Linux #4 - How to get Linux

By Pete | @kingpetey | 08 Oct 2002

By now you should have a good idea to what Linux is and the different Distributions available. However you may still be a stuck as to how to get Linux and where to get it. Here you have a couple of options, you can either buy one of the packages, download it or borrow off someone else. Prices for Linux normally range from about ?30 upwards and you normally get good value for money.

For instance the SuSE 8 package for ?40 gives you 7 CDs, a DVD, 1 boot floppy disk, 1 modules disk, 1 large reference manual, an applications manual, a basics manual and a certain amount of support. Now considering this package gives you all the software you will need to do most things in Linux it is great value for money. If you were in windows and paid for all this software it would come into excess ?1500 and that?s not including the server software.

Your other option when buying Linux is just to buy the copied CDs, quite a few shops do this and even the distributions site will probably have a service where you can just buy the CDs for around ?5-?10 (I know mandrake does). This is sometimes a good option if you want to try the distribution and you don?t have broadband. Your next option is to download the distribution, most offer this feature in something called an ISO image, this is quite handy as you only have to download 1 file per cd then using a cd writer burn the file to the CD.

The first CD is normally bootable so there is no need for annoying boot disks. If you are downloading and installing for a first time I suggest you use Linux-Mandrake as its very simple to use and easy to download. The one disadvantage to downloading is that your going to need at least a broadband connection to download these files as you will be downloading at least 600mbs per cd. A good place to look for ISO images is as it has a wide collection of a lot of the distributions latest releases.

Finally if you know a friend who has Linux then most probably you can borrow their copy. This isn?t illegal as it would be if you were using Windows. If this fails see if your area has a local Linux user group and ask if anyone would be willing to do you a copy of the distribution your interested in.

There are many good Linux distributions out there so how can you know which is the best? I have personally pondered over this a lot, trying what I feel to be the 3 main distributions, Redhat, Mandrake and SuSE and I have finally decided that SuSE is the best for me, however you may not agree.

Below is a simple outline of each distribution.

Redhat: This is probably the best-known distribution especially in the US and Europe. You can get Redhat for free online or if you need the support or more advanced features you can purchase it. Depending on the package you buy will depend on the amount of support you use. Redhat is best used on servers especially web servers, it isn?t the easiest distribution and isn't well known for its desktop use however version 8 tries to bring that gap closer with its new GUI.

SuSE: SuSE is aimed more at the desktop market and is by far the easiest to install and configure which is why it is my personal favourite. I would recommend SuSE to any first time users because of its simplicity and easy of use. SuSE also does a power pc version for anyone wanting to install on a Mac. Because of the way SuSE is you cannot download ISO images from the web however you can download the individual files.

Linux-Mandrake: Mandrake is probably the easiest distribution for new users in the way that it is easy to learn. It has little features that add to the usability of the operating system. You can download mandrake from the web but the package is more then good value to buy. Mandrake was the first distribution to offer a games package that includes games like The Sims.

Slackware: Slackware boasts to be the ?original Linux?. It?s not easy to install or configure and is defiantly not for the noobie. Slackware is great if you want to learn the inner workings of Linux especially if you want to become a Linux system administrator. Slackware is probably the ?geekiest? of all the distributions and it will be very hard to get to use, but in the end you will have a more personalised operating system.

Debian Linux:Debian Linux is one of the only fully free Linux distributions; there is no company behind Debian just a lot of dedicated open source programmers. Debian is very good for development purposes and many people use Debian to learn programming. In my view Debian is behind the rest of the distributions however it is still very popular.

There are many other good distributions including Caldera, Gentoo and Turbo Linux however I find it best to stick to the more popular distributions, as you are more likely to be able to find any support needed. I find the hardest thing when it comes to Linux is choosing your distribution, as there is such a large choice and things are constantly being improved from hundreds of different projects through out the world.

You?re probably thinking what is the need to try Linux when Window?s fills all my needs? Here are some brief reasons why you may want to give it a try.

1. Multi-user: More then one user can be logged into a single computer at one time. This is useful if you say need a friend to do something on your computer that you can?t do. I use this feature quite often when something doesn't quite work how I want it too, I just ask someone who knows what to do to connect to my pc and get it working!

2.Multi-process: Multi-tasking enables the operating system to run several processes at once, which is important for providing multiple services on one computer.

3. Multi-platform: Linux will run on Intel based PCs and PowerPC-based (Apple Macintosh) along with a wide range of other computers.

