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[linrad] Re: Which Linux?

Thanks to all who answered, both here and privately. Your advices are very valuable.

In the meantime I made a few test installations. I have set apart a second hard disk (20 GB) dedicated to Linux, in addition to the main HD (80 GB) with both Win98SE and WinXP. 
Here are a few results.

RedHat 9
Smooth install, finds correctly the onboard nVidia audio chip set, but fails to find both the second audio adapter (a PCI card) and, most annoying, the onboard Ethernet port.
Asked a friend who said that RH9 is obsolete, it still uses the 2.4.20 kernel, and this explains why it didn't find the eth port.
Very nice and crispy graphics, though,. It full recognized and supported the ATI Radeon 9000 video card.
No interference whatsoever with Windows, the ext3 partitions are invisible to it.

Mandrake 10.1
Also installs smoothly, maybe a bit more confusing (at least for me) in the disk partitioning dialogs. Disk Druid of RH is more intuitive.
Its kernel is the 2.6.8 and it finds correctly the Ethernet port, and both audio adapters. Cool.
The graphics quality is not on a par with RH9, though. It looks like it is using a different font technology, with characters not so crispy as RedHat's.
But the main problem is that it enclosed the ext2 swap and /home (or was it /root ?) partitions into an extended partition, so that Windows is able to see it, and when it starts it tries to "correct" logical defects it thinks to have found in it, destroying the Mandrake install..... 
The coexistence of Windows and Linux is of utmost importance for me, so, unless a remedy exists for this, Mandrake is ruled out.

Fedora Core #3
I had Fedora Core #2, but have been told that the newly released Core #3 has the 2.6.x kernel, so, being it a spinoff of RedHat, should have the positive aspects of that distro, and be able to find at least the Ethernet port and maybe also the second sound card.
So I started the download of the CD images needed for the installation (abt 2GB...). 

When done, I will report here the results of its installation.
Thanks again guys for your advices.