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Author Topic: Computer questions  (Read 671 times)

41mag

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Computer questions
« on: January 11, 2007, 08:48 PM NHFT »

My mother is sending me her old (about 3 years) desktop computer.  I'll be using this as a backup for my computer.  I do have some questions I hope someone here will be able to help me with.

It is a Dell (I think) that is currently infected with windows.  I plan to remedy this by installing Linux.  I'm currently running Yellow Dog on my Mac so I am somewhat familiar with Linux.  What is a good (and free) distribution for the Intel processors? 

I recently got back on the internet with Comcast. I know I have ipchains installed, but have not yet configured it.  Any tips would be appreciated, or would there be a better firewall for Linux (PowerPC)?

Since I will soon have two computer I was wondering how to go about networking them.  Probably the cheapest thing to do would be to add a second ethernet card to one of the systems and use it as a gateway for the internet.  I was wondering how difficult it would be to set up a restricted, secure wireless network?  Would I need just the cards for both computers, or do I also need a router/hub?
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Dreepa

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Re: Computer questions
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2007, 09:56 PM NHFT »

I used RH Fedora.

I use a hub for my 3 computers. ($40 hub.)

Not that that info helps you any. ;)
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error

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Re: Computer questions
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2007, 03:12 AM NHFT »

If you're already familiar with Yellow Dog, then Fedora Core will probably be your best bet. (And it runs on PowerPC now!)
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penguins4me

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Re: Computer questions
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2007, 06:41 AM NHFT »

I've not used Yellow Dog, so I can't suggest a distro which would be similar to it. However, I'd personally recommend against using Fedora unless you plan to do a lot of updating - i.e., "play" with Linux. Since you'd mentioned you wanted it to be a spare PC of sorts, I'd venture you'd like something more suited to that.

Debian would be the obvious choice, in that they hardly ever use bleeding edge anything, but stick with the older, tried-and-true versions of applications, backporting patches and such as needed. Mandrake is akin to what Red Hat used to be, and is/was one of the more streamlined distros. Slackware is the "traditional" choice, if you prefer to edit configuration files yourself, rather than relying on distro-specific tools and file locations, etc. - they're likely to have a nice GUI setup nowadays, as well.

Those just a few of the more general "desktop"-type distros out there - there are a lot of others to choose from if you had something more specific in mind.

As for the networking aspect, if you're just starting out in the networking world, I highly suggest buying a set-top home router for $50-100 from Fry's Best Buy, newegg.com, etc. They allow you to share the one IP address you're usually allotted by your ISP, keep hostile systems on the 'net from connecting directly to your systems unsolicited, and usually have a built-in hub for 4-6 PCs. Linksys, D-link, and Netgear are a few decent brand-names.

As for the wireless aspect, well, books have been written about that subject. My concise advice: if you do not NEED a wireless network, don't use one.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 06:43 AM NHFT by penguins4me »
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error

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Re: Computer questions
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2007, 08:04 AM NHFT »

Debian would be the obvious choice, in that they hardly ever use bleeding edge anything, but stick with the older, tried-and-true versions of applications, backporting patches and such as needed.

You say that like it's a good thing. For some people and some circumstances, it is. For other people and other circumstances, it is not.

One of my big complaints about Debian was just that: all the software wasn't just old, it was TOO old. (I have other big complaints about Debian, but they aren't relevant to desktop users.)
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aries

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Re: Computer questions
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2007, 11:44 AM NHFT »

I use debian etch and the unstable repositories so I get pretty bleeding edge stuff. I also end up compiling what I can from source. It depends on which version you use... There's also a million deb-based distros like mepis and ubuntu that stay cutting edge.
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