You want to set up a Linux box, and marvel at the delights of modern technology. To do so you must already be familiar with Unix system administration. To learn that you must have a working Unix box. Where do you start?
Read through Raven cover to cover, then read the HOWTOS starting with the HOWTO-INDEX, and the Linux-META-FAQ. Then re-read all of Issue-1 (and 5-Planning), and get your hardware together. Then work through the rest if you need to. Then tell me what you think.
This is Raven-Hardware Issue-One. It won't tell you about your cutting-edge S3 PCI card, but it will remind you get one.
One day there will be a TOC, pasted here. Until then .. try the main page ssr01.html.
Many readers will already be Unix aware, many will be complete beginners. There is no easy answer. If you don't know how to do something you'll have to find out. I don't want to give baby-step instructions, but I'll try to sequence what you have to do, so that you can focus on the next step.
Although I find system administration interesting (yawn) maybe you don't, and you just want Linux running with TeX and 'Net facilities, anything else is not being a tool, but eating up drinking time.
However, load-and-go is not always so simple, especially if you've got the 'wrong' distribution, (there isn't one, but on that day you might think so).
A minimum 'system' is a BOOT+ROOT floppy disk pair. That is an integral Linux system, capable of accessing WIN.311 shares over the net! Above that, any distribution adds huge volumes of files, arranged in packages.
If you have Internet Facilities at work (uni), you have access to a lot of on-line documentation.
Naturally, these get a bit technical in places. Just skim over those parts to find what is relevant to you.
The online Index of Howto's is available from http://sunsite.unc.edu/mdw
The Linux Documentation Project (LDP) includes several guide-books, and many HOWTO's. All of the HOWTO's, except the mini-howto's, are written and distributed in SGML using the linuxdoc.dtd.
These can be converted to HTML or to TeX (hence postscript)
sgml-tools, or possibly other tools. Other formats
are possible, such as RTF, so that MS-WORD can read them.
Look in your CDROM for pre-formatted text or HTML versions, often installed into /usr/doc/. If you have a working browser, they are also on the net.
The HOWTO maintainers, maintain a directory of the source files, and generate the other formats into compressed archives on sunsite.
The main distributions (DebIan, RedHat, SlackWare, ... ) also generate the HTML pages for you, usually placing them in /usr/doc/
The HTML generated by sgml-tools, is quite standard, and can be accessed from all browsers, including non-graphical ones like lynx.
To convert the texts for yourself, you need sgml-tools or the older (but on your CD's) linuxdoc-sgml. There are other SGML environments, this is just for the HOWTO's.
The pc-hardware-faq is a 5 part faq about ibm.pc hardware, BIOS information, etc It applies to Linux and DOS. Near there is an E-IDE FAQ which tells you about good / bad hardware and the symptoms. It has a list of EIDE manufacturers' URLs.
pc-hardware-faq/enhanced-IDE/part2 says: PIO-0 is 3.3 MB/s PIO-4 is 16.6 MB/s it also lists the IO_PORTS for 4 IDE cables (two cards). Near there are other URL's about graphics cards and other things.There are other docs, and news groups with FAQ's.