23rd January 2000
[COLOR=blue][COLOR=Red]KNOWLEDGE BASE [COLOR=Black]Find useful information in this thread. If you would like anything added then PM one of the Tech Discussion moderators and we will consider it. [/COLOR][/COLOR] [/COLOR]
[color=blue]This thread will be updated The following guides are not written by or for GF[/color] Last updated 8th January 2006 by [+Glasius+] [SIZE=+1]General - Basic[/SIZE]
- Building Your Own PC, Part 1
- Building Your Own PC, Part 2
- A Basic Guide to the Internet
- The Basic Input/Output System(BIOS) guide
- General terminology
- General terminology #2
- RAID is so confusing
- System Optimization Guide for Gamers
- Simple Antialiasing and Anisotropic Guide
- ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide
- Internet Explorer 6 & Outlook Express tweak guide
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax
- WinXP Tweaking: From Relax to Righteous
- Windows XP Security Tweaking for the paranoid
- Windows XP Performance Tweaking Guide
- Windows XP Performance Tweaking Guide #2
- What Are All those Programs listed in TaskManager
- Optimize for your Specific Computer Needs
- Beginners Guides: Spyware Protection and Removal
- Spyware removal and prevention guide version 3
- How to Opt-Out of Cookies That Track You
- The Heatsink Guide: Maximum CPU temperatures
- The Heatsink Guide: Thermal interface materials
- The Heatsink Guide: Case cooling
- A Guide To Silent Computer Cooling
- AMD's Guide To Cooling (.PDF FILE)
- The Ultimate Water Cooling Guide
[SIZE=+1]Recovery & Security[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Overclocking[/SIZE] Warning! Overclocking may result in damaging your hardware if not handled correctly
[SIZE=+1]Shopping for hardware[/SIZE]
- kelkoo.co.uk. shopping search engine. Europe.
- pricescan.com. shopping search engine. Worldwide(?)
- pricewatch.com. shopping search engine. worldwide
- shopper.cnet.com. shopping search engine. worldwide(?)
- resellerratings.com. shopping search engine. Worldwide(?)
- aria.co.uk. UK based shop. Ships worldwide
- pcspecialist.co.uk. UK based shop. Ships worldwide
23rd January 2000
[color=blue]This thread will be updated The following downloads are not provided by or for GF[/color] Last updated 8th January 2006 by [+Glasius+]
- (Official)ATI Catalyst display drivers
- (Official)NVIDIA ForceWare display drivers
- (Unofficial)ATI & NVIDIA Omega display drivers
- Matrox display drivers
- 3DFX display drivers
[size=+1]Graphic related software[/size]
- Riva Tuner. ATI & NVIDIA tweaking utility
- ATITool. ATI settings and overclocking utility
- Radlinker. Tweaker/linker for ATI Radeon based cards.
- Fraps. FPS monitor
- ATI Catalyst removal tool.
- ATI SMARTGART removal tool
- ATI Adapter information tool (chipset, bus speed, BIOS part number and memory size)
- PeerGuardian 2. IP blocker
- Hacker-Watch. Online vulnerability profiler
- Trend Micro: Online virus scan
- Trend Micro: Online spyware scan
- Norman Sandbox. Single file virus scanner
- Avast! 4 Home Edition. Antivirus
- eTrust EZ Armor. Antivirus & Firewall
- Sygate Personal Firewall
- Zone Alarm Firewall
- Ad-Aware SE. Spyware remover
- Spybot: Search & Destroy. Spyware remover
- DoxDesk. Online spyware checker
- Proxomitron - Hypertext Filter Proxy
- SequoiaView. Represents individual files/programs on your hard drive(s) with proportional boxes. Useful for finding large files you don't use to help free disk space.
- UltimateBootCD. Selfbooting hardware diagnostic, file managment, backup etc. When disaster strikes.
