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  1. I would really recommend Knoppix. As mentioned above its a live-cd version, so all you do is download the iso, burn it, put the disk in, reboot, and your running Linux. You can even save your files and continue where you left off after a reboot with the Persistent Home file. I am new to linux but have been experimenting with the Live-CD versions since I have an NTSF hdd and don't want to repartition it at this time. Also, Knoppix has over 2 GB of apps installed. See www.knoppix.net. If you want to get a feel for Knoppix before you download the 700 MB iso file, download slax (www.slax.org) because its a stripped-down version of Knoppix at only 150 MB. Does anyone know if Mandrake Move, the live-cd version, is worth downloading, or is it just a demo?
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    Don't bother with MandrakeMove. Its now where near as good as the live knoppix cd.
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  3. Don't bother with MandrakeMove. Its now where near as good as the live knoppix cd.
    Thanks, now I don't have to waste my time downloading it!
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  4. Slackware.

    Over the past 4 years, I've tried Red Hat. Suse, Mandrake, Gentoo, Debian and others.

    The problem with most of them is that they try to do too much. I end up with errors that I don't understand, and problems that make no sense... then I go to the command line and change something manually... but then when I go back to the desktop environment, it gets changed back!!! A very frustrating experience..

    Slackware doesn't try to do too much. It keeps it simple, and that's why I like it.

    If I can't find a package for the program I want, fine. I'll just compile the source. 99% of the time all that's required is ./configure; make; make install. Just check the INSTALL file to make sure first.

    If I want to change a setting manually, it's much easier to find than it is in debian for example.

    It also starts up faster than any other distro I've tried... because there is less distro-specific junk getting in the way.

    The more important question is which desktop environment/window manager... I've been using WindowMaker for a few months now, and I prefer it for the same reasons I prefer Slackware.
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  5. Slackware.

    Over the past 4 years, I've tried Red Hat. Suse, Mandrake, Gentoo, Debian and others.

    The problem with most of them is that they try to do too much. I end up with errors that I don't understand, and problems that make no sense... then I go to the command line and change something manually... but then when I go back to the desktop environment, it gets changed back!!! A very frustrating experience..
    I completely agree! Its so frustrating to have a GUI that tries to do more than you want it to. I have tried and love slax:
    www.slax.org
    which is a slackware live-cd distro. Is this as good as what you are talking about? I would like to do an hd install of slax, but my hd is ntsf. Maybe I wil buy another hd and install it.
    Could you give me a recommendations & links for some slackware versions (any version is great, including live-cds)? What is your personally favorite?
    Personally I have found that Knoppix is good too:
    www.knoppix.net
    I also found an interesting distro called Topologilinux, which makes an image file on your ntsf partition and boots from there:
    www.topologilinux.com
    Its okay but I can't get networking to work.

    The more important question is which desktop environment/window manager... I've been using WindowMaker for a few months now, and I prefer it for the same reasons I prefer Slackware.
    I completely agree on this too! I'm at a point in my computing experience where I don't need the GUI to hold my hand on every little decision. I an not very fluent in Konsole let or anything like that but its nice to use a more basic windowmaker so it speeds up your processes and doesn't do stuff behind your back. For instance, I have my Knoppix Persisten Home on the little space left over on my (fat32) hp recovery partition. XP keeps poping up with a bubble saying that I'm running out of space on that partition and need to clean it up.

    Thanks for any help that you can give! It sounds like your the right person to talk to!
    One more thing, have you ever heard of Yopper Linux?
    Garibaldi
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  6. If I were you I would get a cheap used computer and do a harddrive install of a real linux distribution... Live-cds are fun for toying around, but they aren't really made for stability.

    I have tried topologilinux too, but it did something weird to my Windows install which required a reinstall... I don't remember the details, but I'm not going to be doing that again.

    Just try to keep it simple as you learn. If you choose to go with Slackware, you will learn what you need to know about Linux, which will help if you use another distro later.
    http://www.slackware.com.

