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I am somewhat new to Linux, even though I have played around with it off and on over the years. I am a 3D artist and my Windows 2k workstation that I do all my work on, well...died. It was working one moment then *POOF* dead. Every piece of hardware fried due to *ahem* - DUST. ALL my data was lost, and of course I failed to back up ANYTHING for a good year, somehow thinking my computer was "special".
Anyway, I threw together a Linux system from older systems. I wanted to start to get to know the UNIX system since in the 3D professional world, most of them use UNIX, Linux or IRIX. Well I had two free CDs that I got from a friend of mine years ago, one of them was Mandrake 7.0 (I think), and that sort of worked but for some reason would never recognize any video card or chipset I had, and in order to do 3D work you NEED an X11 server running. SO I threw in Storm Linux 2000, the other CD and with some tweaking I made it work, even though the only working resolution I can have is 640x480. Later I found out that the company ceased to exist like 5 years ago.
Then I went and found the software I needed to get my system into a decent 3D workstation. I managed to download stuff like Blender, Aqsis, K3D and some shader editing/creating software.
Now I ran into a HUGE roadblock, NONE of the software (I downloaded the debian packages) will install because I don't have current libraries. I went to the local library (the only way to get on the net for now) and for some reason do not have the completed list of software I need, so I can't give you much examples. BUT I did go on to the main Debian FTP site to get at least a few, and of course the files I need depend on even more files and so on and so on.

Here is my question. Should I spend the weeks downloading every single little file I need to get the 3 orginal 3D software running, or should I say screw it for now and just get a NEW distribution? I am pissed, I have spent 2 weeks not being able to work on my stuff, or work on my resume to get a damn job. I can't just go out and buy a new computer yet - you know lack of funds. My Linux system is pretty decent for being slopped together from old unused parts. For you techies that can provide me with any info or advice -
300 Mhz AMD CPU
288 Megs RAM
5 or so Gigs of HD space
However it has an ancient Trident 9680 (or something) video card with 1024k of video memory, not exactly screaming. I do have a Voodoo1 3DFX card, but can't find anything on the net for it.

I am not a total newbie, I have been messing around on computers for like 16 years with different OS's. I only now have yet to truly immerse myself into Linux, I know my way around the command line. I just need some advice on how to go about this, I am in limbo. I would like to just say screw it and get a Red Hat CD and install from scratch again, but on the other hand I don't know if it will work so I would be willing to put file after file onto floppy and walk back and forth to the library untill my weakling of a 3D workstation is running.

Anybody who can give me ideas or advice please email me at
Downloading a new distro is probably the best way to go. I would reccomend Mandrake since its pretty easy to isntall and use, and the package manager can be setup to download software from internet repositories (thus handling all dependencies for you).

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