How To Assemble A Desktop PC/External links

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Discussion forums

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Operating systems

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Here are some links to Windows and Linux pages which might be useful when you have to choose an operating system. Be careful and do your research to make sure you get the OS that's right for you. To download the CD images (*.iso) for making installment CDs, you will want to have a DSL connection or faster, since files are often around 700 MB (the size of one CD). Some distros are larger than one CD.

Downloading tips

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  1. Download each ISO file separately. If you do them all at the same time, it will eat bandwidth and take lots of time to download.
  2. Do not use dial-up! It takes 3 hours to download a 12 MB Internet Explorer install package on dial-up. Dial-up is also shared bandwidth, so if you download, everything for most other people goes extremely slow.
  3. Don't download anything you think is unsafe. I recommend downloading items with proper names and the names of companies. Don't download something like "WW32@Bugbear.3.E" or "timestamp maker". Download stuff like "Adobe Acrobat 7.0.7" or "Macromedia Flash Professional".
  4. Virus check, and validate with the file's MD5 checksum before using. This ensures the download is not rigged or damaged.


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Fedore Core
Based on Redhat, this is the newest Redhat supported distro available. Has most of the features that Redhat once including a new "bleeding edge" interface. This has become about the second most powerful Linux distros on the web.[citation needed]
The Mandriva Distribution
A common one with multiple uses.
The SUSE Distribution
Comes in all shapes and sizes. The OSS or the "Open Source Edition" is a set of four downloadable isos with many open-source programs that are useful if you want a low cost office. The Novell Edition is the paid for edition including stuff like StarOffice, Mesa, commercial/proprietary software. So if you have a business, where you want quality and good tools for your money then buy that.
The Ubuntu distros
A very popular distribution, Ubuntu is an attempt at "user friendly" Linux. Canonical Ltd. started Ubuntu with a 10 million dollar grant, and in less than a year has become a major player in the Linux field. All these distros can be configured as servers as well as running on their own.
  • Ubuntu The standard Ubuntu edition comes packaged with the GNOME desktop environment and lots of other open source software.
  • Kubuntu The same as the Ubuntu edition, except it runs KDE (K Desktop Environment) instead of GNOME.
  • Edubuntu Edubuntu in the educational release of Ubuntu running GNOME or KDE and having more than 100 educational pieces designed for use in the classroom. In fact, five school districts in the United States now use the Edubuntu product, but of its educational functionality.
  • Xubuntu Ubuntu with the Xfce desktop. Good for lower-end systems.

Live CDs

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Live CD Linux Distros are some distros that you can use in kiosk mode or just for testing out the system. They are very useful for demonstrating the capabilities of Linux.

Advanced Linux distros

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Note: this section is only for pros. If you do not want to damage your newly built computer, stick with a Linux distribution above, or ask your nearest computer geek to help you. This is your final warning!

Gentoo is an advanced Linux distribution with one of a few nice features including Portage. When you connect to the Internet, there is a portage folder which has thousands of software, and software libraries at your disposal. Cons: Need a geek to set it up. Refer to the instruction manual on the Gentoo Documentation page before you commence installation.
Good Distro, though not up to date with good graphical interfaces. If you want something newer, get a distro above. Cons: Requires a geek to install apps in Slackware.

Microsoft Windows

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Microsoft Windows is an operating system started in the late 80s after Apple Computer created the Macintosh. This is the OS running on the majority of PCs. Unlike open source systems like Linux, Windows is proprietary, and so must be purchased with a license. It is relatively easy to use, and runs on all PCs (except for Apple PCs, which run Apple's proprietary MacOS).

NLite is a free and legal[citation needed] tool to help you pre-install drivers and customize your Windows setup.