Part one of my computer work at home is nearly complete. Last week I made the decision to remove Windows Vista from my laptop. I have the full retail version from Microsoft’s Technet, not a beta, but it just simply is not working out. But before I can get rid if it , I have gigabytes of data to backup. Thus my laptop’s weekend was constricted to backing up data (yes I just referenced my laptop in the 3rd person). However, playing around with my laptop got up my interest in playing around with my home desktop computer.
Currently my home PC is a Pentium III 800mhz, with 256 MB of RAM. I know, I know, horrible by today’s standards. However, this was a hand-me-down system from a friend and when I got it the system didn’t even turn on. I had to pop in some memory, a hard drive, and a PCI wireless ethernet device.. For simplicity I installed Windows XP at the time.
Now, working on my laptop got me interested in an old hobby: Linux. Again I originally installed Windows XP for simplicity, because I highly doubted that any flavor of Linux would support my PCI ethernet card out of the box.
I chose Fedora Core 6, a long-time favorite of mine. Many people swear over their children by Ubuntu but personally I’ve always had the best experiences with Fedora. The installation went pretty seamless. There was only one hiccup, where the installer said that the xcdroast package was missing or corrupt but after a few keystrokes of hitting the “retry” button it started working again; a slight issue reading the installation cd most likely. The total process took about an hour and a half I’d guesstimate, which is long for a Linux install, but also remember my horrible PC specs (I also chose to install a bunch of extras, such as French and Polish language support).
When the system was finished doing its thing I booted into Linux and was very delighted with the UI and simplicity of Fedora. It certainly has come a very long way from when I used to use RedHat 7.1. Unfortunately I was right and my PCI ethernet device did not work out of the box, so currently I have no internet access under Linux. After some brief research last night it appears as though I will be able to get it to work as long as I have pciutils and ndiswrapper installed, at which point I should be able to load the windows driver and get it to work.
Once this is setup my computer work will be halfway complete, although I must say this is definitely the more difficult part, as the laptop work consists of inserting a restoration cd and copying and pasting data. I will keep you updated with my progress on getting the wireless to work, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to venture into Linux.