Ok, so I have been in the unfortunate situation of jumping from one computer to another.
The fortunate thing is that, along the way, I’ve had to learn to get linux going quickly.
This entry is about getting linux going fast but temporary. You will want to look at my other post (coming): installing linux… longterm for some other advice
Here are options that I have really used
1. Knoppix live cd
The basic deal here is that you just boot the computer with the CD installed.
Ease: very easy
Minuses: slow boot
Pluses: Truly excellent hardware recognition – I’d recommend trying this for the cool new laptop that seems to hate standard distributions. Also, nice full system.
2. Vmware Player + DSL (Damn Small Linux)
The basic deal here is that you download the Vmware player (easy), install Vmware player like any other windows software, then download the damn small linux virtual machine from the Vmware site.
Ease: very easy
Minuses: several. DSL is a micro-distrib of linux. Yes, it is graphical, but a huge amount of stuff is missing.
Pluses: After you install the Vmware player software, you can always jump into linux – just start the Vmware player. And you are just running it like any other app in windows – which means that you can be doing windows stuff in another window at the same time.
What do I do: well, I currently use the Vmware player + DSL. But this is just temporary… I need to do a few things fast…
When I finally do my long term deal, I will install linux fully to a partition… or try Vmware server…