[Techtalk] Newbie needs advice

Amy Hussey rpgirl1981 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 30 18:07:20 UTC 2008

On Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 7:20 PM, Juliet Halloran <tataloppit at verizon.net>wrote:

> Hello,
> I'm a college student with minimal Linux experience.  I have an HP laptop
> with 2 internal 80GB drives.  I want to put XP Media Center (which is what
> came with the laptop) on the 1st 80GB drive.  I want to partition the 2nd
> 80GB drive and use half of it for data and the other half for Linux.
> 1)    What is a good version of Linux to use and learn from?
> 2)   What kind of issues could happen from having a dual-boot?  Namely,
> will it work?
> 3)    What are some good websites and books I could use to learn Linux
> better?  I have some books, but they're from older distributions - Fedora
> Core 2.
> I already have some CompTIA certs and I want to get the Linux+ cert as well
> so I'd appreciate any advice about how to get proficient.
> Thanks!
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College student? Very cool.  I didn't get started in Linux til after I was
done with college.

1. Good distros to learn from... I'd say Ubuntu or Mandriva to start with.
For a more involved install, try Gentoo (but I don't recommend it off the
bat).  If you have older software, try Slackware.  Sometimes you have to
mess around with it and see what you can find that works.

2. I'm not having any issues.  When you reinstall Windows after
partitioning, make sure when you install Linux that you don't touch the NTFS
system.  That's your Windows partition.

3. Books: Running Linux, published by O'Reilly (written by Matt Welsh and
three others); Linux Phrasebook by Scott Granneman; Linux Cookbook by Carla
Schroder (our own!); and if you try out Ubuntu, I recommend the Ubuntu Hacks
book (a little out of date, but still has some good info.)
Websites: I recommend going to the forum of whatever distro you pick.
There, you will find a community of people who can help you with
distro-specific problems.  I also recommend getting a cheatsheet for Vi
and/or emacs.  Nano will not always be available for you to modify conf
files.  (http://www.eec.com/business/vi.html)  I've provided one, take a
ride on google to see if you can find something better.

Good luck, and I hope everything works!!

Amy (still a newb in many ways!)

FUD: Beware of the penguin.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati.  (When all else fails, play dead.)  ~~Possum
Lodge Motto

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