::exuberant metaphorical happy dances::
I am now part way up what feels like a fairly enormous, though exhilarating, Linux-centred learning curve.
I will shortly have a choice to make of which flavour, and I would welcome clues and opinions!
Factors I have in mind:
1) Hardware communications. This is a bit of a two-way thing: as I'm yet to buy the bits for the PC, I can choose a Linux distro and then check which hardware works with it, as well as having my eye on which distros work best with the hardware I'm thinking of.
However, good cooperation with wide varieties of hardware would certainly be a plus. In particular, is there much of a variation in their ability to cope with SATA hard drives or DVD-RWs?
Under the same heading, Printer drivers. We currently have two printers, a HP LaserJet 4P (parallel port) and a Canon BJC6500 (USB1.1). As is probably obvious, they're both ancient in computing terms. Is there much variation among Linux distros in terms of which has the drivers for what? Or is that only an issue for new devices just out?
2) Possibility of same Linux version on different machines. Ideally, I'd pick a version which is also available for PowerPC Mac. Then we could use the same one for W's Mac laptop (which we plan to switch at the same time), for economy of learning-curves.
There's also a chance I might one day bother setting up a Psion 5 to run Linux. This site says Debian Sarge works for that. But the Psion idea is only a minor factor, mainly because I might not ever even get around to doing it.
3) oXygen. It's a strong possibility that I'll get that as my new main writing app.
(because XML is the future!! Or not as the case may be. But at any rate I'm a big fan of it, partly because it's designed to be transmutable into whatever is the future.)
oXygen wants, I quote, "An official and stable Java VM version 1.4.2 or later from Sun Microsystems". (Some other Javas might work but aren't officially supported.) I'm not quite clear yet whether that has any implications for the Linux distro. It evidently doesn't have major ones, as you can add the Java bit afterwards, but I don't know if some Linuxes would arrive with that Java VM already, which seems like it would be handy.
4) An inclination towards stability and "Things that work properly" as opposed to "New toy that's so poised on the narrowest cutting edge, it falls over".
5) Which versions you lot are running, in case I'm back here asking for more clues later :-)
Comments welcome, on any of those factors or any other crucial ones which I in my newbie stage have completely missed.
Thanks in advance again, o wise readers!