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Looking to learn the hottest Operating System out there? Then try out Linux-Mandrake 9.1. It is by far the easiest to install and comes loaded with a lot of free software. I am currently running Mandrake 8.0 on my new Compaq Presario 5000 that has a 700 mhz Celeron processor and 512 mb of RAM. I am using it as a dual boot -machine with the factroy installed Windows Me.

I have had to hurdles to jump with my Compaq, the modem and the sound card.

WinModem, ughh!!

The computer came with a winmodem. A winmodem is an inexpensive modem that saves money by replacing some hardware with a windows software solution. The problem for Linux users is the modem manufactures will not release Linux versions of there windows software and many will not even post how they get their modems to work. This prevents the open source community from creating Linux drivers for the WinModems. This was the case with my PCTel 56k modem. I did find an opensource site, Jan's PCTel Modem Driver that had a generic modem driver that I downloaded and compile. It worked. Thus I solved my first problem. You can learn more about converting a WinModem into a "LinModem" at

Soundcard, hear me roar!!!

My sound card would not work with Linux when I first tried Mandrake 7.2. It detected it correctly but said it was not Linux compatible. I contacted Compaq, but they said they did not offer tech support for Linux. But then Mandrake came out with version 8.0 a few months later and presto, it worked.  I tried my same system under RedHat 8.2 and RedHat did not detect my soundcard and thus another reason I prefer Mandrake over RedHat.