain, I blame society...
best regards
               Luis

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2004\02\13@065025 by cisco J. A. Ares

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As a starting point, I think it will be a good idea to play around with a "Linux live CD", as Knoppix (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html), for example. It is a bootable CD that puts your computer running Linux without having to mess with your hard disk, repartitioning, installing a non familiar OS... It's just a matter of downloading an ISO CD image, burning it to a CD ROM and rebooting your machine (be sure that the BIOS settings will allow a CD boot prior to HD) and voilá! You'll be in front of a fully working version of a GNU/Linux system, based on the Debian distribution. And, as Debian is one of the most "pure" GNU distributions available, you can see that there are a lot of programs allowing to do almost everything you can do with Windows.

You can read the documentations available at http://www.tldp.org/ and the off-line manual pages for every program of the distro using the text terminal (like a command prompt on Windows) and the command "man". You can list all available manuals on the directory /usr/share/man or /usr/local/man (I don't remember which one is used on Knoppix).

After that, you can learn some tricks on how to better suit Knoppix to your hardware through some boot commands, and also can record your system configuration to a floppy disk to avoid having to configure everything at every boot.

Knoppix also allows you to install it to your hard disk, but if you really want to do this, I would recommend another distro, like Debian itself, or Fedora. Before deciding to install any Linux "flavor", I recommend a good backup of your Windows system, a thoroughly defrag (turn off swap before this and turn it on again after installing Linux) OR install a new HD (best alternative, in my opinion).

Hope this helps
Francisco


And after that you can

Luis Moreira wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\02\13@080817 by D. Jay Newman

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> As a starting point, I think it will be a good idea to play around with
> a "Linux live CD", as Knoppix
> (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html), for example. It is a
> bootable CD that puts your computer running Linux without having to mess
> with your hard disk, repartitioning, installing a non familiar OS...
> It's just a matter of downloading an ISO CD image, burning it to a CD

Gentoo Linux also has such an image: http://www.gentoo.org/
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2004\02\13@093516 by John Ferrell

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I had a brief affair with Linux a year or so back. Here is what I learned:
The Red Hat package that is available for $50 or so saves a lot of time. It
will require a lot of updates from their website but that is relatively
painless and is included in the price.

All hardware is not supported. This was a problem with motherboards and with
video cards. The hardware runs, but very slowly! The mother board needed to
have its supporting software loaded and there was simply none available that
would run with Linux. Although it was a 600 mhz machine with an 8G hard
drive it was very limited due to the performance. I wanted a full featured
machine so I had installed everything in the package. I have set aside the
machine for now and it will soon be loaded with Win98 and go to my grand
daughter. The Win XP PRO machine that I put together last year has put to
rest most of my Microsoft complaints. It is tough to hang it.

If you have a limited number of applications to run, Linux works fine. If
you have a lot of machines needing an OS, it is an economical solution.

John Ferrell
6241 Phillippi Rd
Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
.....johnferrellKILLspamspam@spam@earthlink.net
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{Original Message removed}

2004\02\13@094103 by Jeff LeBlanc

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Redhat 9 now supports most all hardware, the setup is painless and the
included KDE desktop is virtually indistinguishable from windows.(no
learning curve) plus the wine package, also included, runs most windows
programs.

{Original Message removed}

2004\02\13@101802 by User want's Debian

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Am Freitag, 13. Februar 2004 15:39 schrieben Sie:
> Redhat 9 now supports most all hardware, the setup is painless and the
> included KDE desktop is virtually indistinguishable from windows.(no
> learning curve) plus the wine package, also included, runs most windows
> programs.


Well guys, RedHat is crap! Try Debian if you want performance, but it is a
hard way for a Windows User to install Debian. Try SuSE if you want an easy
to install System that really works fine and with nearly all Hardware!
Of course there are lot's of other Distributions out there to try!!

If you want the heaviest performance you'll try to recompile every Software
Package on the target System ;-).

Oh, by the way, if you choose a Linux Distribution, keep in mind, that newer
Distributions are better for newer Hardware, that's because some unneeded
drivers for old hardware has been erased.

