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Dual Boot(or not), Dual Monitor(or not) Monitor Help


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#1 Dennis the Menace

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:14 PM

I recently had to replace most all of the components of my main system because Mother Nature became awfully confused and excited about how to TEACH my UPS and SYSTEM to comply with the Laws of Physics, Murphy's Law, and
woe is me OHM's law. I have finally cleaned and repainted the interior of my tool-less Enlight Midi-Tower and replaced
most of the guts. P43T mobo, 450W PSU, 4GB RAM, Intel Core 2 duo, Seagate Baracuda 300GB IDE with SATA adaptor, WD SATA 250GB, Hitachi DVD/RW x 2, refurbished UPS, new cooling fans, G-force FX dual VGA Video card, LinkSys USB wireless lan adaptor and LinkSys Wireless Brtoadband Router. The monitor, MicroSoft WebCam, and 56K modem survived unscathed but with a little carbon dust. What a noise those CAPS made ... and what a mess cleaning up after the leaky oil filled ones drooled.

****************Assistance/Recommendations/Help/Advice or whatever ---- please***********

A. I don't know if it would be better to set up for dual boot (Win XP-pro/Vista/Linux) or set up separately on each physical device and go thru bios to change boots ... ??? I have been reading up on dual booting which is why I am asking prior to doing ANYTHING. Seems complicated to set up correctly but easy to use afterwards. (??)

B. I would love to use dual Monitor possibly using an existing Dell LCD and perhaps a Samsung or Hyundai (22 inch)which I will need to purchace. If someone could please recommend ... I will try to do all the research. Please and Thanks!

C. I have two spare Western Digital hard drives 250GB + which I could conceiveably use for an OS. Seems to be getting
too complicated. That's why I want to slow down and ask for advice and help.

I have used Vista and like some of the features. (Isn't a feature a 'bug with a tie!?') And my wife is impressed with some of the MultiMedia ?stuff?

I seem to prefer Windows XP-Pro over Xp-Home ... don't know why just the touchie feelie impression.

Ubuntu and other iterations of Linux offer the editing capabilities she wants for converting old 8mm and super8, VHS and DV tapes to DVD or if possible in the not too distant future to copy to flash usb or such same home movies for posteriety.
I understand from a friend at Sun MicroSystems that some of their specialized lab experiments were aimed at this viability. And if the prices come down further on SSDD who knows.

BUT ... if possibly I would like to interactwith at least these three systems by whichever means is the easiest to use after getting things setup. Since my wife (hopefully) will be doing most of the work involving using the programs I don't really care how much trouble it is to set things up as long as it is easy for the end user (in this case - A WIFE!).

I know I am biting off a chunk but who ever got anywhere by standing still. It sure wasn't Murphy -- A friend at
"HomeLand Security" told me that he heard a rumor that "The NSA" has Murphy locked in cyber-restraints until after
labor-day.

THANK YOU ONE AND ALL FOR ANY ADVICE, ARTICLES, PLACES TO GO ETC. I LOOK FORWARD TO BEGIN SETUP SOMETIME MID WEEK NEXT.

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 09:39 PM

First off, wow, mother nature can be cruel sometimes.

A.) Dual booting is easy, just make sure you follow a reasonable install order and I suggest you use two or more hard drives. I dual booted Vista and Windows 7 for a while. If you're installing Microsoft-only OS's, start with the oldest and end with the newest. If you're working with Linux and a Windows setup, the first rule applies, but install Linux last. The boot information is stored on the hard drive. Once the operating system is installed, all you normally have to do is select the desired OS from a menu and hit enter. Again, I suggest using two or more hard drives since you can easily wipe one if you get tired of an OS.

B.) Make sure you have a good graphics card with plenty of VRAM to drive two monitors. If you are asking for monitor suggestions, here are a few: Acer X223Wbd Black 22", Hanns·G Hi-221DPB Black 22", and ASUS VW224U Black 22". Of these, I think the Asus is best. Few monitors in the 22-inch range use HDMI nor can they do 1080p natively. This shouldn't be an issue unless you watch high-definition video content.

C.) I'm not sure what the main question is here. Remember, most hard drives last about five years before they break. I would not purchase XP now that Windows 7 is about to be released. XP seems, to me, like an old car that a few people have become irrationally attached to. XP has left mainstream support at Microsoft and has entered extended support. Support altogether for XP will end in about five years. You can purchase an upgrade to Windows 7, available now for pre-order, or you can by an OEM copy of Windows Vista and get a free upgrade coupon to Windows 7. You can also get any version of Windows for free if you have an MSDN or TechNet subscription. For consumers, stick with Windows or Mac. Linux is geared more towards enthusiasts who already know about scripts and who have no issues in a CLI, or for a user who doesn't really do anything more complicated than surf the net.

Edited by DJBPace07, 22 August 2009 - 09:41 PM.

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