Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

This is a much later part of an earlier post that I broke up due to length..To see the original two parts Click Here for Part One and Click here for Part Two to see entire article of “Switching from Windows to GNU/Linux (a newbie’s guide)” for helpful information about GNU/Linux in a newbie friendly presentation.

This post, (Part Three) deals with two more reviews..First, if anyone noticed, I recently put up an announcement about the release of PCLinuxOS 2008.1-the Gnome Remaster (also known as PCLOS). The other distro I am going to review is Linux Mint, a “derivative” of Ubuntu. I will explain the use of “” later…Okay here we go………………….

First up, PCLinuxOS 2008.1 Gnome Remaster (whew! how about just PCL-G for now so remember that’s what it stands for!)
I downloaded PCL-G via a torrent Click here for the PCLinuxOS 2008.1 Gnome Remaster torrent page and I burned the iso image to disk using Brasero (it’s easy and just works) and then rebooted with the Live CD.<–confused? I will explain booting after the review! As usual with PCLOS, the live CD started right up. The only variation on the “norm” is that you have to log in on their live CD; easy enough either log in as “root” or “guest” and the password will be the same as the “username” you log in with (either root or guest). Immediately, I was impressed with the sleek look of this distro..I love a dark theme and this was it! Smooth lines and colors ooohweee it “shore wuz purty”; okay hahah, so anyway I went right to the menu to see what applications it came with…There was the usual Gnomish accessories, such as an editor and notetaker and a whole lot of multimedia programs for someone seriously into music and video..One really nice thing was that Compiz-Fusion (the eyecandy of the Linux box) was already installed and “ready to Cube!” lol..Furthermore, when I checked Synaptic (a major package manager) I noted that Opera (my favourite web browser) Brasero (my favourite disk burning program) and VLC (my favourite video player) were all listed..In addition, the MAJOR issue that has been plaguing Opera, the latest Flash Player update has been addressed with its own entry in Synaptic with an option for Flash Player 8 for Opera, even telling users about the potential (although very unlikely) security issue. (Although on a side note, I personally think Flash Player update was just trying to exclude Opera because they support Linux..but of course that is just paranoid speculation). So, since everything I wanted was there, I decided to install…
Aaaaaaand that is where I get a tad unhappy..
I clicked on the install to hard drive button conveniently located on the desktop and it went through a couple of steps, telling me I had to log out and log back in to install..(grr) okay, so I did..again and again…I couldn’t get past this step! After a few more tries, it finally started (no idea why that time and not the others) and I went through the install process which is pretty easy and installed PCL-G to my hard drive) Once I booted again (too much logging in/out required for my liking by the way) I was unable to change the color resolution from 16 bits to 24..Never figured it out either…The first thing I did was open Firefox and realized I was not connected to the internet; This is only the second distro I have ever tried that didn’t detect my ethernet automatically (the other was Puppy Linux, if you care). Fortunately for me, I knew how to fix this but it would be very difficult for a newbie to understand the various choices and options. So then, like I said, minor inconvenience for me but nothing I couldn’t handle easily enough. So then I went to download my “Big Three” applications I can’t do without..I found them easily, checked them and went to download…for some reason only Brasero downloaded; the other two had some kind of error message I had never before seen…hmm not cool!..I tried again and still had no luck. Sorry PCLinuxOS Gnome, I had to pass on this one; too many annoyances and disappointments and I had high hopes for this one too…I had been waiting to download it for weeks and what I got was not nearly as nice as what I expected..My older MiniMe was far better and I don’t even like KDE……I give it a C for performance, and A for appearance.