For a good starting point search out the distributions websites, they often
have a lot of info's and links about Linux!

MfG,
Do.Pe.

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2004\02\13@103459 by Tom

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Luis wrote (among other things)

>I blame society...
>best regards
>                Luis

Good idea, Luis! ;>

As for Linux, as mentioned already by Francisco J. A. Ares, get Knoppix.
Get it now. Check it out!

Why?  Because it will answer all your questions but one.  Here's how.

*Knoppix CD will load up and run Linux without writing *anything* to your
hard drive.
*Knoppix will test *all* of your hardware for compatibility.
*Knoppix has Open Office - rough equivalents to MS Office so you can find
out if it does what you want
*Knoppix also comes with many, many other applications for graphics,
multimedia, internet, etc.
*Knoppix can be installed permanently to your hard drive if your want
*Knoppix can help you set up a multiple boot system to keep your MS product
and use both

As for which version to get if you like it but want more than Knoppix has,
I have no experience with any of them other than Mandrake. Mandrake
installed 100% no problem with multiple boot to run Win98 as well.  It
supported all the hardware I had and the gui is more or less exactly like
Windows. In other words, painless to setup and try out.

Source: ??? I purchased mine through

       http://www.cheapbytes.com/

They have Knoppix for US$4.99 and the 3CD set of Mandrake 9.2 for US$6.99
so it doesn't cost much to do your part to bring down the evil empire and
crush them like a bug.

hth,
Tom

ps: see messages over the last month or so on how free software will
destroy society.

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2004\02\13@105953 by D. Jay Newman

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> As for Linux, as mentioned already by Francisco J. A. Ares, get Knoppix.
> Get it now. Check it out!

I think that Knoppix was specifically designed to see how Linux works
on your hardware and be a demo. All without touching your current
setup.

If Knoppix works, then Linux will work on your machine.

I've tried RedHat, Fedora, and Gentoo. I'm running Gentoo on my current
robot controller (OK, it still has to be hooked into the robot, but that's
for this weekend). I haven't finished pruning, but currently the entire
system fits on 2/3 of a 1 gig compact flash card (with the exception of
the development directories; those I NFS mount).

I run RedHat on this machine and on my main Linux box at home. I'm
thinking of changing that machine to Gentoo also, but that's a project
for another time.

I think that Gentoo's main advantage is the ease of updating. YMMV.
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2004\02\13@113108 by Luis Moreira

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thanks Tom
I will have a look at it,
I may have to go into reab. Know any good clinics ? :)
regards
       Luis

{Original Message removed}

2004\02\13@113316 by cisco J. A. Ares

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User want's Debian wrote:

> ...
>
>If you want the heaviest performance you'll try to recompile every Software
>Package on the target System ;-).
>
>
That's one of the ways that Gentto installs itself and also updates
everything. It first compiles the compiler, then the kernel and so on...

Francisco

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2004\02\13@114317 by cisco J. A. Ares

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That's a point one have to consider when switching to Linux: not all
hardware has drivers.

Also, configuring your hardware by hand in case something is not
automatically detected by the distribution instalation program is a task
for persistent persons: lots of info on the net about literaly
everithing, just have to "digest" all that.

If you plan to be a "heavy" Linux user, you'll gotta read a lot of man
pages, "HOWTO"s, discussion groups archives, original programmer's site
documentation, and so forth.

Francisco


John Ferrell wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>{Original Message removed}

2004\02\13@114941 by D. Jay Newman

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> That's a point one have to consider when switching to Linux: not all
> hardware has drivers.

Yes; I just got bit by that. I wanted my bot to have an 802.11g PCI
card, and only after I got everything together did I realize that my
card didn't work with Linux.

There is hope that somebody will write a driver for such cards, or perhaps
even I could, but right now I don't have the time.

> Also, configuring your hardware by hand in case something is not
> automatically detected by the distribution instalation program is a task
> for persistent persons: lots of info on the net about literaly
> everithing, just have to "digest" all that.

