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Help with Linux selection please?

I have an X86 based PC (with a ATI AIW 8500 card) on my LAN that I'm expunging XP from and am trying to decide which Linux to install. I AM NOT :-) looking for a heated debate of which is best (whatever that means), but rather which might better facilitate a couple personal general criteria.

1) My wife will be using it for documents and communication. I'm sure OpenOffice will satisfy the documents use, and she prefers Thunderbird and Firefox for communications. Oh yes, she says she has to have her card games :<))

2) I mainly play at (I'm supposedly retired) software development on my PMac G5 using ObjC/Cocoa. I would like to be able to expand into the Linux world using GNUstep.

So, a combination of a simple home system and one on which an old SE can keep his head busy :-) I'm comfortable using Unix, but have had no experience using Linux.

Though it may be as unneeded as on a Mac, I'll want to include ClamAV or an equivalent. Some sort of firewall would also be a consideration, as well as a volume cloning tool for backup and whatever system maintenance tools might be appropriate. Maybe I'll even have more luck keeping it networked with my Mac than I had with XP.

Any comments are appreciated.

Thank you,
Lee C

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