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You might want to take a look at one of the usb-key distros that are available. Mandriva announced that they have a new distro recently. You might not even have to take your desktop. Just boot from the usb key with your laptop. The live cd's are ok, but it is usually inconvenient to be unable to save your environment, user data ..etc..., without having to mount some writeable media first.

The usb key distros allow you to save quite a bit of data to the key itself, so your ~/your_home stores all the afore-mentioned things. I tried a previous version out and found that it works very nicely. Check w/ the university you are going to . If they have not disabled the boot device menu on the laptop they are supplying, you just plug in the key and boot from usb. If they do have some restrictions, you may be able to get the restriction waived by signing some agreement... . On top of that, you always have a linux distro in your pocket to boot up someone's broken machine and recover their data for them, for which some folks will pay(in beer if not $$). Good luck with your education!

Below are a couple of examples... there are more...



...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

In reply to Re: (OT?): Operating Systems by wjw
in thread (OT?): Operating Systems by Andrew_Levenson

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