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Feb. 13th, 2007 @ 08:37 pm
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March 7th, 2008 05:52 am (UTC)
I heard ReactOS might go from alpha to beta as early as April. If you have a spare system that has its display memory separate from the computer memory, you can play with a pretty workable system now. And they may have figured out a way around the memory problem by now, too. By the end of the year it should be a viable contender for the XP market.
Another system you might want to play around with, one that was in production before the company folded, is BeOS. I ran it for a while and it is a very powerful and elegant system with a small footprint (in other words, it doesn't use much memory) and there are programs available for it. It is strictly a toy, though, despite its power, because its third party vendor support has pretty much vanished.
The problems with Debian are their self-imposed restriction to only run programs with "free" licenses and their long release cycle. That is why Ubuntu -- Debian plus non-open-source software -- has become popular enough to foster spin-offs like Kubuntu, with the KDE desktop replacing Gnome. Most of the Linux people I know now are using Ubuntu ... or very quietly switching to OS X.
Regardless of your primary system, you should also have a Linux-based system on CD-ROM or flash drive, depending on what your hardware will boot to, for recovery and troubleshooting. Knoppix is the standard although I've also heard good things about Damn Small Linux in this regard.
If forced to go to a single
system I would choose Ubuntu. If forced to use only one system of any flavor, I'd have to go with OS X. But I like having multiple systems at my fingertips.