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Re: MS Vista prep
Well, there are live CDs, I suppose. Knoppix is a very popular live CD,
although Ubuntu has recently brought out a live CD. I think live CDs are
OK for quick plays, but if you actually want to use a Linux distro, then
live CDs aren't that good.
For Linux, there's horses for courses. My favourite Linux distro is
Ubuntu, so I highly recommend it. It's Linux which "just works". You can
install it, it has a nice desktop (Gnome), and it even connects to a
shared Windows workgroup using Samba (not sure if you're familiar with
the concept). Plus, Ubuntu has "apt-get" - a great way of downloading
new software from Ubuntu, because it automatically installs
Ubuntu is derived from Debian. What I don't like about Debian is that
you either have to have a bundle of disks to install from, or else use
the network install disk. I don't really like either, because there are
quite of lot of Debian disks that you need, and network installation is
inconvenient if you mess around with distros as much as I do (it takes a
long time to keep downloading from the internet).
Slackware is the oldest, and still a good, Linux distro.
You can see a list of the most popular distros at
For my money, I recommend Ubuntu.
If you want a different take UNIX, try one of the *BSDs, which many
(i.e. the people who use BSD) claim is superior to Linux. I've never had
that much luck with the bigger BSDs like FreeBSD. I tried PC-BSD:
which looks quite good - but it clobbered the mouses when I switched
using my KVM, so that was the end of that. A BSD that is gathering a lot
of attention is DragonFlyBSD:
Or, new to the whole UNIX field is OpenSolaris. That's right. Sun
appears to be opening up their Operating System, and it's available from:
I haven't tried it myself. I might one day, although I'm in no rush
because Ubuntu does everything I need anyway.
The above a pretty mainstream. Places to look for news about OSs are:
Along more esoteric lines is MenuetOS:
It's not good for much, it has to be said, but it is noteworthy in being
an operating system, with a GUI, and applications, *that fits on a
floppy*, and is written in assembler. Seeings as it fits on a floppy,
it's not as if you've wasted too much time when you get bored with it.
Check out the screenshots, and you're sure to be impressed what one guy,
writing in assembly, can produce. It's got TCP (but good luck finding a
supported card), and some applications. I must say, I'm really impressed
by what the guy has achieved. You know, you see this kind of stuff, and
begin to wonder what the hell is going on in computing. Dual core
processors, water cooling, 250G hard drives; everything is turning into
a technological arms race between the software and hardware suppliers.
Then this guy comes along, bungs the whole OS on a floppy. For shame,
Ubuntu. A nice all 'round distro, easy to install, doesn't try to shove
garbage on you, and easily expandable.
Indeed. I had an Amiga 600 in the early 90's. I came across the AROS
website earlier this year, so there it was very nostalgic for me.
I recommend either arosmin:
or the latest development version:
I think you'll be suprised at just how cool it is. There are some nice
eye-candy demos there, plus a few games.
They both unpack to an ISO that you can run as a live CD. I've got some
installation instructions in case you want to do a HD install:
I stress that you should only attempt an installation on a free machine
which you don't mind the possibility of mangling your partitions.
AROS has many things to iron out; but still, it's quite nice.
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