- WindowsUltimateBootCD. Windows utilities. When disaster strikes
- AMP WinOFF 4.21. Automatic shutdown of windows machines
- PC Inspector e-maxx. Secure format of HDD
- X-Setup Pro 6.6 Final. Win XP tweak software
- MemTest. Checks all avaliable memory
- Disk Checker. Third party scandisk
- Windows Registry Guide 2003
- Host Administrator. Manage your hosts file
- ZipGenius - Highly flexible archiver tool
- FILExt - Search for details on different file-extensions.
- MRU-Blaster. "Most Recently Used" cleaning tool
- What Is Your IP?
- Opera web browser
- Firefox web browser
- DriverGuide. Huge colletcion of drivers (requires registration)
- YouSendIt. 1gb filetransfer via thirdparty server
- WhoLockMe. What process is locking the file?
[size=+1]Benchmarks & Diagnostics[/size]
- PCpitstop. Online diagnostic (requires registration)
- SANDRA Standard 2004 SP2b. Advanced diagnostic & benchmark software(Free to try)
- 3DMark2001. Heavy 3d benchmark
- 3DMark03 (build 320). Heavy 3d benchmark
- Fresh Diagnose 6.6
- WCPUID. CPU monitoring
- CPU-Z. Detailed hardware identifier
- Quicktime Player
- Macromedia Flash Player
- Macromedia Shockwave Player
- QuickTime & Real player alternative
- Windows Media Player 10.0
- WM Codec pack
- DivX codec
- 3ivx codec
- Xvid codec
- Nimo's Codec Pack
- ACE Mega CoDecS Pack
- SLD Codec Pack
- Gspot. AVI file codec identifier
Want to have a PC capable of running Half-Life 2, Far Cry and Rome Total War on max settings without having to pay big prices? Here is your answer! In a recent edition of the UK magazine PC Gamer, they showed you how to build your own monstor PC for under £500. Buying off the internet means you don't encounter highstreet shops needing to pay staff. This means internet sites can give savings to you. The site PC Gamer mentions is called Aria. They ship to the UK, and Worldwide for more money. People from the US should try and find a company based in the US for their components. You can buy components that are OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for cheaper than the retail price. All it means is that you will recieve your components without the fancy packaging. Here is what you will need: Motherboard: ABIT KV-7 - £42.30 Processor and Heat-Sink: AMD Athlon 3000XP+ OEM, 400MHz FSB, 512k L2 Cache - £90.48 Thermaltake Volcano 11+ Heatsink/Fan - £12.93 Memory: 1024Mb PC3200 (400MHz) DDR - £44.83 x 2 = £89.66 3D Card: ATI Radeon 9800 Pro £139.24 Hard Drive: Maxtor Diamond Max +9 90Gb 133/7200 £37.30 DVD ROM: Sony 16x DVD ROM £19.68, Extra IDE Cable £4.11 Case: Arianet Cybercase 420W - £21.74 Case Fan: 8cm - £2.30 Here is the reciept: Motherboard: £42.30 CPU: £90.48 Heat-sink/Fan: £12.93 Memory: £89.66 3D Card: £139.24 Hard Drive: £37.30 DVD-ROM: £19.68 IDE Cable: £4.11 Case: £21.74 Case Fan: £2.30 Delivery: £11.69 TOTAL: £471.43 (inc. VAT/TAX) Here are the 3D scores for the PC: 3DMark03 score: 5721 Aquamark 3 score: 40769 Cost: £471 A designer built pc from Alienware (64-bit processor) scored these values: 3DMark03 score: 6655 Aquamark 3 score: 47397 Cost: £1500 There is not much difference in the 3D scores, yet a massive £1000 price difference. Building yourself is so much more bank-account-friendly. Any queries, just ask. Hope everyone is successful in building a cheap monster pc! Here is a guide for those in the US, with US Prices and Companies: Case /w480 watt PSU and 2fans=$65 Socket 754 mobo=$68 AMD+3200OEM=$192 CPU fan=$12 Termalpaste=$4 1gb pc3200 2x512mb=$113 80GB 7200RPM HD=$63 CD drive=$14 DVD drive=$21 ATI 9800pro 128mb(with big cooling fan)=$235 +25 shipping +91 for Windows XP =$903 It may be a few dollars off, but it is accurate enough. A 64-bit PC: Arianet 420W Cybercase - £19.96 Akasa Carnival Cooler SktA to 3400+ Heatsink - £10.58 AMD Athlon64 3000 OEM Processor - £92.83 Asus A8V Deluxe Motherboard - £72.79 Case Cooler Exhaust Fan - £3.53 8cm ATX Case Cooler - £3.53 1Gb PC3200 RAM - £75 120Gb Maxtor DMax+9 SATA150/7200rpm 8Mb Hard Drive - £51.99 Windows XP Home Edition £50 ATI Radeon 9800 Pro - £120 £500 + Postage (around £8) Scanned Pages - View them in this order: 1. http://img221.