    There is a book you can download from there and print out... or you can buy the same book for $25 as a paperback bound edition titled "Slackware Linux Essentials".

    If you choose to use WindowMaker, just keep in mind that it is not a "desktop environment". That means you will have to pick out the basic little applications (like notepad) yourself. But I like it much better than Gnome, which makes it very difficult to change anything.
    http://www.windowmaker.org

    Ive heard of Yoper Linux, but my impression is that it's just a gimmick, the idea being that you can install packages from any distro...that's not the way to make a stable distribution.

    Like I said before. If you can't find a particular piece of software packaged for your distribution... the easiest thing is to just compile it yourself.
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  7. If you choose to use WindowMaker, just keep in mind that it is not a "desktop environment". That means you will have to pick out the basic little applications (like notepad) yourself. But I like it much better than Gnome, which makes it very difficult to change anything.
    Alright, I'm downloading Slackware... (its only 2 disks, right? The other two are source?). As far as windowmaker, I looked at a couple of the screenshots and am very impressed! Does Slackware come with it installed, or do I have to install Gnome or something else first, and then download and install it? Also, could you go into a little more detail about picking out your basic apps?
    Thanks alot,
    Garibaldi
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    Slackware has that as an option when you install. The 1st CD is the base install, the 2nd CD is KDE/Gnome, and some other X related things. XFree is on the first CD. Slack arranges their apps a little different than other distros. They are in groups

    a
    ap
    d
    e
    f
    gnome
    k
    kde
    kdei
    l
    n
    t
    tcl
    x
    xap
    y



    Those are the groups. Once you install Slack, and if you're familar with linux, you'll see what's in each group. Also goto http://swaret.sourceforge.net/index.php and download the newest swaret. (Yes the link is valid, the site is just slow sometimes) This is an apt-get like tool for slackware.

    If you wanted a small, fast, and 2.6.x kernel with Slackware, try Vector Linux 4.3. One of the better distros I have ever used. Not too hard to compile most video/audio tools on it. You will have to hunt down a couple of libs, but that's where swaret comes in handy, and Slackware Package Browser . There is also www.linuxpackages.net but alot of these are user built packages and only have an 80% chance of working.

    Since Slackware does almost no dependancy checking, it's helpfull to launch new apps inside an Xterm to see what it complains about, then to swaret to grab the files you need.

    When ever I install a new version of Slack on a computer, I manually choose my packages from the install CD, and leave out KDE, GNOME, and XWindows. Once it reboots, I use lynx to grab swaret, new kernel source, then the droplineGnome installer ( www.dropline.net/gnome/ ). The Dropline Gnome intaller installs the newest version of Xorg, a new customized version of Gnome, and some other Gnome apps.
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  9. I use lynx to grab swaret, new kernel source, then the droplineGnome installer ( www.dropline.net/gnome/ ). The Dropline Gnome intaller installs the newest version of Xorg, a new customized version of Gnome, and some other Gnome apps.
    By grab it do you mean that you would just open it from the directory that you downloaded it to, or burn a cd of it or something?

    I already downloaded the 1st cd of slackware, could I just use that or would you recommend vector linux over slackware (Fast, stable, good with installing apps), and if so why? Also, what windowmaker does vector come with by default?
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    Vector comes with XFCE and ICEWM. No KDE bloat.

    Lynx is a text based internet browser. Allows you to browse the internet from the shell. Grab means I down load something.

    Swaret comes as a tgz (Slackware package). Lynx downloads to your home directory. In that directory I use pkg -i swaret.x.x.x.tgz (.x.x.x being the version, arch, build numbers). This isntalls swaret.

    Then I excute swaret.
    $swaret --update
    Updates the application database.

    Then I use lynx again to download the dropline gnome installer.
    $lynx www.dropline.net/gnome/
    browse to the download link, and download the installer to the home directory.