4.Flexible - You can configure Linux as a network host, router, graphical workstation, office production pc, home entertainment computer, file server, web server or about any other computer appliance you can think of. I know of one person who recently fitted a single board pc to a toaster then set up a web server to report how many slices of toast it has made. Strange I must admit but it does show the flexibility of Linux, as you clearly couldn?t do something like that using windows.

5. Stable: The Linux Kernel is extremely stable and its not often you hear of computers running for years without any downtime.

6. Efficient: The design of Linux will let you run it on almost any pc, from a old 486 pc to a brand new Pentium 2.8ghz machine.

7. Free: One of the best features of Linux is that it is free, if you had used the same software in windows as in Linux your credit card bill could be very large! However don't be put off when you do see prices for Linux software, you're normally paying for CDs, manuals or technical support its still great value for what your getting. You can normally expect to pay around ?30-?50 for personal distributions but you can normally download the operating system for free.

Linux #1 - About

By Pete | @kingpetey | 07 Oct 2002

This article will the first in a series of article explaining different aspects of Linux. I could spend hours talking about the history of Linux but you don?t really need to know it. This guide assumes a couple of things,
1. That you know how to use the basics of a computer including windows
2. You want to find out more about Linux.

I am no great Linux expert, however slowly over the last year I have picked up things from different sources, these include the web, books and people. Your first major leap when understanding Linux is value for money, you can download Linux for free if you like or you can buy it for a small price and get hundreds of packages with it which can cater for all your needs when using a pc. This is unlike windows where you end up with a computer full of cracked software or a large credit card bill.

Your next leap is that Linux doesn?t just come from one company, there are many companies that have their own versions of Linux, these are called distributions. Some of the most popular are Redhat Linux (, Mandrake Linux (, SuSE Linux ( and Slackware Linux ( Though all these distributions are similar they can have subtle differences, these will be explained more in a later article.

For those of you interested Linux started around 11 years ago by a Finnish man named Linus Torvalds as a project based on the Unix operating system. A team of programmers through out the world is constantly improving the kernel that Torvalds first wrote. What makes Linux different from its main rivals Microsoft is the fact that is an open source project, meaning that anyone get look at the original code behind the project. This many people argue is a good way of developing a program as anyone can contribute to a program to help fix errors in a program or add new functions however open source programs normally loose all commercial value when they go open source as anyone can get hold of the source code and compile the program for themselves.

One thing you will notice when browsing Linux related sites is the fascination with Penguins this is because the Linux mascot is a penguin named tux and rumour is it was because Linux Torvald was rather fond of the creators.

Another point to ponder is that Linux is not actually owned by anyone; Linux is constantly being improved and worked on by a number of people through out the world. Not even Linus Torvalds "owns" Linux. (However, the trademark "Linux" is owned by Linus Torvalds, so if you call something "Linux" it had better be Linux, not something else.)

Pickup Lines

By Pete | @kingpetey | 06 Oct 2002

For those of you who don?t have a gf/bf here are a selection of chat up lines that may help(I stress the may bit).

I know I'm not Jesus but I'm still pretty good!
All them curves and me with no brakes! - Sent in by a bloke from Leeds Uni.
I miss my teddy bear. Would you sleep with me?
That suit/dress looks good on you, but it would look better on my bedroom floor.
Is it hot in here, or is it just you?
You're dad must be a hunter because he sure caught a fox!
I'm feeling a little off today. Would you like to turn me on?
If I said you had a cute body would you hold it against me?
(A person says this to you):Excuse me, do you have the time?
(you reply): Do you have the energy?
That's a nice smile you've got, it's a shame it's not all you're wearing!
I know milk does a body good, but DAMN...How much have you been drinking?
Baby, I'm not Fred Flinstone, but I could make your Bedrock?
I wish you were a door so I could bang you all day long!
Nice legs what time do they open
Do you work for DHL I thought I saw you checking out my package
Can I buy you a drink or do you just want the money?
You`ve got 206 bones in your body, want one more?

Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk past again?
I'm new in town, could you give me directions to your apartment?
Can I have a picture of you? Only I want Santa to know exactly what to get me for Christmas.
I've never chatted anyone up before. Could you teach me?
Help the homeless... take me home with you.
Pardon me, I seem to have lost my phone number. Can I borrow yours?
What time do you have to be back in heaven?
Was you father an alien? Because there's nothing else like you on earth!
If I could re-arrange the alphabet I would put U and I together!
Hello, I'm a thief and I'm here to steal your heart.
Get your coat, you've pulled!!!
Your lips are like wine and I want to get drunk.

Disclaimer: use these at your own will!!! Be prepared to be kicked or punched especially if the girl/boy has a partner!! ImAFish am not responsible for any damage.