yeloson: (Oh NOES)
While I wouldn't recommend Linux for anyone who wants to do anything beyond the most basic stuff (web, music, etc.), I will recommend that everyone burn a Linux Live Boot CD and keep it around.

A live boot CD will let you get your computer up and running if your OS gets jacked, you catch a ridiculous virus, your harddrive is damaged, or even dead. There's a lot of types of Linux which will run straight from your RAM, let you do some basic disk repairs if the HD is damaged, get the data off the harddrive or allow you to upload it somewhere else. You can still access the internet and email with a dead HD with many versions of Linux.

All you need to to do is pop the disk in, and boot to it (Most computers will have some kind of "press F12" or something to let you boot straight from a CD, otherwise, it's usually holding the C button).

If you want to have one around, this is what you do.

1. Download a CD version of Linux.

I use Peppermint because it's fast and has solid features*. For more features and included disk utilities, Mint will have you covered (Get the LXDE version at the bottom of the screen - it'll fit on one CD).

2. Burn the ISO to a CD

If you don't have a program for this, you can download an ISO burner. I'd have to dig up the one I use at work, but a quick cnet search for ones with lots of good reviews gives me ImgBurn and BurnRights.

And... that's it. If you've got a blank CD, most of the time is downloading the distribution of Linux and an ISO burner- the CD usually takes a few short minutes.

If you lack access to a CD burner and can wait a week or two, you can even buy the Live boot CDs for a pretty reasonable price: Peppermint OS $9.

*One caveat about Peppermint. The file manager is under "Accessories". Once you figure that out, you can access your files and get your data off the system if you need to.

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yeloson

November 2012

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