advice please

Tim Chase blinux.list at
Thu May 1 10:33:18 UTC 2008

(sorry if this is a mailer gave an odd error when I 
sent previously, so I'm not sure it went through the first time)

> A work computer will shortly be spare to requirements and would be a
> good opportunity for me to begin using Linux. this PC is a 2.6
> celleron with 512 Mb of RAM.

These specs are considerably better than my own Linux box (an 800 
MHz celeron laptop with only 320 megs of memory) and it runs 
fine.  Not stellar, but fine.  It should run quite nicely on the 
box you describe.

Obscure hardware is the one piece it's hard to tell about:
-unsupported sound card (rare)
-soft-modem (if you have dialup rather than broadband)
-network card (NIC) or wireless built-in

The NIC isn't usually a problem, but sometimes wireless can be 

> I would appreciate any advice that would get me up and
> running.

I'd burn a bootable CD of your favorite Linux distro (such as 
Ubuntu, GRML, or I believe there's a Red-Hat live-CD with Speakup 
built into it) and just try it at work to see what's identified. 
  It might even be something you could test while the PC is still 
at work...just pop in the CD (might need sighted help to change 
the BIOS boot-order), and then probe around to see what does or 
doesn't work.

If you're comfortable in Dos, it will take you a short while to 
get used to the more powerful command-prompt in Linux (mostly 
learning the new names for common commands you already use), but 
once you get used to it, it's hard to go back.  I still use both 
regularly, and a true shell beats the pants off of Dos.

Linux also has a much richer catalog of software designed to work 
well from the command-line.  Text editors, calenders, browsers, 
email, todo-managers, calculators, spreadsheets, etc.  I've 
started cataloging some of my favorites (or ones I hear that 
others use commonly) at

Hope this helps,


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