    $pkg -i dropline-installer-2.4.9-i686-1dl.tgz
    $sh dropline-installer

    The dropline installer will examine your system, tell you what it's missing. If it won't install, it will tell you what's missing. Using swaret to install.

    swaret --install aspell

    once the depends are met (which are very very few) it will connect to the net and dowload Gnome desktop, newest XORG, and some Gnome apps.

    You have to have a Kernel of 2.6.x to use dropline. So a default slackware install won't work. If your kind of new to Linux it may be a bit much, because you have to compile a new kernel and reconfigure lilo to boot that kernel. But you should get it right the second time around :P


    And yes, Vector Linux is much easier to setup for a Slackware newbie. Slackware doesn't do that much setup for you. It boots to init 3 by default. It isn't hard to edit your rc.d files for default start up level, or to issue the init 4 or startx commands, but most newbies are put off by that.

    If you get Vector, make sure you get the 4.3 release. The 5.x series is in extreme beta testing, and does not work properly on 5 of 6 of my machines. But 4.3 is as close to flawless as I would expect.

    You should note that there are no MS Windows-like control pannels in Slackware/Vector. If you need these, I'd stick with something like Mandrake or Suse. When set up properly, Mandrake can be an excellant workstation. Like SUSE they just install way too much bloat as default. Who the hell needs 15 different apps to edit text?
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  11. Who the hell needs 15 different apps to edit text?
    I ask myself that everyday! Windows is such a poorly designed system! Alright, I opened up my tower in the expectations of installing an old 6 GB hd that I had lying around. Well, I probably won't be doing that now because I found out that there are no spare IDE cables OR power supplies (probably done on purpose by hp)!

    The IDE is not such a problem but the power supply thing is. From your description and other review that I have read Vector sounds really good! Is there any way I could work with my existing hd to run it? Maybe an image file like topo 5? I don't really want to repartition because I have 20+ gigs of important stuff on here that I haven't backed up yet. One thing I do have is a Fat32 hp recovery partition. Its 4 GB, with 700MB free. Could I install Vector on the 700 free, or would I have to burn the hp recovery stuff off and use the whole partition?

    Once again, thanks for your support in getting me started!
    Garibaldi

    PS, have you heard of/used BeOS?
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    Just unplug the power cable and IDE cable from your current HD and plug them into the 6gig drive. This will the safest way. No chance of mucking up your current install on your 20 gig.

    BeOS was a great concept. I remember when they first came out with the BeBox (dual PowerPC 601's). It was a great multimedia OS. They came out with 5.x for purchase a few years back, then were bought/sold/merged with some other company.

    There were talks about the developers continuing support, and release another OS, but I haven't heard anything latley. There are still dev sites around, and Tucows has a decent software collection for BeOs.
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  13. Just unplug the power cable and IDE cable from your current HD and plug them into the 6gig drive. This will the safest way. No chance of mucking up your current install on your 20 gig.
    I could, I was hoping to use the side-by-side though, a dual boot. I will probably try that after I download vector. I'll see if I can pick up a cheap old machine to stick the drive in.


    BeOS was a great concept. I remember when they first came out with the BeBox (dual PowerPC 601's). It was a great multimedia OS. They came out with 5.x for purchase a few years back, then were bought/sold/merged with some other company.

    There were talks about the developers continuing support, and release another OS, but I haven't heard anything latley. There are still dev sites around, and Tucows has a decent software collection for BeOs.
    I was trying out the live-cd but my computer has an AMD which won't boot. I did try it on a friend's machine a little and it looks impressive. I guess my only option there is BeOS max, but the site is down and the development has seemed to stop so I wil probably hold off on it for now.
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  14. Originally Posted by Garibaldi
    Alright, I'm downloading Slackware... (its only 2 disks, right? The other two are source?). As far as windowmaker, I looked at a couple of the screenshots and am very impressed! Does Slackware come with it installed, or do I have to install Gnome or something else first, and then download and install it? Also, could you go into a little more detail about picking out your basic apps?
    Thanks alot,
    Garibaldi
    Yeah, you only the need the first two disks. Windowmaker is included. Also, a 2.6 kernel is included in the testing directory of one of the cds (in case you want to play with that).

