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Re: Wow, and some questions

On Sat, 14 Jun 1997, Alan Woo wrote:

> Hi,
> i was amazed at the help i got from you people at this list, i got a
> message about 20 minutes after i asked a question. That was amazing,
> thanks to all who helped. Anyways, things will hopefully soon be sorted
> out, and i will soon be a new linux user.
> I have very little knowledge of linux though, so i have a few questions.
> (i'm going to buy a book soon).
> 1) I am incredibly knowledgable in Win95/NT. will i be able to run both
> Operating Systems if i partition my hdd?

Sure, just don't install lilo the first time if you are not sure what it
does. Instead, use a floppy to boot the linux root partition from (you
could even put a lilo bootsector on a floppy.)

When you've got linux installed, read the lilo documentation in
/usr/doc/lilo (gotta install lilo first of course) and make a
/etc/lilo.conf to suit your needs. There are many ways to set up a
booting scheme, you can use a lilo partition boot sector and boot NT or
win95 (or actually their boot sector) from lilo or you can use loadlin to
boot linux from dos or ldlinux.sys from config.sys or you can add the
linux partition with a lilo bootsector to the NT bootloader setup. 

> 2) how do i install it (just a quick overview, i've read over the
> installation a lot, and it is really difficult to understand, for me...)

To intalll debian linux is remarkably simple: just boot from the
"rescue floppy" (or a "official debian cd" if your bios lets you
boot from a cd) and follow the menus in the install program. Doing it a
couple of times helps to understand better what you're doing <grin>. In
any case it isn't a bad idea to make a print-out of the installation
mannual that you can find on the www.debian.org site.

> 3) i'm in! it's AMAZING (i'm assuming), how do i set up communications
> for a win95 compatible modem? Now that i have it, can i download a web
> browser for it from win95 then open it in linux? or is disk format
> totally different?
>         - if so, what do i do?

If it is a "win-modem", forget it - obscure interface, no drivers for
linux (these things are so braindead anyway that you don't want to use
them in windows either.) If it's a plug'n pray modem, it may give you some
hassles; jumper it for a fixed irq or prepare to study the use of
isapnptools - the linux pnp utility. Very recent kernels have native pnp
support, but they don't come with stable distributions.
Linux can read a lot of disk formats. you can mount dos floppies just fine
- read the mount manpage ("man mount") or just use the mtools suite - no
mounting needed. You can also mount your windows95 vfat partition (fat32
needs a kernel patch though) and you can read ntfs partitions. 

4) What productivity software is available? (word processing etc) 

StarOffice (version 3.0 comparable to msoffice4.x, the new version 4.0
seems pretty comparable to msoffice95/97)

WordPerfect 7/8 (not sure which one is out now)

Of course there is tex, which is free and lets you do totally amazing
things, though most people would find it harder to use initially than say,
msword or wordperfect (you have to "compile" your document to be able to
print it :-) It is very interesting to investigate though.

Programmers (at least a lot of them) love emacs, because it can be (and
has been) extended and adapted to almost every functional environment. You
can do a lot with vi too, but it is certainly less gothic than emacs.



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