"As far as power goes, you can get by with a simple system, but
more is almost always better. You will need at least a Pentium
processor, 64 MB ram, and a good hard drive to run Mandrake. If you
want to do pro-audio recording, I'd suggest at least a Pentium III
or Athlon processor, lots of good ram (128 MB minimum), and a big,
fast (7200 RPM) hard drive. While SCSI drives are generally more
powerful and longer lasting than EIDE drive, the cost pretty much
offsets any benefits you'll actually see, so I'd suggest a bigger,
faster EIDE drive to an equally priced but smaller SCSI drive.
"For example, I have one system with a Celeron 750, 256 MB PC100
RAM, and a 5000 RPM drive. With it, I can record three or four mono
tracks in full duplex, but no more. With my other system, a dual
Athlon 1900, 512 MB DDR ram, and a 7200 RPM drive, I can record
many stereo tracks in full duplex without artifacts. This should
give you a rough idea of what you'll need.
"Most core hardware (video, CD-RW, etc.) is now supported under
linux as long as it's not extremely new technology. Printers are
about 50% supported, so see this link for details. Modems are fully
supported as long as they are hardware modems, not soft-modems. Ask
your supplier/manufacturer for info on that..."