The other distro I am reviewing is Linux Mint…I downloaded Linux Mint 4.0 the main edition codenamed Daryna (all the editions are given a pretty female name..no idea why) All the various flavors of this 4.0 edition can be downloaded at the main Linux Mint page Click here to read more about Linux Mint and then you can Click here to download Linux Mint. I remember when I first visited the download page, I was confused (a major newb lol) so let me briefly explain what’s what…
If you just want the “Main Edition” you can skip this paragraph…
There are 7 choices of the same 4.0 Daryna version to choose from. Why? To try to give Linux Mint to everyone, no matter what type of desktop environment (or lack of one) they use…So first is Xfce..this desktop environment(remember that is what you see as far as windows, icons, panels and menus) is lighter and faster than Gnome or KDE because it doesn’t have as much as the other two..I have tried Xfce and it is just fine, somewhat of a “stripped down” version of Gnome but also very customizable. This desktop environment (or “DE”) is great for older systems or RAM memory challenged systems)…Next listed is the miniKDE edition..it comes with KDE instead of Gnome..Then, of course, the Main edition with Gnome and then the Light edition which is COMPLETELY open source, no non-free software or support for restricted drivers..this edition is great for militantly-free open sourcers or for those who live in countries where patents are enforced by law. (yes, in some countries, using non-free software is against the law)….Next is the KDE Community edition (a KDE remastering of the original) much like the miniKDE…Then, we have the Fluxbox edition…Fluxbox is a window manager but not a desktop environment, which is loved by those with VERY old computers, VERY low memory or those gurus who love the command line for all it’s worth. Finally, there is a Debian version…a “peek” at what Linux Mint would be like if based on Debian (cool!)……Okay, now that’s out of the way….
(Okay pay attention again!)I popped in the Live CD and I was delighted immediately by the nice, elegant look to it..(It’s Minty!) of course, I checked Firefox and I was connected to the internet right off the bat, no configuration required. Then I checked Synaptic and found my “Big Three” right there including the non-free flash plugin..it is the first of the trouble making flash updates so it works in Opera, just not really well so I compromise and use Firefox for my flash needs..Included on the repository is Compiz Fusion and I had a blast with “the Cube” but I couldn’t keep it for long as I have less than a Gig of Memory lol but it was a load of fun…and besides, the AWN dock is in the repo as well as Cairo-clock and there are advanced eyecandy settings in the menu..ah, yes, the menu…
The “MintMenu” is a lovely piece of work..it is the Gnome menu done right! There are 3 columns, and headings (places, system, and applications) the menu is searchable and you can also use the All applications at the top or look in sections..Additionally you can save applications as favorites, which have a menu of their own!! I love this menu, functional and elegant!! Then there is MintInstall, which a popup asks you what you are searching for..taking you to firefox and the option is presented with a download icon..from there you click download, then ok and mintInstall does the work! (It’s supposed to be “one click” but it is really 3 but hey, still super easy!!)..The downsides for me are that it takes a tad too long to start up and there is a screen that will hang unless I hit enter twice (shrugs) and on shutdown, clicking quit in the mintmenu will result in a hang also..not sure why but aside from being minorly annoying..those (for me) are the only downsides..I give it an A- for performance and an A for appearance. Oh yes, the “” from earlier about being a derivative of Ubuntu..Yes, Linux Mint is based off of Ubuntu but it is less of a derivative than it is a step to the left..(Huh?) Basically, in my opinion and that of many is that Linux Mint is what Ubuntu should be..

Now for the explanation of booting that I promised!
Making a “boot disk” of a Linux distro to try out:
Download the distro and save it somewhere easy, like the desktop..It will be in the form of an “iso image”…
Open Brasero…select “burn image” Burn existing CD or DVD image to disk…A little popup appears called image burning setup..underneath the heading “image”, it should say “path”..at the right is a little icon..click on it to browse your file system..select desktop and make sure you see the iso image file listed (something like Linux mint.iso) and click open..it will list that in the “path” line now..make sure the .iso file is in the “path” or you won’t get a boot disk.
Insert a blank disk..just cancel the window that pops up asking what to do with the disk..now, in the little popup in Brasero (the one you just changed the path in) click “Burn” and wait…
Now sometimes I noticed with GnomeBaker that if you tried to do anything while burning that disk, it would freeze..I don’t know about Brasero but I don’t have spare CDs to throw away so I don’t try to make it angry lol..I just come back when it’s done…It gets done and ejects the disk..put the disk right back in and click enter or “perform integrity check” or whatnot..this makes sure that the image file you just burned has all the stuff it’s supposed to have.

Rebooting with the Live CD you just made
Okay when you get you new disk ejected and close up Brasero, close out everything and click on quit..either do restart or shutdown, whichever you like…either way, when you (or it) turn back on the computer you will see two options for a few seconds (so be fast!)..They are F2 and F12…hit the F12 button to get to the “boot” menu…On my Dell, I hit the down arrow button til I get to choice 4, which is booting from the CD-ROM drive (it should say media drive, CD-Rom, DVD drive or something similar but it might be a different choice number, I’m not sure), then put in the shiny new disk you just made, then choose the option I just talked about and hit enter and the computer will boot up using the disk you made! It’s soooo much easier than it sounds and you can try out multiple distros without ever having to change your computer!!! Don’t worry, the computer will boot normally the next time; by default it boots from the hard drive (whatever Operating System you have on there already will run)

Okay you are ready and that took forever to type! Have fun!