Once you install everything, things should run fairly smoothly. I'll
admit that the installation step can be a bit daunting. RedHat/Fedora
has an *extremely* user-friendly installer. Gentoo isn't too bad as long
as you follow the instructions.

And yes, Fedora did install and run on my VIA M 10000, as well as Gentoo.
I stuck with Gentoo because of the ease of configuration.
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2004\02\13@192142 by Nate Duehr

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On Feb 13, 2004, at 7:37 AM, John Ferrell wrote:

> I had a brief affair with Linux a year or so back. Here is what I
> learned:
> The Red Hat package that is available for $50 or so saves a lot of
> time. It
> will require a lot of updates from their website but that is relatively
> painless and is included in the price.

This is outdated information.  RedHat is not going to support their
desktop Linux after April.  Better options for desktop Linux are
available, especially for newbies.  MEPIS, Xandros, and Libranet all
come to mind, as well as the CD-ROM based stuff like Knoppix which can
be installed to a hard disk after launching from CD with a simple
script that's included on the CD.

What motherboard was that anyway?  A year ago a 600 MHz machine was
relatively "old".  Was it super-cheap or an off-brand?  It's good to
stay away from that level of hardware when using an OS that's developed
by the masses, for sure.

{Quote hidden}

I have worked with Linux since 1995 and can say that I'm finding it
very hard to believe your statement that a 600 MHz motherboard didn't
have proper hardware support, or at least by now it would be built in
to most distributions.  Usually driver support does lag by about a year
while the companies get open-source drivers available or someone
reverse engineers the hardware without proper published specifications
by trial and error.  To say that "all hardware is not supported" gives
people the wrong impression.

By definition, if the hardware manufacturers only open their
documentation to Microsoft prior to a release of new hardware -- yes...
it'll be a while before that hardware is fully supported on Linux or
BSD, or anything else.

An example would be modern video cards.  The manufacturers are so
competitive with each other they feel that opening any of their
documentation about how to interface with their hardware would give
away their "secrets".  Luckily most of the clueful ones (like Nvidia)
do release binary-only drivers that can be loaded as kernel modules...
but for the newbie or uninitiated this is daunting in that it means
they have to use the command line to get their system to a state where
it can run X and a graphical desktop environment.    Of course anyone
who really knows that Unix is Unix knows the command line and just
"gets it done" as part of a new machine build... thus scaring away a
lot of easily scared people.

> If you have a limited number of applications to run, Linux works fine.
> If
> you have a lot of machines needing an OS, it is an economical solution.

This is too broad a statement.  There are literally tens of thousands
of applications available for Linux -- what were you trying to do?? --
is a more important question than what specific software package you
needed to run.  There's almost always a reasonable alternative.  Debian
Linux's testing branch (the branches are "stable", "testing" and
"unstable") has over 13,000 free applications all available for
installation with a one-line command and a decent network connection
from hundreds of mirror sites on the web.

I do agree with you that XP also quelled many of my Microsoft quality
complaints, but the legacy of Outlook and Outlook Express and their
rampant security holes means that the average Joe loading those
applications (who doesn't know to properly patch his system nor run
anti-virus software) is nothing more than a menace to the
network-at-large.  The first thing they should teach new Windows users
is repaeat-after-me... http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.  Of course,
they automated it in XP, which is nice.

I think the T-Shirt I wear says it well...
Mac for Productivity
Linux for Development
Palm for Portability
Windows for Solitare

;-)

Nate Duehr, natespamspam_OUTnatetech.com

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2004\02\13@192803 by Nate Duehr

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On Feb 13, 2004, at 8:15 AM, User want's Debian wrote:
> For a good starting point search out the distributions websites, they
> often
> have a lot of info's and links about Linux!

http://www.distrowatch.com is a great place to start researching different
distributions.

Nate Duehr, @spam@nateKILLspamspamnatetech.com

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2004\02\13@193639 by Nate Duehr

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On Feb 13, 2004, at 9:43 AM, D. Jay Newman wrote:

>> That's a point one have to consider when switching to Linux: not all
>> hardware has drivers.
>
> Yes; I just got bit by that. I wanted my bot to have an 802.11g PCI
> card, and only after I got everything together did I realize that my
> card didn't work with Linux.