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img221&image=scan5yt.jpg 2. http://img217.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img217&image=scan00010mv.jpg 3. http://img217.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img217&image=scan00027ro.jpg 4. http://img217.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img217&image=scan00035kr.jpg 5. http://img217.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img217&image=scan00040vp.jpg 6. http://img217.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img217&image=scan00059ly.jpg 7. http://img44.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img44&image=scan00067ql.jpg They are monster resolutions, so I suggest you save them to your computer and view them at 25% using a picture viewer.
THE BIG GEAR HUNT Here I will list the best gear, ranging from the most expensive to the best value. Info taken from PCGamer UK. FEBRUARY 2005 Changes: Recently lowered prices means that the Athlon XP was replaced with the £30 cheaper Sempron 2600+ for budget processors The newly-released A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard is the new best in class. P4P800 Deluxe motherboard replaced with the AG8-3rd Eye 8KRA2+ replaced with 865PE NEO2-LS Barracuda 7200.7 replaces Deskstar 7K250 (HDDs) PROCESSORS Best in class: AMD Athlon FX-55 - £600 - www.amd.com Mid Range: Intel Pentium 4E 3.2GHz - £160 - www.intel.com Budget Choice: Sempron 2600+ - £50 - www.amd.com MOTHERBOARDS Best in class: A8N-SLI Deluxe - £124 - www.uk.asus.com Mid Range: AG8-3rd Eye - £90 - www.abit.com.tw Budget Choice: 865PE NEO2-LS - £68 - http://msicomputer.co.uk GRAPHICS CARDS Best in class: Radeon X800XT - £350 - www.ati.com Mid Range: GeForce PCX 6800 GT - £140 - www.sparkle.com.tw Budget Choice: GeForce FX5900XT - £120 - www.nvidia.com OPTICAL DRIVERS Best in class: GSA-4081B - £72 - www.lge.co.uk (Writes to everything and anything) Mid Range: ND-2500A - £60 - www.nec.co.uk (DVD+RW) Budget Choice: DVD1648/AAP - £23 - www.aopen.nl (DVD-ROM) MONITORS Best in class: BENQ FP783 - £370 - www.benq.co.uk (Flatscreen LCD) Mid Range: Imagequest Q17+ - £340 - www.hyundai.com (Flatscreen LCD) Budget Choice: Samtron 76E - £70 - www.samsungelectronics.co.uk (CTR) HARD DRIVES Best in class: Raptor WD36 - £85 - www.westerndigital.com (36Gb 10000RPM) Mid Range: Barracuda 7200.7 - £70 - www.seagate.com (200Gb 7200RPM) Budget Choice: Diamondmax Plus 9 - £45 - www.maxtor.com JOYSTICKS Best in class: Cyborg Evo - £25 - www.saitek.com Mid Range: Extreme 3D Pro - £22 - www.logitech.com Budget Choice: Logitech Attack 3 - £17 - www.logitech.com STEERING WHEELS Best in class: Momo Racing Wheel - £70 - www.logitech.com Mid Range: Enzo Ferrari Force Feedback - £60 - www.thrustmaster.com Budget Choice: R80 - £15 - www.saitek.com MICE Best in class: Razer Diamond Back - £40 - www.razerzone.com Mid Range: Air Flow Mouse - £20 - www.nyko.com Budget Choice: Basic Optical Mouse - £15 - www.microsoft.com SPEAKERS Best in class: Gigaworks S750 7.1 - £270 - www.europe.creative.com Mid Range: Z-2200 2.1 - £150 - www.logitech.com Budget Choice: Inspire 2.1 2400 - £30 - www.europe.creative.com SOUND CARDS Best in class: Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro - £170 - www.europe.creative.com Mid Range: Audigy 2 NX - £85 - www.europe.creative.com Budget Choice: Sonic Explosion - £40 - www.videologic.com HEADSETS Best in class: PC150 - £48 - www.sennheisercommunications.co.uk Mid Range: Zalman Theatre 6 5.1 - £39 - www.zalmanusa.com Budget Choice: HQ-1300 Headphones - £23 - www.europe.creative.com KEYBOARDS Best in class: Internet Navigator SE - £30 - www.logitech.com Mid Range: ZBoard Gaming Keyboard - £40 - www.ideazon.com Budget Choice: Microsoft Internet Keyboard - £15 - www.microsoft.com GAMING MACHINES Best in class: Aurora Extreme - £2200 - www.alienware.co.uk Mid Range: Power FX-53 - £1499 - www.tiny.com Budget Choice: Matrix 64 3400+ - £1199 - www.meshcomputers.com GAMEPADS Best in class: Logitech Wingman Cordless - £40 - www.logitech.com Mid Range: Air Flow Controller - £30 - www.nyco.com Budget Choice: Logitech Dual Action - £17 - www.logitech.com MP3 PLAYERS Best in class: IRiver H320 - £290 - www.iriver.com Mid Range: iPod - £219 - www.apple.com Budget Choice: Muvo NX - £80 - www.creative.com As for the X850XT PE, it has been released, but PCG don't reckon the small performance increase is enough to offset the £80 price increase on the X800, plus the new card wastes a second PCI slot for cooling where the X800 didn't so the X800 remains top.
Open-source software is the term given to programs which are developed within a community and are released for free download to the public. The following is a list of (in my opinion) the best open-source projects.
If you want to suggest any additions/changes, PM me and I'll add your suggestion.
Xandros (Basic version is free, but the advanced version costs. Worth it.) SimplyMepis Knoppix (Good for Linux beginners. Runs from CD.) Other Linux Operating Systems (search facility) Yopper Ubantu (GUI is VERY similar to Windows)
CD IMAGING Partimage
LINUX REPAIR SystemRescueCD
WAVE/AUDIO EDITING Audacity
DESKTOP PUBLISHING ScribusSourceForge. Micro-note: feel free to link to this page on other forums, but don't plagiarise or you'll be raped.
What does the Fox say?
23rd November 2002
Curious about Linux distros? Want to know which one is worth looking into.
I have included some information on many of the popular distros, and which ones I recommend. Here is my Top Five distros. Most distros now have "LiveCDs" to try. Just pop them in your CD-ROM, and it will give you a preview of what it will be like, once installed. Unfortunately, running from the CD/RAM slows the programs down, quite a bit.
Installing programs, etc. Into Linux differs from Windows, in an important way. for the most part, you will not be installing programs by downloading them, and double-clicking a file. Instead you load up the distro's "Package Manager", and install the programs you want. This is more prevalant in Debian based distros, which rely almost entirely on this method.
Linux distros are geared more towards security. Most users will not be able to edit any file, and will not have Administrator ("root") priviledges. Most require a root password to install programs. A few distros, such as Linspire, have opted to do things the Windows way, but most do not.
Then, when you download a file, it will not be "executable". If you double-click a downloaded program, it will not start, but will open in a text editor. This is a security feature, so that a virus cannot download, and then install itself. Not all distros use this feature.