All right fellow newbs, in the last post..I tried to make the argument for why GNU/Linux is wonderful and how everyone should make the switch..I may have forgotten some things but hey, I’m still a newb too!
In this post, I will be reviewing the distributions (distros, or “flavors”) of GNU/Linux that I personally have downloaded and tried out, which ones I liked or didn’t and why…all keeping in mind of course that there are features that I am not knowledgeable enough to try out yet lol…with GNU/Linux, one learns humility fast!
Okay, here we go….
We are now at the most fun (and most frustrating) part of the switch to using GNU/Linux..
According to the Wikipedia article on Linux distributions..there are currently over 300 distributions worldwide…(wow)…some of these are commercially backed (have funds to help them) and some are community driven (a few folks doing this because they love it)…Typically the more users a distro has, the more testing it has gone through and the more support it has (like anything else)..
One more thing to note is that all distros (distributions, remember?) are made up of hte kernel (core) and packages..Packages are made up of applications and services…just fyi…
Try exploring DistroWatch, which keeps track of all the various distros of GNU/Linux offered from people around the world, including their websites, features and reviews.
Once you have read a little about some of the major distros on the Major Distributions list (top of the page) you can either visit their sites to learn more about them now, or you can take a “test” made
for us newbs that will help you to make the right choice for you.
There are several tests or “distro choosers” out there.  One of the ones that I used was on the Zegenie Studios website..To start getting help choosing the right distro for you, just remember to answer the questions honestly!! There is no shame in not knowing anything about Linux and there are no “wrong” answers in this quiz..it is just to help you weed out a lot of the distros that will be all wrong for you, such as the ones that are more technical..you don’t want to start out with a technical distro when you are a newb…that would be like getting a graphing calculator when you are in first grade..pointless….Besides, as your skill level rises, you can always hunt down a new distro to fit your changing needs (it is a lot of fun trying them out!)
CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE DISTRO CHOOSER TEST now.  There is a question in the test about whether you are interested in Live CDs..choose yes on this..a Live CD is where you can run the CD and the operating system will run, allowing you to try it out without changing anything on your computer!  Cool, huh!
Okay so you’ve taken the test..Check out your results by visiting the homepages…here are some guidelines as to what to look for…….
1.  A FAQ page or list of common questions asked of the distributor.
2.  A list of requirements:  This is what specifications you need on your computer in order to use that distro.
3.  A place to download the distro…is it a mirror? or a regular page?  and believe it or not, I have come across the odd distro or two where I couldn’t figure out how to download it.  (probably not worth it to a newb)
4.  Support, support, support!!!!  Being able to ask the developers questions is important..that’s right, in Linux  you can email the maker of the application or distro and they actually answer back!!  Another important part of support is a user forum..where other users of the distro ask questions and post answers to help each other.  Another important aspect of this is…how nice is the forum (what did she just say??) lol..seriously though, if you are a newb and have a lot of questions, you don’t want some jerk telling you that you are too stupid for Linux; you want someone who will help you with real solutions that work!
5.  An important part of your distro will be the GUI (Graphical User interface) and Desktop Environment…Sorry, gurus, but us Windows refugees need our point and click lol..and if you are into eye-candy (especially the Vista users) KDE (i think) is the best, then Gnome…
6.  Check out the ‘packages’ listing the distro has..if they have one..if not, maybe they aren’t for the newb..Check and make sure that the things you will be using everyday are there…like the webbrowser you like, or a media player of some kind, email and an instant messenger…Try to find distros that work “out of the box” so to speak..these are the most newbie friendly.
Okay you got a headache yet??
Time for my Personal Review of the Distros I have checked out…All of the following were free dowload versions!!  Here we go!!!!
(In order of how I used them)
1.  Debian GNU/Linux
This distro was the first one I tried because I was a hopeless newb and this is one of the ones that kept popping up when I searched for a distro based on not having much RAM (only 256 MB).  Debian (named for the publisher, Ian, and his wife, Debbie) is very strict about only using free software, so there was no package for downloading Flash Player, which is required for my favorite browser, Opera.  I am also a command-line moron, so a graphical user interface (GUI) is very important to me..(What is it? basically–point and click, which is what Windows uses.)  The Desktop used by Debian is Gnome, which had somewhat of a similar feel to what I was used to..and was not sluggish at all, despite me having limited memory.  Debian has, I believe, the largest package repository in all of Linux-dom, so as long as it is not proprietary (owned by someone and not copyable) Debian has it!  All you do is open Synaptic Package Manager, search for your package, click apply and you are done!  Even better is if it’s a deb package, which has its own installer..open the package with the Deb Installer and you are done!  That is nice!  As a windows refugee and hopeless pointnclicker..I loved right clicking on the desktop to change it..the color picker is loads of amusement and downloading themes is a snap..