Almost all of the G cards are using the same chipset.  There is a
project out there that will use the Windows binary driver under Linux,
but I can't remember the name of it at the moment.  A google search
would find it.

Not much help, but maybe that'll be enough info for you to find it.

Nate Duehr, KILLspamnateKILLspamspamnatetech.com

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2004\02\13@194507 by D. Jay Newman

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> Almost all of the G cards are using the same chipset.  There is a
> project out there that will use the Windows binary driver under Linux,
> but I can't remember the name of it at the moment.  A google search
> would find it.

Thanks. I knew they used the same chipset (Broadside?), but I didn't
know somebody was working on it.

> Not much help, but maybe that'll be enough info for you to find it.

Well, if I can't find it, I'm not any worse off.  :)

Until I can get something working, I will be using an ethernet<->Wifi
bridge. It's only 802.11b, but that does the job.

Thanks!
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2004\02\13@212253 by John Ferrell

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Yes, it is outdated information.
Yes, it was an inexpensive mother board.
The video card was even older. a Diamond Stealth 64 as I recall.
That 600mhz machine works great for Win 98 for internet and general office
applications.

You might be surprised at the number of 600mhz/W98/Office 97 machines in
service.

John Ferrell
6241 Phillippi Rd
Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
spamBeGonejohnferrellspamBeGonespamearthlink.net
http://DixieNC.US
NSRCA 479 AMA 4190  W8CCW
"My Competition is Not My Enemy"

{Original Message removed}

2004\02\13@212253 by John Ferrell

face picon face
Yes, it is outdated information.
Yes, it was an inexpensive mother board.
The video card was even older. a Diamond Stealth 64 as I recall.
That 600mhz machine works great for Win 98 for internet and general office
applications.

You might be surprised at the number of 600mhz/W98/Office 97 machines in
service.

John Ferrell
6241 Phillippi Rd
Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
TakeThisOuTjohnferrellEraseMEspamspam_OUTearthlink.net
http://DixieNC.US
NSRCA 479 AMA 4190  W8CCW
"My Competition is Not My Enemy"

{Original Message removed}

2004\02\13@221806 by Picdude
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Also try http://www.linux.org/dist for a great way to choose a distribution based on the end purpose.

As relates to PICs, I have been maintaining (albeit slowly) this page for info on PIC development under Linux ...
  http://www.narwani.org/neil/electronics/pic_linux.html

Cheers,
-Neil.


On Friday 13 February 2004 06:27 pm, Nate Duehr scribbled:
> On Feb 13, 2004, at 8:15 AM, User want's Debian wrote:
> > For a good starting point search out the distributions websites, they
> > often
> > have a lot of info's and links about Linux!
>
> http://www.distrowatch.com is a great place to start researching different
> distributions.
>
> Nate Duehr, RemoveMEnatespamTakeThisOuTnatetech.com

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2004\02\13@221806 by Picdude

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Also try http://www.linux.org/dist for a great way to choose a distribution based on the end purpose.

As relates to PICs, I have been maintaining (albeit slowly) this page for info on PIC development under Linux ...
  http://www.narwani.org/neil/electronics/pic_linux.html

Cheers,
-Neil.


On Friday 13 February 2004 06:27 pm, Nate Duehr scribbled:
> On Feb 13, 2004, at 8:15 AM, User want's Debian wrote:
> > For a good starting point search out the distributions websites, they
> > often
> > have a lot of info's and links about Linux!
>
> http://www.distrowatch.com is a great place to start researching different
> distributions.
>
> Nate Duehr, nateEraseMEspam.....natetech.com

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2004\02\14@005142 by David Koski

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A 600mhz computer is "old"?  Ha!  I just installed Debian on a 100Mhz cheepo NEC
"everything-built-in" without major problems.  Although SuSE wanted more than
the 64Meg of memory that it had.  I am suprised that your computer had problems.
BTW, I ended up unplugging the HD and booting from the network, using it as an X
terminal to my 1800Mhz server.  Slick!

