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Query:

#1
Short of building an LFS system (doable but time consuming) and ignoring, debian, ubuntu, suse and mandrake. What would people suggest as a linux distro for the following tasks:

Web browsing with firefox,
Emailing with thunderbird,
Development with RoR (I want to learn this for company stuff cos everything PHP so far falls short - considered django but it's a pain to get going on a box)

Caveats: Must work with an ATI radeon hd2900XT without making my screen turn on and off every 2 seconds, and my Asus Xonar D2 which I found out is a relabelled CMI8788 Oxygen HD audio processor that Asus bought exclusive rights to.

I admin linux servers daily so techy distro's aren't a problem. The ones I've tried so far are irritatingly counter-intuitive for desktop use IMO.

Also *BSD is an option too if it works with aforementioned hardware.

It's come to this or getting a Mac Mini.
 
#5
I believe FreeBSD is supported by the ATi driver packages, not sure about your sound card though.

You might also want to take a look at merb as well as RoR. Advanced Rails Recipes and Agile Web Development with Rails (3rd Ed) are probably going to be the best places to start learning Rails. AWDwR 3rd Ed is currently in beta with Pragmatic Programmers but you can get the PDF version of the book and you'll be notified of updates to it.
 

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