Most of the time, when you double-click a title bar, the window will "roll up", or "shade" itself. So that only the title bar is showing. Mac users will appreciate this feature. Windows users will initially find it confusing. It is one of my favorite features, of the MacOS, and Linux.
1. Suse. Simply the best all-around distro. The best support, support pages, and forums. A decent distro, that supports a wide variety of hardware, and is supported by a large software base. Many developers design for Suse first, and whatever else Second. Odds are, you will have fewer troubles with Suse, than with any other distro. Suse has a 64-bit version, and is often bundled with a 32-bit version, at no extra cost. http://www.novell.com/linux/suse/
2. SimplyMepis. This is an easy to use alternative to Suse, it is also a mostly free distro. It starts with a LiveCD, to give you a preview of what Mepis is like. Then you click on the install icon, and play a game of solitaire, or tron while you wait. If your system is fast enough, then you can even play TuxKart, or a few other 3D OpenGL games. It is not recommended though. http://www.mepis.org/
After that, SimplyMepis works similiar to Suse. There is a very good forum, and plenty of support pages. It is a Debian based distro, so it also inherits the largest single source of packages in Linux. Just open Synaptic, and install any number of THOUSANDS of programs, games, utilities. ranging from the original Quake, Neverball, Legends (Tribes style game), to Disk partitioning, and recovery software, to Media players, and Web browsers. With SimplyMepis you should NEVER have to compile anything from the source. Even the Live CD has a Firewall that runs at boot (Guarddog).
Most of the configuration for Suse is done through a powerfull program called Yast. It is one of the best features of the distro, and is much more powerfull than what most other distros offer. Usefull for managing your internet connections, USB devices, and drivers, and most anything other advanced settings.
3. Xandros. Xandros is a primarily Retail distro, but has a free version available. Xandros shares a lot with Windows, but intends avoid the biggest problems. Such as all users being the administrator. The Launch button is written out, to make it more clear what it does. The entire layout of the desktop, is designed to feel much more familiar to Windows users. Particularly, Windows 9x/2000 users. Familiarity with Windows users,and stability are key goals. Networking is another. Xandros has developed the "Xandros File Manager" to look, and work like the Windows 98 Explorer. HTML view, and all. Then there is an Update notification in the System Tray. Networking is a top priority. Xandros is usually plug, and play with most Windows networks. No additional configuration needed. www.xandros.com
Like Mepis Xandros is a Debian based distro, and uses the same APT system. Xandros aims towards ease of use, and corporate integration. Unlike Mepis, Xandros did not inherit the large Debian database. The Mepis, or Debian packages can be installed, but there are no guarantees, and some may break Xandros. Those that are supported in the Xandros repository are guaranteed to be quality. Xandros takes extra care to make everything work right, and this makes it less compatible with a number of packages. What good are thousands of packages, you can't get them to do what you want, or even find them? Some do require a subscription, but most do not, and are available for free.
The Deluxe version includes a program called "CrossOver Office". CrossOver allows you to install, and run many Windows programs, and OpenGL based games. Programs inlcude Adobe Photoshop, Quicktime, WinAMP, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, iTunes, and plenty of others. Games include Half-Life/Counter-Strike, the Quake series, Jedi Outcast, Starcraft, and most games that do not require Direct3D extensions.
Xandros has also included an Anti-virus, and Firewall in its retail versions. Those are new products, and still buggy. Almost to the point of being a joke. The Firewall blocks everything incoming, and outgoing, and the Anti-virus has a few issues with updates. The Anti-Virus is not needed, but it is in place, should it be needed. Plus its better to iron the bugs out early on.
