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Home User installs

After an enquiry I (foolishly) agreed to install linux for a fixed price
($120) for a home user who had his previous windows setup hosed
(including virus scanner) by one of the worms/viruses doing the rounds.

I was tossing up between Debian and Mandrake.  While Debian suits my
needs (technical user/ administrator) perfectly, I was thinking Mandrake
might be better for a home user.  However, I went with debian in the end
because I have no Mandrake CDs, and anyway I know Debian much better.  I
think I made the right decision.

I installed stable with the gnome 2.2 backports.  He just wanted email,
browsing and a wordprocessor, so he's got evolution, galeon and abiword.
I had little trouble with his dialup modem (ltmodem driver required),
but I needed an updated driver for his crap integrated video.  (VIA
ProSavage).  Interesting, it would not work with a 2.4 kernel with the
standard VGA console driver, it _had_ to use the framebuffer for text.
I didn't determine whether the screen just stayed blank, or if it
actually froze the machine.  However, the framebuffer for text console
and the updated ProSavage driver for X seems to work OK. (Except for a
heap of "snow" whenever the machine does anything.)

I ended up using diald in a "semi-automatic" mode.  Not having a decent
dialup setup is one big problem for home users adoption of Linux in a
setup like this IMO.

It ended up taking me about two days, with downloading software I didn't
have on CD, changing programs at the user's request, troubleshooting
etc...  Actually, it wasn't as bad as it could have been...

Anyway, to come to the point, he says his children may be interested in
similar setups, so if anyone is interested in doing similar jobs
(hardware and all other details are completely unknown of course) let me
know and I'll pass your contacts on.

His children live in Spokane WA, and Santa Cruz, CA, USA.


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