I am preparing to install Fedora Core 4 (FC4) on my system, but before I do I would appreciate it if a few of the experienced users would look over the setup. This will be a full plunge, so I won't have internet access until after a successful install (or I give up and reinstall Windows), so letting me know of any potential trouble spots before I begin will be a big help.
First, a bit of my background so you can gauge the level of your replies. I have used Linux (several varieties) while in college (BS in Computer Science and AS in Network Administration), but that was several years ago and I imagine as much has changed as has stayed the same. In short, I will likely understand the concept of what your saying -- even if the terms used are uncomprehensible. Likewise, will have read and understood (will post back if I don't) the Official FC4 installation guide before I begin, and likely before I look back in on this thread -- so you can assume I am familiar with that as well.
Continuing in a top-down approach in my preparations, next are the users that will be using this machine, what we generally do and the applications we previously used to do it. My wife and kids use the system about the same, so I'll lump them together. None of them have used anything but MS Windows, so any advice to make the transition easy for them will be helpful.
Surf the web -- currently using Microsoft Internet Explorer, but have used FireFox some.
no problems expected
Office applications -- This includes email as well as word and excel mainly. Curently using MS Office 2003, but have started using OpenOffice 2.0.
no problems expected
Image manipulation -- Amateur photographer. I have been using a borrowed copy of PhotoShop, but recently downloaded The GIMP and have been looking it over.
no problems expected
CD/DVD backup -- Some may object to this, but as long as DVDs are as expensive as they are I am not letting my small children watch the originals, and MP3s are just too convenient and portable to not take advantage of.
I currently use DVDDecrypter and CloneDVD, along with DaemonTools for DVD images and ExactAudioCopy, CDRWin and LAME for CDs. I know I can mount images directly in FC4 and LAME is readily available so that won't be a problem, but I am not aware of a Linux equivalent replacement for the others.
Various Games -- Hope to get them working with an emulator, but I have no experience in this area.
That will get us started on the software side, so on to the hardware. With as old and mainstream (at the time) the components are I am not expecting any problems -- but it doesn't hurt to be cautious.
ASUS A7M266-D Motherboard with 2 AMD AthlonMP 1800 CPUs
ATI Radeon 8500 64MB video card -- dual displays (19" Samsung 997MB and generic 17")
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card -- with Labtec speakers (2+sub)
Western Digital 40GB drive -- main drive, attached to primary MB IDE (currenly WinXP, but will be wiped for the install -- suggestions on partitioning?
LiteOn DVD burner -- attached to secondary MB IDE
3Com 3C905C-TX -- attached to broadband router for wireless internet connection and occasionally networked computers -- IP given by router w/DHCP
generic USB card
Promise Ultra100 TX2 IDE controller -- with 2 Western Digital 100GB drives in a WinXP software RAID-0. I realize this will have to be removed, and will have it backed up before the install -- recommendations on how to set it up? Is software RAID available in FC4?
Canon i850 printer -- attached to USB card
Logitech Trackman Trackball -- attached to USB card
MicroInnovations wireless keyboard/mouse combo -- attached to USB card. I don't use the mouse (see trackball above). PS2 connection damaged and unusable. USB was a big deal to get working when I last looked at linux, I'm hoping it's come forward since then.
USB card reader -- attached to USB card. Used to download images from camera. Does not have to be connected during install, so if it would be easier to take care of it afterward let me know.
I think that about covers it. If I've not given enough information for you to get an idea of how this system is setup and used, let me know.