"...It's fairly easy to learn how to build the
hardware. If you can build a Wintel box you can build excellent
Linux hardware. Many have made do with old parts, which is not too
bright. Linux can be less forgiving of out-of-tolerance hardware
than Windows. If you are going to build your own Linux box, start
with new stuff you know is compatible (read Moshe Bar on Linux and
go to websites to be sure that what you contemplate is fully
supported). Once you've had the experience of getting one operating
you can see what you can do with old parts going to seed, but do
start with new and reliable hardware.
I say this because the Linux learning curve is steep, and it's
going to be harder and take longer than you think to learn it. It
is, after all, in the Unix family, and many of the Unix commands
were whimsically named, and there was absolutely no intent on the
part of Unix implementers to make it user-friendly. Indeed, to the
extent there was any thought given to that, it would have been to
make it user-hostile. Unix is rightly called the guru
full-employment act. None of this means you can't learn enough
Linux to set up and configure a box that will do all my NetWinder
will do for half the NetWinder's cost; but it does mean you will
not do that quickly and easily. The NetWinder comes configured with
both user and administrator setup screens, and over the past year
it has worked those out well."
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