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    I like to use linux as my operating system. Right now I favor the debian distribution, because it just works. It may be that some other distributions are now superior, but I'm not inclined to install and test and reinstall other distributions just in order to find something which is marginally better. Hugely better, yes, I'd be tempted, but debian scratches my os-itch quite nicely right now. There's a useful website, distrowatch.com, which tracks scores of linux and bsd distributions, and summarizes how up-to-date they are.

    For example, here's distrowatch's pages on: debian, knoppix, kanotix, and fedora. For more general operating source news, I use osnews.com.

    Speaking of debian, I've found knoppix, a debian-based LiveCd, to be very useful. A LiveCd is a cd which contains a linux operating system along with the applications to make it useful. You put the LiveCd into your computer, boot off of it (going into the bios if necessary) and poof! you've got a stable working computer running entirely off the cd-drive. You can now try out linux, extract files from your hard-drive, fix the existing os on your hard drive, or even use it to install linux onto your hard-drive. A LiveCd, then, is an invaluable computer maintenance tool. I currently use kanotix, a knoppix variant, instead of knoppix itself. The knoppix install scripts are a semi-unofficial hack, and a knoppix live cd is a carefully-tuned mix of packages from the debian stable, testing, and unstable distributions. It works fine off of the cd, but once you install it, it is difficult to upgrade packages without breaking the system. Kanotix fixes this problem and is intended to be used for installation as well as trying out linux, fixing your system, and what-have-you.

    I'm a semi-satisfied zaurus sl-c860 user, currently running OpenZaurus 3.5.2, with Opie 1.1.7. I've found the forums at Zaurus User Group very helpful in this regard. I picked up mine in Akihabara, but if you don't happen to be traveling in Japan, I recommend the nice guy at conics.net. (I ordered a laptop from him, and hey! I got what I wanted, instead of say, a box full of rocks). If you want to spend a couple more hundred dollars, go to dynamism.com instead.

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