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Linux newbie

Any help i can get would be great. I used to work at a pawn shop to make a lil extra money for school and someone came in and pawned his laptop and it had mandrake linux on it. he let me mess around with it for a bit before we put it in our back room. i am really interested in using mandrake linux but do not know anything about it. i just have a few questions. Is there a program out there that allows me to use windows based programs inside of linux? On i saw a screen shot of someone who was running linux and also had a window running the complete version (from what the window looked like) of windows. how would i go about possibly running two OS until i get the hang of linux. Any help possible would be greatly appreciated.


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Linux newbie - try dual-booting

I have had so much help from this and similar forums that I try to help with my own limited experience. Yes, Mandrake (10.1) is excellent and at least the GNOME desktop gives you easy "read only" access to your Win (usually C) drive. I have little experience (do not need Win much these days) with e.g. CrossOver, Win4Lin emulators and related programs (easily available at a modest price in e.g. Xandros) and do not know how they can be used in Mandrake.
I think you "hit the nail on the head" about possibly running two OS on the same (i.e. desktop) machine. Try dual-booting, using two HDD:s on the same machine (less risk to mess up either or both). In my present experience, Win Me and Win XP on the "master" ATA or first SATA drive are happily cohabiting with Fedora core3, Mandrake 10.1, and Xandros 2.5.

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What you saw was a program emulating the Windows(r) API. Open source programs like http:\\wine.hq are only good for the most modest programs. They are still in alpha stage and have alot of work to do. Arguably, you chose the right distribution, Mandrakelinux, to start with. If you really want to get aquainted with Linux there is no better way than experimenting with everything possible. Dual-Booting is where two operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc.) are on the same machine. You can have them both on the same hard-drive or on different. When you boot, you have the option of what OS you want to load. Just keep wondering on and you will find what you're looking for.

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Sim, you're right about Wine.

Although I always load it, I have never been able to use it to open a windows program. I can access my Win-d drive-Photos and graphics mainly- from my Mandrake desktop and have no trouble using everything. Can also acces "C", but don't need it. I make it a point to put everything I do in universal formats, jpeg, html, pdf, etc. Doesn't matter if I'm in a Mac, Windows or Linux.
Cheers. chuck

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thank you all for your help on this

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