You can run Linux without uninstalling
Windows or making any changes to your PC.
I tried the Knoppix CD on a Windows
2000 machine with a 200 MHz pentium II and 128 RAM, a very low power
machine by today's standards. Linux provides you with step-by-step
status information, and I ignored several error messages as Knoppx was
booting. It took a while for Linux to boot from the 52X CD-ROM drive,
but then Windows 2000 also takes forever to boot on this machine.
To my amazement, Knoppix booted
successfully, with the proper screen resolution and access to all the
drives. To my further amazement, the CD-ROM contained OpenOffice.org
1.0. I used OpenOffice to create a file. I couldn't save the file to the
hard disk, probably because of access rights (NTFS or Linux), but I
could save it to a floppy disk. Later, I opened the floppy disk file on
a different Windows 2000 machine with the Windows version of OpenOffice.
In his book, Marcel Gagne gives you
several tips to make knoppix start faster and work faster. For example,
he provides a command that creates a Linux swap file on your Windows
partition, and a command that saves Knoppix configuration to a floppy
Note: If you have a broadband Internet
connection, you can download Knoppix from www.knoppix.net (700 MB). You
also need to know how to burn raw data to CD-R. The book gives you all
kinds of information about the different Linux distributions,
appications, and how to use Linux, plus the included Knoppix CD is all
set to run, so I think the book is worth the extra cost.
If want you to explore and learn about
Linux without uninstalling Windows or making any changes to your PC,
Knoppix is the way to go. Maybe someday everyone will carry a Knoppix CD
and a CD-RW to use on any computer they find. That day will truly be the
death of Windows.