[conspire] Preparing dual-boot system

hirohama at gmail.com hirohama at gmail.com
Sat Jan 19 14:42:53 PST 2008


I'd like some recommendations on how to prepare my hard drives so that
I can install a multi-boot system next Saturday; I'll probably arrive
around 8 PM, so I'd like to do whatever preparatory work that I can
ahead of time. I'll probably just go with a few flavors of GNU/Linux
and maybe a free version of BSD. I'm new to GNU/Linux, so I don't know
what distributions might appeal to me most. I won't need to make a
final decision, as I can experiment and revise as I learn more about
what's available.

I primarily used BSD-flavored UNIX systems with X Windows as a
programmer during the decade of the '80s. I've only used Windows XP
and Windows 2000 for a few years, but have accumulated some data files
that I'd like to access via some Windows freeware applications. Is
there an Windows emulator under GNU/Linux up to the task for most
simple applications? As long as most work, I will be happy as I can
borrow a Windows machine to view and print out the few things that
might not work. Is there good support for burning disks under
GNU/Linux? Limitations?

The system is a eMachine T6520

CPU: AMD Athlon™ 64 3400+ Processor (512KB L2 cache, 2.4GHz, 1600MHz FSB)
Chipset: ATI RS480
Memory: 1024MB DDR (400MHz)
Video: ATI Radeon(R) Xpress 200 (PCI-Express(R) ) with 128MB DDR
shared video memory
Sound: AC '97 audio, Dolby 5.1 (6-channel)
(I'm not too sure what the following means.) Media Reader: 8-in-1
digital media manager [Secure Digital™ (SD), Smart Media, Compact
Flash, Micro Drive, Memory Stick(R), Memory Stick PRO, Multimedia
Card, USB 2.0]
Network: 10/100Mbps Integrated Ethernet LAN
Modem: 56K ITU V.92-ready Fax/Modem

I'll be in an environment with a wireless network signal. I don't know
whether I should get a wireless network card or an external receiver
that will connect to the Ethernet port. I'm wanting to reduce my
exposure to wireless signals, so the external receiver via the
Ethernet port might be my preference. Specific peripheral
recommendations would be highly appreciated.

Hard Drive 1: 200GB
Hard Drive 2: 80GB
Optical Drive 1: 48x CD-ROM
Optical Drive 2: 16x DVD±RW multi-format double layer

Possible OS if needed: 1: Genuine Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Media
Center Edition 2005 or 2: Windows XP Pro. Currently, a fresh install
of the XP Media Center 2005 is on the 200GB disk. I don't know how the
disk is partitioned--it could be a 200GB NTFS, and I can check if it
is important to know.

Thanks for being there and helping support the transition away from Microsoft!

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