david

On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 21:24:52 -0500
John Ferrell <EraseMEjohnferrellspamEARTHLINK.NET> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2004\02\14@005142 by David Koski

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A 600mhz computer is "old"?  Ha!  I just installed Debian on a 100Mhz cheepo NEC
"everything-built-in" without major problems.  Although SuSE wanted more than
the 64Meg of memory that it had.  I am suprised that your computer had problems.
BTW, I ended up unplugging the HD and booting from the network, using it as an X
terminal to my 1800Mhz server.  Slick!

david

On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 21:24:52 -0500
John Ferrell <RemoveMEjohnferrellspam_OUTspamKILLspamEARTHLINK.NET> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2004\02\14@005345 by Nate Duehr

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On Feb 13, 2004, at 7:24 PM, John Ferrell wrote:

> Yes, it is outdated information.
> Yes, it was an inexpensive mother board.
> The video card was even older. a Diamond Stealth 64 as I recall.
> That 600mhz machine works great for Win 98 for internet and general
> office
> applications.
>
> You might be surprised at the number of 600mhz/W98/Office 97 machines
> in
> service.

No, I was saying "old" was "good" in the world of Linux driver
development... I'm still curious what it is.  ;-)

The Diamond Stealth was a really good card in its day.  It's
well-supported in X nowadays... was very hard to get running years
ago... I remember...

Not surprised at all about 600 MHz machines... my main Linux server
here at the house is a PIII 450 that smokes along doing its job just
fine and fast... I treated myself to an upgrade for the desktop last
year to an Athlon 2500, and the old desktop P-III became the
hand-me-down server.

And the Mac G3 500 MHz continues to do nicely on OS X also... lovely
GUI, real BSD Unix under the hood... virtually the best of all worlds.

Nate Duehr, EraseMEnatespamspamspamBeGonenatetech.com

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2004\02\14@005345 by Nate Duehr

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On Feb 13, 2004, at 7:24 PM, John Ferrell wrote:

> Yes, it is outdated information.
> Yes, it was an inexpensive mother board.
> The video card was even older. a Diamond Stealth 64 as I recall.
> That 600mhz machine works great for Win 98 for internet and general
> office
> applications.
>
> You might be surprised at the number of 600mhz/W98/Office 97 machines
> in
> service.

No, I was saying "old" was "good" in the world of Linux driver
development... I'm still curious what it is.  ;-)

The Diamond Stealth was a really good card in its day.  It's
well-supported in X nowadays... was very hard to get running years
ago... I remember...

Not surprised at all about 600 MHz machines... my main Linux server
here at the house is a PIII 450 that smokes along doing its job just
fine and fast... I treated myself to an upgrade for the desktop last
year to an Athlon 2500, and the old desktop P-III became the
hand-me-down server.

And the Mac G3 500 MHz continues to do nicely on OS X also... lovely
GUI, real BSD Unix under the hood... virtually the best of all worlds.

Nate Duehr, nateSTOPspamspamspam_OUTnatetech.com

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2004\02\14@010423 by Nate Duehr

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On Feb 13, 2004, at 5:39 PM, D. Jay Newman wrote:

>> Almost all of the G cards are using the same chipset.  There is a
>> project out there that will use the Windows binary driver under Linux,
>> but I can't remember the name of it at the moment.  A google search
>> would find it.
>
> Thanks. I knew they used the same chipset (Broadside?), but I didn't
> know somebody was working on it.

Broadcom -- that's it!  ;-)

I found a webpage on the MEPIS Linux support pages that has links to
virtually all of the known ways to get 802.11g drivers working on
Linux...

http://www.mepis.org/node/view/290

MEPIS really looks interesting... the guy is a one-man show (always
both good, 'cause they're motivated, and bad because they could
disappear overnight) that does his own highly updated Debian-based
linux distro commercially.  Looks like his support forums get used too
and I see answers in there from him -- which says something good...
he's probably burning the candle at both ends with a blowtorch, but
that's cool.