    The easiest way to install it (if you have the space) is to just install everything. That way, you don't need to worry about dependencies except for apps that aren't included in the distro. It's also quicker cause you aren't sitting there trying to decide whether you really need a program that you have never heard of.

    The basic apps I use:

    Usually I pick apps that don't depend on KDE or Gnome, since those that do will require those libraries, which hogs resources. But sometimes you can't avoid using them.

    nedit for text editing (and sometimes pico in an xterm window)
    - not included in slackware, but obtainable from http://linuxpackages.net

    xterm as a console window

    xcalc as a simple calculator

    firefox for web browsing
    - also not included. I just install the binary from the http://www.mozilla.org website into my home directory

    thunderbird for email and newsgroup discussions
    - same as firefox

    if you prefer a "suite" that handles both web browsing and email/newsgroups, just use mozilla, which is included

    pan for downloading newsgroup binaries

    xchat for irc

    xine is included for watching video

    mplayer is not, but I usually prefer it over xine
    - downloadable from linuxpackages.net

    cd/vcd/dvd burning - usually k3b (included)

    The Most Important App: file manager

    Slackware includes a non-gnome/non-kde file manager called xfm.

    It looks pretty good, but before I noticed, I was already using a file manager called xwc. I like it because it is similar to the classic windows file manager.

    Their website says you can just download the rpm and use rpm2tgz (an included utility) to convert the rpm into a slackware package... This is usually not a good way of installing stuff in Slackware, but if someone says it works, it's probably ok.

    http://xwc.sourceforge.net/index.html

    There are many other file managers. You can find them on freshmeat.net or search google.
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  16. Yeah, you only the need the first two disks. Windowmaker is included. Also, a 2.6 kernel is included in the testing directory of one of the cds (in case you want to play with that).
    @Spiritraveller, what is your opinion on Vector Linux vs the original Slackware?

    The 1st CD is the base install, the 2nd CD is KDE/Gnome, and some other X related things. XFree is on the first CD.
    Is windowmanager on the first cd as well? I have it downloaded already along with vector. Since I'm not really interested in Gnome and KDE do I still have to download the 2nd disk?

    firefox for web browsing
    What a great app! I already use it for windows. I recently stumbled onto some changes you can make to your config to make it load pages alot faster. If you want I can post them.

    The Most Important App: file manager

    Slackware includes a non-gnome/non-kde file manager called xfm.

    It looks pretty good, but before I noticed, I was already using a file manager called xwc. I like it because it is similar to the classic windows file manager.
    So you prefer xwc over xfm?


    knoppix
    I already use it and think its great! I have a persistent home and saved config. But now I want to expand my options in Linux, beyond live-cds. If you like Knoppix you should also check out slax:
    www.slax.org

    Thanks for all your help everyone!
    Garibaldi
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    fedora project. i'm using FC2 but will upgrade to FC3 in a week or so when its released. its developing quickly and gettin better every day. i've also tried knoppix and mandrake. knoppix was fun to play with but i wouldn't use for an actual OS. i had some stability and compatibility problems with mandrake but its pretty nice. i'm downloading slax right now to check it out, it looks pretty kool.
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  18. Just unplug the power cable and IDE cable from your current HD and plug them into the 6gig drive. This will the safest way. No chance of mucking up your current install
    Alright I tried that. I got to the part of the installation where you choose either Parted or something else to make your partitions. The drive came from a mac so I figured I would use Parted to repartition. I selected /dev/hda because it was the only one available. Then it said that it was going to show me the places where I could create a new partition (1,2,3, ect) and I was going to have to choose one. Once I got to that screen there were no places to choose. I tried just hitting enter but that didn't work. I think the hd I am talking about was wiped awhile back, is that why it's not recongnizing it? Also, how do I fix this- will I have to somehow do a dual boot with it as a slave and reformat and partition it from windows?