Okay what I didn’t like…the install took just this side of forever and was kind of unclear..I was soooo confused the first time I did it..fortunately I enjoy trial and error so I had to completely reinstall about 8 times LOL..so it got easier..but for a newbie it was really murky..I really hated aptitude..it was so hard to figure out..and like i said, command-line moron here! (which is my fault but still not newb friendly)…Also, I had issues with applications freezing solid..although the insty-quit button was nice..i had that right on the desktop for frozen apps..Support was vast, but a little too technical for my comfort.  All in all, under whatever kind of crazy guidelines I have..I give Debian Linux a B+, a little hard to learn to use, but pretty easy to use (does that make sense?)  And I did come back to it after trying out other distros….
2.  KNOPPIX GNU/Linux (two websites: http://www.knoppix.org/ and http://www.knoppix.net/)  (the first is a german based website, the other english based but both available in english)
Designed by a guy with the last name Knopper, this distro of Linux is pretty much the one that came up with the Live CD concept, which enables the user to run an entire operating system completely from a CD disk..I downloaded that and ran it..graphically it was pleasing..on the .net page it  says zero to linux in 5 minutes..true!  I got a tad confused on a couple of set up questions but I mostly chose defaults when that happened…the KDE desktop is my personal favorite and it was very pleasing to the eye..the downfall for me is that Knoppix isn’t really made for hard drive install so that was a deal breaker for me..but if portability is your major concern..Knoppix is great!  I give it a B…
3.  Puppy Linux
Already you have to love a distro that comes complete with a puppy desktop lol..of course, Puppy does refer to its size but hey that is one way to get people to try it out anyway!!   I tried Puppy Linux because it is a small distro, which is necessary for me as I have limited RAM..The Live CD was about 90 MB (yes seriously) and there were many programs jam packed into Puppy.  Great things?  Puppy has a very well organized and easy to understand website that will tell you all you need to know about Puppy..Not so great things?  Call me shallow but I didn’t like the way it looked..lol..sorry!  It really performs well though and if you aren’t as “eye-candy hungry” as I am, then it really is great, especially for older systems…I gave it a B-
4.  Feather Linux
This is another of the “small distros” available out there..I tried it out but I very quickly decided this one was not for me; it didn’t seem to recognize my monitor right..all the colors were messed up on it and of course I didn’t know how to fix it lol..It requires more technical ability than I possess as a newb…At 128 MB this compact OS is also another good choice for an older system..(That’s another great thing about Linux; revive your old PCs) Overall, I gave it a C
5.  Vector Linux
This distro I really liked…so much so that I installed it to my hard drive from the Live CD..Great things:  It came with Opera “out of the box” which I thought was AWESOME!  It also has Seamonkey..one of the Mozilla projects…Multimedia support including for iPods is included and overall, a really great OS.. The not so greats: The installation process is a newbie-nightmare…so I probably did something wrong, as it froze up after I installed it to the hard drive and refused to boot again, except from the CD which was less than I wanted..So, as much as I thought it was an A operating system, i have to give it a C- for freezing up and being an installation nightmare..
6.  PUD Linux
This version of Linux was what I had been looking for..a light version based off Ubuntu..the version of Linux Everyone who is anyone (lol) is talking about..so when I saw this more friendly to my RAM version, I got it…Now bearing in mind that the develper is Taiwanese (people do different things in different ways in different places) right off the bat I wasn’t sure about the website..The main page is in chinese? is there ‘taiwanese’? hmm sorry not sure..but there is an english page, no problem..There is a list of categories but no way to expand them to learn more about the features..Everything I learned about it was on DistroWatch..I can’t really review this distro well because my LiveCD was a little hokey..I’m not sure if it was corrupt or what happened but it froze up right off the bat..so I have to give this an Incomplete lol…
7. PCLinuxOS
Their website is a little hokey and hard to navigate for a newbie but once I downloaded the live CD ( I used the “MiniMe” download) I popped it in, rebooted and in less than 8 minutes I was using this distro…then as I kept using it and kept loving it more and more…I decided to hard drive install it (HDD install) and had no problems, except one; I couldn’t figure out how to install it to HDD..(if you have tried this distro you get the joke) there was an icon right on the desktop to install it to the hard drive LOLOL…my bad!  So anyway, I installed it…The goods: I love KDE desktop..and oddly enough the one thing I thought I wouldn’t like, the lack of applications on the disk, was actually perfect!  I just went to Synaptic Package manager, updated the repository list (places to get packages) and I just started picking what I wanted….and only!! what I wanted….it was great!!  The HDD install was a breeze, with a step by step point and click, pictures and all dream!!  I give this a good solid A…not an A+ because at some point there will be something I don’t like..otherwise, I love it…It’s a keeper!!