Nate Duehr, KILLspamnatespamBeGonespamnatetech.com

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2004\02\14@010423 by Nate Duehr

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On Feb 13, 2004, at 5:39 PM, D. Jay Newman wrote:

>> Almost all of the G cards are using the same chipset.  There is a
>> project out there that will use the Windows binary driver under Linux,
>> but I can't remember the name of it at the moment.  A google search
>> would find it.
>
> Thanks. I knew they used the same chipset (Broadside?), but I didn't
> know somebody was working on it.

Broadcom -- that's it!  ;-)

I found a webpage on the MEPIS Linux support pages that has links to
virtually all of the known ways to get 802.11g drivers working on
Linux...

http://www.mepis.org/node/view/290

MEPIS really looks interesting... the guy is a one-man show (always
both good, 'cause they're motivated, and bad because they could
disappear overnight) that does his own highly updated Debian-based
linux distro commercially.  Looks like his support forums get used too
and I see answers in there from him -- which says something good...
he's probably burning the candle at both ends with a blowtorch, but
that's cool.

Nate Duehr, @spam@nate@spam@spamspam_OUTnatetech.com

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2004\02\14@143131 by M. Adam Davis

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The only advice I have is that if you're serious about changing, jump in
with both feet, and commit yourself to it.  Realize right off the bat
that you won't be able to do everything you could do with windows in
your new linux environment, but you should be able to do everything you
need to.  Stick to it for several months, working through problems, and
you'll come out with a better understanding of the benefits and problems
of both operating systems.

-Adam

Luis Moreira wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\02\14@143131 by M. Adam Davis

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The only advice I have is that if you're serious about changing, jump in
with both feet, and commit yourself to it.  Realize right off the bat
that you won't be able to do everything you could do with windows in
your new linux environment, but you should be able to do everything you
need to.  Stick to it for several months, working through problems, and
you'll come out with a better understanding of the benefits and problems
of both operating systems.

-Adam

Luis Moreira wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\02\14@161109 by Allen Boehm

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the best distro I've used is SUSE you can start with Knoppix, just put it in
your cd and reboot it runs from the cd and allows you to run Linux from the
cd and when you feel good about it, buy SUSE discovery set 39.95 and get
with it. You would be better off with a good book, the best one for newbys
is Marcel Gagne' Moving to Linux go to http://www.marcelgagne.com
{Original Message removed}

2004\02\14@161109 by Allen Boehm

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the best distro I've used is SUSE you can start with Knoppix, just put it in
your cd and reboot it runs from the cd and allows you to run Linux from the
cd and when you feel good about it, buy SUSE discovery set 39.95 and get
with it. You would be better off with a good book, the best one for newbys
is Marcel Gagne' Moving to Linux go to http://www.marcelgagne.com
{Original Message removed}

2004\02\14@211536 by Nate Duehr

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On Feb 14, 2004, at 2:00 PM, Allen Boehm wrote:

> the best distro I've used is SUSE you can start with Knoppix, just put
> it in
> your cd and reboot it runs from the cd and allows you to run Linux
> from the
> cd and when you feel good about it, buy SUSE discovery set 39.95 and
> get
> with it. You would be better off with a good book, the best one for
> newbys
> is Marcel Gagne' Moving to Linux go to http://www.marcelgagne.com

Marcel also writes a very entertaining article in Linux Journal.

Nate Duehr, TakeThisOuTnateKILLspamspamspamnatetech.com

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2004\02\14@211536 by Nate Duehr

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On Feb 14, 2004, at 2:00 PM, Allen Boehm wrote:

> the best distro I've used is SUSE you can start with Knoppix, just put
> it in
> your cd and reboot it runs from the cd and allows you to run Linux
> from the
> cd and when you feel good about it, buy SUSE discovery set 39.95 and
> get
> with it. You would be better off with a good book, the best one for
> newbys
> is Marcel Gagne' Moving to Linux go to http://www.marcelgagne.com

Marcel also writes a very entertaining article in Linux Journal.

Nate Duehr, RemoveMEnatespamspamBeGonenatetech.com

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