I noticed two of the compter mags here have stuck different versions of Linux that can run from a CD on thier covers currently. Aust. Personal Comp. has LindowsCD 4 and aust. PC World has Knoppix 3.2. The idea is that the whole thing runs from the CD. You just whack it in the drive, boot up and the operating system runs the same way it would if it was on the hard disk, but it’s not — so once the CD is taken out again, it’s back to Windows (or whatever is normal) liike nothing ever happened.
A good thing if you’re left slightly dizzy by the thought of accidentally obliterating everything you’ve ever created or collected onto you computer.
Files created while running either of the CD OSes can be saved onto the hard disk in a small folder in Windows. Supposedly Lindows should have more drivers for bits of hardware in your machine, but in almost all versions of Linux this is much, much less of a problem these days. Any machine bought or put together with bits made in the last 4-5 years should be fine with either of the two CD OSes.
Knoppix is a dedicated ‘system on a CD’ project, while the Lindows CD is kind of like a promo-tool with the intention of impressing you enough to buy the full system. A promo-tool, but very much a value-added one — like the chemist show-bag.
There’s something like 800 programs in Knoppix, LindowCD has a smattering of the essentials with the idea being that you cough up some cash to join the ‘click n’ run’ warehouse.
If I was going to get one of these I’d go for Knoppix.
url: please don’t eat me!
APC has a free complete version of Linux a few months ago, I forget what type it was, but it was interesting to toy with the idea of actually using a non-ms OS. Luckily I stopped myself before actually going through with the install.
(p.s I think it might have been Debian-something.)