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New Laptop



 
Have just ordered a new Dell laptop P4 1.6 GHZ, 40 GIG HHD, and 256 RAM.  Will be connected to a Linksys WIRELESS Router through a wireless PCMCIA card.  I plan to scrap the winXP preinstalled on it, and Go with Linux.
 
On to the question.  I have heard some problems with wireless cards, any advice in this area.  I will try to go back and read the threads, I should have read in the first place, but since they did not pertain to me I deleated.
 
Also have heard a lot of talk about RH 7.3 may not support new hardware, and I may be better off with Mandrake 8.2.  I know this is a RH board, but if anyone has any info on Mandrake will handle this config, please chime in.
 
Also I use heavily GAIM, or any chat program that can chat to MSN Messager and AOL Instant messanger.  I also like that I can do away with Microsoft office, so wondering if Mandrake is the way to go, does it have all these programs as well?
 
THanks for the advice

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