    Also I found an IDE cable from my old mac (beige g3) that has 2 connections on it. Will this work in my x86 windows machine? The only difference that I can see between the 2 is that the one in my machine now says Master on it. If I hooked up the other cable both drives would be running into that port on the mother board- that is okay isn't it?
    Thanks.
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    Use CFDisk it's a little easier.

    With a 6 gig drive, I'd just create 3 partitions.

    2.5 for /
    3 for /home
    and the rest for swap.

    Remember to change the type for the swap file. Type 83 is linux native, and 82 is swap.

    hda1 = /
    hda2 = swap
    hda3 = /home

    There is no right or wrong way to parttition a hard drive. As long as you make a / partition and a swap file (unlees you have lots of RAM) it will still work. Most say swap should be 2-3x the amount of RAM you have.

    I several partitions. / /var /usr /home /tmp . I always create a seperate /home partition, incase I want to install a new version of linux, of if I screw something up and need to do a fresh reinstall. This keeps all of my files in /home. /var is for all of the log files, if you're running a server (http, ftp, nntp) these will grow quite large, /usr is like Program Files, and /tmp well it's a temp dir.
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    I use Fedora core 3 Test 3.

    I love it for it's server capabilities.
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  21. Originally Posted by Garibaldi
    @Spiritraveller, what is your opinion on Vector Linux vs the original Slackware?
    Never used it, so I don't know.

    Is windowmanager on the first cd as well? I have it downloaded already along with vector. Since I'm not really interested in Gnome and KDE do I still have to download the 2nd disk?
    It is on one of those cds... It's called "WindowMaker" by the way. "Windowmanager" is just a generic term that refers to a window manager, of which WindowMaker is one of many.

    Fluxbox is another window manager you might like. It's also small and included in Slackware... Screenshots here:
    http://www.fluxbox.org/

    So you prefer xwc over xfm?
    I like xwc, but I never really tried xfm to say whether I like it. You should try xfm first, because it is already there.

    Thanks for all your help everyone!
    You're welcome!
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  22. Alright I tried installing Slackware and Vector on my 6 GB hd. I tried for several hours with no success. Mainly my problem was I finally got the drive formatted the way I wanted but then the installers couldn't recongnize something, like the swap partition. Then once I got passed that and just said skip the swap, Slackware has errors installing the packages. Anyway, I have run out of ideas...
    Maybe I'll just have to go with topo until I can get a different hardware setup.
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  23. if there is no reason to use linux the use XP pro... when everyone says how stable linux is that is a bit of a trick statement, ya the OS is super reliable but most of the progs that you would run crash because there is no $$$ funding them. now im not saying windows is any better just easier and alot more progs... BTW gte fedora if u gonna do it
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    Originally Posted by Harryford
    if there is no reason to use linux the use XP pro... when everyone says how stable linux is that is a bit of a trick statement, ya the OS is super reliable but most of the progs that you would run crash because there is no $$$ funding them. now im not saying windows is any better just easier and alot more progs... BTW gte fedora if u gonna do it
    This is a true statement. There are alot of beta, alpha, and pre alpha software available in Linux. Package selection is the key. I've ran Vector now for 6 months without any system/program crashes. Of course, XP and 2000 are just as stable. I like Linux because it's different, not because I think it's better.

    I don't find too much difference between a stable app in Windows, and a stable app in Linux. Many windows apps are full of bugs too (IFO Edit's NTSC dvd authoring, TMPG's GOP and Max bitrate settings )

    The hardest part about Linux is learning to administer the system. A properly administered system is as easy/stable to use as the best Windows administered system.

    About your Hard drive problems. Sounds like you could have some bad sectors on the hard drive if it has problems writing information to the disc.