4. Mandriva. Originally Mandrake, now it is a mix of three great companies. Mandrake, Connectiva, and Lycoris, and is sometimes refered to as Mandrivacoris. Mandriva was once the leader in beginners Linux, and has been setting the standard ever since. It looks to just get even better, with the combined efforts of three companies. http://www.mandriva.com/
Like Suse, Mandriva comes with a powerfull configuration tool, called the Mandrake Control Center, or DrakX. I think it is the easiest, and nicest looking configuration utility out there. It is also very powerfull. It is one of Mandriva's best features.
5. Linspire Linspire, formerly known as Lindows, has been a very interesting distro. Its company is highly respected by the Linux community, for its efforts. However the distro is not. Considered to be so insecure, you might as well use Windows. It sets each user up with root priviledges. Like an Administrator. Any user can install programs, or delete system files. www.linspire.com
Linspire focuses on ease of use, and eye candy. Lets face it, nobody wants to enter a password, just to install the latest game. Then Linspire is one of the nicest looking distros I have seen. With Window Shadows, and transparencies. It rivals MacOS X for elegance. The interface is designed to be familiar to Windows users. Linspire has now adopted the "Launch" button, instead of an "L" button.
Linspire offers a large repository of applications, available for a slight fee. CNR guarantees ease of installation, and compatibility, if not the latest apps. A certain amount of quality is guaranteed. Linspire has now joined forces with Cadega, for better quality gaming on Linux. Plus, Linspire 5 has a nice Network system tray app, that will let you know when your connected, or not.
I don't like recommending thise one, but if you can't do things the *nix way, this will give you Linux, with the ease of use of Windows. If it wasn't what people wanted, then it would not have made my top five. Side Note: Early on, I had bought into the rumor that Lindows was 90% Windows compatible. Nobody mentioned that it was Linux, which I had already used.
Now for some additional info.
Fedora Fedora is a popular distro. It is basically the free version of RedHat. RedHat uses Fedora as a test bed, for products that will be included in their next release. As such, it has earned a reputation for instability. Interestingly enough, instability in Linux can range from what you'd expect, to only crashing once per month. http://fedora.redhat.com/
Fedora has many cutting edge features, and better support for newer hardware, than most distros. It is a geeks playground, so to speak. Fedora is also considered to be easy to use, and one of the FileFront Forum's most knowledgable members prefers it over most all others. Not me though, I have not yet tried it.
For those who like the Debian/APT system, and its large repository, but not Mepis, or Xandros, here are a few alternatives.
Ubuntu is a Gnome centric distro. Gnome is widely regarded as the easiest to use, and most usable Desktop interface. Once you learn how to use it. It does not copy another OS, or look like another OS. Instead it takes the best of the other OSes, and combines them together. It is a bit confusing at first, but very effecient and easy. Ubuntu is backed by a very rich guy, named Mark Shuttleworth. He wants to improve Open Source, by setting an example with Ubuntu. Ease of use, and good organization. Gnome is in a way, the best quality desktop available. http://www.ubuntu.org/
Gnome is also considered to be the ugliest desktop interface around. Niether shadows, nor most any kind of effects are to be found. Eye candy, is not Ubuntu's strong point. I've heard that Ubuntu was originaly built around Mepis, so they have a lot in common.
Kubuntu Take Ubuntu, and replace Gnome, with KDE, and add the required K to the beginning of the name. (KDE, Konqueror, Kpatience, Kclock, Kcalculator, etc.) I'm not sure where to place this one. It is very similiar to Mepis. http://www.kubuntu.org/
Knoppix Knoppix can now be installed onto a hard drive, much easier. Knoppix is a popular, and I think legendary distro. It is a LiveCD first, and a distro second. The whole idea, is to keep from having to install anything. The same plug and play, and ease of use of a console, has been brought to a PC. Instead of Memory cards, use a Jump Drive/USb Flash memory stick. Lets see Windows pull off this trick. There seem to be known issues with Knoppix not being able to access the internet for a variety of computers. http://www.knoppix.org/
Puppy Linux a recent distro of note. Puppy Linux allows you to use a Multisession CD-R, to boot off of. It is a step up, from Knoppix. However, Puppy Linux is a smaller distro, intended to fit on a USB flash memory stick. This saves a lot of space on the CD, for plenty of uses, but that means fewer programs are included. http://www.goosee.com/puppy/
D.S.L DSL is a pretty Dang Small Linux distro, at only 50mb. One Google search, and you'll find the name hits harder, but I can't post that kind of language on a public site. It boots, and runs fast. It includes Firefox, and many usefull programs, so it is actually a good distro. Not much as far as eye candy. http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
Now for a few programs. Contrary to the Windows method, many programs in Linux, are a combination of programs. Most programs are first console versions, and then another program is designed to be graphical only. This is typical. Make one program do one thing well, and then make another program to do something else. Then combine them together with still another program, which appears to do it all.
