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Picking the right distribution

Posted on 1997-08-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I am looking for a distribution that fits my computer's spec's

Gateway P5-200
64 ram
audiopci sound card
stb virge 8mb pci video
usr sportster voice 33.6 pnp fax internal
zip 100mb internal
hp deskjet 820cse printer
3.8 gig hard drive (win 95b)
1.6 gig hard drive (waiting on the right linux dist)

So, my question is, what would be the best dist. for my pc
considering my hardware, will they all be supported?
I've read about red hat and it sounds great except it supposedly
doesn't support pnp modems.  And I don't know much about (slackware).
Does it come with the easy to install rpm that red hat uses?  Any
comments or feed back would be much appreciated.

Blaze    bbarbre@jnpcs.com
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Question by:bbarbre
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Expert Comment

by:sauron
ID: 1629120
Id advise you to use RedHat. You may need to get the isapnp tools to get your modem up and working properly, but that shouldn't be too hard.
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jlms earned 150 total points
ID: 1629121
Lets go step by step:
-64 Mb RAM: no problem but beware!, you could have to tell Linux explicitly that the memory is there (for some reason some distributions recognize only 16 Mb and have to be told about the real amount of RAM).

-Audio and video card: you have to have a look at the how-to's about audio and video, they usually carry a list of supported devices. Check www.linux.org or www.redhat.com to find them.

-Modem: I have the same modem and had to disable the PnP funcionality, isapnptools didn't solve my problem, but of course I could have overlooked something...

-Zip drive: no problem, it is just detected as a hard disk, Nevertheless you can not write protect the disk.

-Printer: I don't know this one, I guess it does not accept PostScript, so could be problematic. Linux comes with a "translator" from PS to other things, including HP printer Languages, but results are not very satisfactory in my personal opinion. If the printer has the posibility to accept PS is much better.

-Hard disk: it has to be possible to boot from your hard disk for a nicer installation, if not you can boot from a diskette and "transfer control" to the hard disk. If the hard disk has more than 1024 cylinders could give you some problems, check in you BIOS if you can make it appear like having less cylinders (I think this means your machine supports LBP mode or somthing like that, meaning that the BIOS says your disk has a different physical geometry but keeping the same space).

Red Hat and Slackware are the best, no one supports out of the box PnP (not yet at least). Slackware does not come with rpm files and is somehow a little more difficult to manage for this reason. Sofware for Slackware is usually distributed using tgz files (tar and gzip). Nevertheless Slackware has a menu-driven isntallation procedure that is friendly enough.
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Expert Comment

by:dmercer
ID: 1629122
You will need to also get oss/free to install the sound card.  This can be found at http://www.4front-tech.com/.  Follow the links, download, and install.  It's very simple.  

Dennis
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