As a side note, I have also downloaded one more distro…Slax, based off of Slackware, the oldest continuing distro of GNU/Linux…I just never tried it out because I found what I wanted…
Okay fellow newbs…hopefully my ranting and longwinded discourse was helpful in your choosing of the right distro (for you!)…Just remember, keep in mind what your needs are and don’t worry about what someone else says is “the one you should get”…you may be a newb but you still know what you want!  Do your homework and be willing to learn….Good luck and happy computing!

So, you have decided to be rid of your not so Micro-software and jump into the GNU/Linux world…Great!  The problem is that you are a complete newbie or a Windows refugee…That’s okay!  Linux takes everyone and just about every kind of computer you might have.  You have heard many rumors, no doubt, like “Linux is sooo hard to learn!” or “You can’t do nearly as many things with Linux as you can with Windoze” or some other such thing..
So let’s start off with some clearing of the air about GNU/Linux…
Question and Answer time:
1.  Um, what is GNU/Linux? And what is a GNU?
—It all began with Unix, an operating system for which all the internet was made from.  Taking the Unix system and developing it (freely!!), the GNU project (which stands for Gnu’s not unix) was published in 1985.  Being a not quite complete system, the GNU project combined with the work of the infamous Linus Torvald, who created a kernel for an operating system he called Linux (a combination of his first name and Unix, released in 1992 freely!).  The GNU project and Linux Torvald collaborated and became GNU/Linux which is now used by millions of people who believe that knowledge should be shared freely, rather than monopolized by a few.  GNU is an a large antelope type of animal also known as a wildebeest.
2.  Hmm…okay..but what exactly does GNU/Linux do?
—–GNU/Linux is an operating system for the computer.  An operating system is kind of like the translator between you and your computer…the computer doesn’t speak your language and you don’t speak its language, so you ‘talk’ to the Operating System and it ‘talks’ to the computer.
3.  How is it different from what I have been using? (i.e. Microsoft)
—–GNU/Linux is different by virtue of being free.  When I say free, I don’t mean free as in “free beer” but free as in the liberty to take the source code and change it however you like, without having to pay someone else to be able to do it.  Often times, though, it is also free (as in beer) which makes it hugely different from Windows, especially if you have ever had to replace of copy of that, OUCH!
4.  So why should I be using GNU/Linux?  The name seems complicated by the way!
—–If you enjoy paying a hundred bucks just for the copy of Windows that your computer has, then so be it.  If you don’t have a problem with not being able to put your files where you want to without downloading a special program like TweakUI, then GNU/Linux isn’t for you…If you have never said “I really hate Internet Explorer because it is slow and unsafe” then by all means, keep Windows..but if you like being in complete control of your computer, being able to surf the internet without constant fear of viruses and being able to use a different webbrowser or if you hate Media Player and want to use something else….with GNU/Linux..you can!!  And as for the name..call it Linux if you want, but if you are talking to a guru (i.e. GNU/Linux expert) you might want to call it by its proper name lol. (most people probably have a hard time with the word gnu..)
5.  Okay, then so IS GNU/Linux hard to use?
—–Honestly, it can be, depending on the distribution of GNU/Linux that you choose…if all you have ever used is Windows, then it is probably advisable to start with a version of Linux that is specifically aimed at Windows refugees.  (Don’t worry I will go into detail about that in Part Two of this post.)  As long as you are willing to learn and are good at reading (because there is quite a bit to learn lol) then you should make the transition just fine.  Additionally, there is no need to abandon the safety net until you are ready..there are always Linux versions that will help you set up a dual-boot system, which means you can run Windows and Linux on the same computer.
6.  Okay, I am all about being in charge! What do I do now?
—–The first step to getting GNU/Linux is do to a little research in order to find out which distribution (or “distro”) is right for you…A distribution is a version of GNU/Linux that someone or someones wrote and decided to publish..In other words, some computer geek said “I want my computer to do this…” and designed it to do just that..then, they wanted to show it off and/or share it with the world (“heyyy look at what my computer can do”) and they would publish their version, or distribution…If others liked it, they would get it for themselves, which resulted in several very well known versions of GNU/Linux and many not so well-known versions..