Cadega is a program that allows you to play DirectX based Windows games, in Linux. Soon it will support "Mactels", with MacOS X. www.transgaming.com
CrossOver Office is a program that allows for the easy installation, and management of Windows programs. You can even play some Windows games, such as Starcraft, or Quake based games. www.codeweavers.com
KDE KDE is the most popular Desktop Enviroment in Linux. This would include the "Start" button, the Title frames of the Windows, The Desktop, and Icons, and Solitaire.exe in Windows. In many ways, Linux can be considered to be many OSes in one. You have KDE, Gnome, and then a bunch of random custom OSes, or desktops. Some are lightweight, providing only what is needed, and others provide a more complete range of software. KDE is considered to be the best looking, and most Windows like of them all. It is also considered to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest/heaviest Envoriment. www.kde.org
Gnome aims for usability, ease of use, and stability. The aspects show through, and it definately feels like quality. Unfortunately, Gnome has fewer effects, and other eye candy options than Windows 98. www.gnome.org
lm-sensors This is not included with many distros. It is a sensor monitoring program. It monitors power output, fan speed, and system temperatures. This is an example of a console based program first. There are several Graphical monitoring utilities, such as Gkrellm.
Ratpoison Prefer full screen windows? Would you like them to automatically open in Full screen, without anything getting in the way? Ratpoison is for you. It is a "Window Manager". A program that places borders/frames, and Title bars around any window. The minimize, and Maximize buttons are all apart of the Window Manager. "Start/Launch" buttons, or icons would not be a part of a Window Manager. rapoison.sourceforge.net http://www.nongnu.org/ratpoison/
K3B vs Nero Linux Nero is now available for Linux. However, Linux has a powerfull program called K3B that rivals the Windows versions of Nero, and Roxio. k3b.sourceforge.net http://k3b.plainblack.com/ http://www.nero.com/en/NeroLINUX.html
Gaim Gaim replaces MSN Messenger, Yahoo IM, AIM, and many other chat clients. I mean, it replaces them. You can chat with any MSN, YIM, or AIM user, using Gaim. You will not be able to see, or use all the latest effects, and editions though.
Firestarter Firestarter is a popular Linux firewall wizard. It is one of the few, that have a system tray status icon, which warns when the firewall is down, or when an attack has occured. Linux usually comes with a built-in firewall. It uses IPtables for configuration. Most "Firewalls" in Linux, just edit the IPtables.
Firefox vs Opera vs Epiphany vs Konqueror Firefox, and Opera are available on Linux. Which is part of the reason why Firefox, and Opera are so great. You don't have to use Windows, to use them. Epiphany, and Konqueror are "built-in" browsers. Konqueror is the KDE file Manager, and Web Browser. It is usually faster than Firefox, and designed to be more powerfull. Epiphany is the defacto Gnome web browser, at this moment. It is easy to use, and fairly simple, but most people prefer the familiarity of Firefox.
Ark vs File Roller KDE uses the Ark file compression utility. To replace Winzip, and Winrar. Gnome uses "File Roller". Either way, both of these programs rely on console based programs, to read archives. The top File Managers in Linux support viewing tarballs, and zip files, as if they were compressed folders, but that function does not replace a quality compression utility.