    You did point the installer to the correct HD? If it's connected as master on IDE Channel 1, the first partition is dev/hda1.

    BTW, I personally think Fedora sucks. They try to be 100% Free Software (No built in MP3 support), but all testing just goes on to Red Hat, who packages, and sells the same FREE SOFTWARE for an ungodly price. There's a bit of hype about this distro, I've installed it and ran it, but it didn't offer the same experience I've had with Slackware, or any Debian based system.
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  25. About your Hard drive problems. Sounds like you could have some bad sectors on the hard drive if it has problems writing information to the disc.

    You did point the installer to the correct HD? If it's connected as master on IDE Channel 1, the first partition is dev/hda1.
    Its master, hda1. I unplugged this hard drive so its the only one connected. It seems to create the partitions but them mysteriously has errors once I try and go ahead with the install.
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  26. Since I had some problems installing with my other hd, I have decided to just use topologilinux 5 until some new info presents itself. One question about topo 5, how do I get networking? I tried su, netconfig, but I'm not sure what my domain and host are. I am guessing that my domain is just like msn.com or tds.net or something. But what is my hostname? I have my correct ip and everything and tried entering all of them manually and using DCHP server, but I can never get any internet program, including lynx, to connect (I have a dsl connection).
    Any ideas?
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    Is your DSL connection using PPPoE? Where you have to login with a program to authorize the connection? Or do you have a router (Like the briteport) that handles the PPPoE connection for you?

    If you do need to use PPPoE on the computer, there is a package called pppoe config. Your PPPoE settings are usually done during the initial setup/install. This site might give you some more help http://www.linuxforum.com/linux-ppp/c1609.html

    Host name, I always set to my computer name (disturbed1, disturbed2......) and domain I just set to Home. Of course I use DHCP for a connection, so it doesn't matter what I enter in my case.

    Domain is usually used for large LANs, where multiple computers would connect and certain computers belong to certain groups (domains), host name is usually the name of the computer that you are on, this will identify it across the domain.

    You can also use ifconfig to give some basic stats. This will let you know if your networking card is even seen by Linux. Linux does have built in support for most networking cards, but there are the few odd balls out there may not work, or need to find drivers for.

    I use only RTL-8139 (Real Tek cards) picked up a bundle of them for $3 each.
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  28. SUSE now offers LiveDVDs of 9.2 Professional. I've tried Mandrake and Fedora, both of them have their annoyances with the hardware I have, of the 2 I like Mandrake better, many many more packages available through urpmi sources. I am trying SUSE 9.1 this weekend.

    One of the great things about Linux, the abundance of choices of distributions depending on your needs and experience level!
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  29. Is your DSL connection using PPPoE? Where you have to login with a program to authorize the connection? Or do you have a router (Like the briteport) that handles the PPPoE connection for you?
    I'm not sure... I've never had to login to authorize my connection so I an guessing not. I my setup is that I have an ethernet cable going from my computer to a hub, which is connected to a laser printer and a couple other things. The hub is then connected to my dsl modem.

    You can also use ifconfig to give some basic stats. This will let you know if your networking card is even seen by Linux. Linux does have built in support for most networking cards, but there are the few odd balls out there may not work, or need to find drivers for.
    I'll give that a try. The thing that really bothers me is that when I use the knoppix live-cd or the slax live-cd, it will recognize my ethernet card right away and I have no trouble accessing the internet. I don't even have to do any setup. Is there anyway that I could get them to show me those settings or save them into a file to import into topo 5?
    Thanks again!
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  30. Thank you everyone for all your help! I finally got connected to the internet in topo 5 with a program called netgo! Thanks again! I also realized that Topo 5 is based directly from Slackware 10.0 (most of the packages are directly from it), so I guess I have a best of both worlds. I have been able to install most of the things I wanted to too. Do you have any more links for package sites? (I already checked out the ones above)

    Thanks again,
    Garibaldi
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