Okay then, if you are hooked on the idea of complete control of your PC and excited about the possibilities of maybe someday designing an operating system that does exactly what you want it to do, then it’s time to “pick your flavor” of Linux.  This is probably the most exciting (and the most frustrating) part of choosing GNU/Linux…remember when I said complete control?  That means all the decision making too!! lol….My next post will specifically deal with several different distros of Linux, in order to help newbies decide which one suits their needs….

Okay Bloggers I understand I might have committed a cliff-hanging no-no…I left it a bit too long!! lol…it wasn’t intentional, to be sure…I merely meant to divvy up the blog posts in order to not have one gargantuan post (because I can digress like nobody’s business) and I went and did something I wondered briefly if I might do…forget to post the rest!
Okay, so for the rest of the Windows to Linux saga!
First of all….I have the memory capacity of a fruitfly..I can’t remember commands for the command terminal to save my life…so I must say..the Help feature in the Gnome desktop is an absolute LIFE SAVER!
At first it was hard for me to figure out how to download programs (or packages as they are referred to in GNU/Linux land) but I finally realized that the “stuff” that packages are made of tend to already be listed or lurking somewhere, so that mostly it’s just a matter of selecting the package and installing it…Aptitude and Synaptic Package Handler are great for doing this…
Now, on a farrrrrrrr less technical bent LOL…some of the things I really enjoy about my Gnome desktop…
First, at the bottom of the screen is one of those application bars that one just can’t get away from no matter what OS you use..lol…or so I thought…you should have seen the look on my face when i clicked on the edge of the bar and the whole thing rolled up into nothing! that was awwwwwesome!!!!!
I love the “drawer” feature..just what it sounds like..a little icon of a drawer and you can put whatever applications (programs) you want in it and they are nice and neatly tucked away but in plain sight at the same time!!
Oh!! Did I mention I have like 5 web browsers???? LOL
And since I am still figuring my way around the applications (programs) menu, how about instead I make my own? that’s right i can do that too!!!!
Awww darn it, I just had an application freeze…that’s okay, force quit shuts it down RIGHT NOW, not in 10 minutes, but NOW! lol
How about visual bliss? Want to change the desktop? Right click on it..a whole list of desktop backgrounds comes up..pick your pleasure!..want one of your own? just click add wallpaper, it will open the file for you!…or how about no desktop..maybe you just want a certain color…no problem, just pick the one you want..out of Thousands!!!
Yeah, I am lovin this already, and I am still a hopeless newb!!!!


Okay Bloggers…
Didn’t want the “endless blog” so I thought I would leave a little cliffhanger for the last blog…
Every now and then a sequel is better anyway, right? Well, that’s the theory anyway…oh well I guess it worked for Shrek and from the previews I saw..it just might work with the Incredible Hulk too..(btw, I think Edward Norton is a great choice…going toward a more original Bill Bixby feel)
I digress….a lot.
At any rate, where was I?
Ah, yes……I installed Debian Linux on my machine..which is a simple little Intel Celeron with just a mere 256 RAM.
Which is no longer quite so simple!…Before I accepted the nature of my box’s lack of ability to play “with the big dogs”….Now, with Linux..my computer IS a big dog…and it runs damn fast!!!
I have even already made critical newbie mistakes that have totally crashed Linux but it’s okay I just pop the disk back in and reboot and it’s all good once more!! (of course I have my important data on disks)

Every time I do something stupid, I just learn more and there are great forums out there for help for even the greenest Linux newb, like me! I have especially found that Ubuntu Linux has an extremely well thought out, well organized forum that so far has been of the most assistance while still keeping it “newbie real” although of course for Debian specific issues I go to their help forum…for right now, just learning my way around has been a crazy rollercoaster ride of “what’s this button do?” and “aw hell” and “wow!! my windows could never have done that!!!” all the way to “that is toooootally bad@ss!!!”So, what then do I have to say about my Linux experience thus far??