Linux update: Have spent most of today having to read and reread the manuals on creating disk partitions. I want to be absolutely sure I don't eliminate existing partitions. Even Red Hat's Disk Druid (I love the name) is complicated, if you don't have a really, really good idea of what you are doing. You get directions on *how* to do things, and some on what *not* to do, but I'm finding I am doing a lot of flipping back and forth between sections to figure out what's going on, and I can't even find the 'howto' files they suggest reading on the documentation disk. Where on the documentation disk?! Using 'explore' I still couldn't find those files!
I think there are two ways I can do what I want to do. One of those -- using the Disk Druid -- is still a bit complicated for someone with my level of knowledge because I'm afraid I'll make A Big Mistake. I know one of the whole points about Linux is it's flexibility, but average users don't want this level of flexibility; they really need to be guided more firmly (thus points below about this being a desktop OS for the experienced user, not the average user...). I understand all the stuff about creating a boot partition, a swap partition, and at least one third partition for programs etc. But Disk Druid offers too many variables for me to feel confident of making the right choices when setting up each of those. So, instead, I will do the easier choice -- though that means going back into XP yet again and unformatting a formatted, but empty, drive partition. Then I can leave it as free space which Red Hat should recgnise as free space, and automatically format for me. I hope!! Update at 6:20pm: We have lift-off! This is so cool! A nifty GUI, and I'm just getting to know how to move around in a unix-style environment, which I've never used before. A few glitches -- I can't get sound to work, and can't get my Eircom xDSL connection working yet either (though have found a page of stuff to get the SpeedTouch modem working with Linux. Yikes, this is serious stuff...). But I'm sure I'll sort that out. Good thing I'm going over to friends for dinner or I'd be glued to the PC all evening as well as all day. And my Mac laptop is due to arrive anytime this coming week -- then I really will go to ground! PS -- I stuck a little "Powered by Red Hat" sticker to the front of my PC as soon as it was clear the install had worked; I was so thrilled! Hearing what I've been up to all weekend, a friend has suggested Ireland needs a Girlgeek of Tralee competition as a kind of new millennium version of the Rose of Tralee. Do I enter for the US, Canada or Dublin, though? I'd never be a serious contender -- I'd be demolished by serious geekgirls anyway :^)
4:15:55 PM # your two cents 
Something, someone, somewhere on Friday or Saturday must have mentioned Irish student Adnan Osmani and his web browser project , which won the Irish Young Scientist Competition in January. Hits have spiked this weekend and they seem to be equally split around Europe and the US. Looks like it was a print or radio or television source, since the referrer logs don't give an originating source -- just lots of people either coming directly to the site or googling Adnan's name or project. Odd (if you know the source, drop me a line).
Wow, it's two months since the competition -- sure takes some places a looooong, looooong time to listen in to what was hot in web discussion circles ages ago. Which goes to show that no matter how much something gets talked about online, the offline world takes quite some time to catch on. That either can be taken to show how totally out of sync and out of touch mainstream media are with the web and internet still -- or how much the web and internet world remains incredibly self-focused with a distorted sense of its own importance. Or a bit of both [grin]. (Later: Simon's explained it's a BBC Technology article that mentions Adnan but has no direct links. Now it all makes sense...)>
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