I realize that this isn't really a "hardware" issue, but I'm wondering if other folks are considering a second box as a component of their music-making and whether Linux is a serious thing to be considered. According to many, it has a lot of things going for it: [1] virtually free OS, [2] efficient OS, [3] new sampler software coming along, and [4] interconnectivity with existing Windows and Mac sequencers through LAN and/or audio signal connections.

For example, I have an under-used P-4 2.66 gHz system (max'd out at 1 gig) that serves now as little more than an additional ad hoc "firewall" between my internet-connected "utility" system and my (paranoid) isolated primary music system. A LAN cable goes from utility to "underused" and another thence on to "paranoid". The music system allows a connection to the "underused" (bridge) box for only short specific intervals.

I may have hi-jacked another thread (here) which was discussing "other" sample options with some questions about possible Linux options. (It was not my intent to hi-jack it, so forgive me, please.)

Has ANYONE developed a simple "cook-book" approach to dipping ones' toe into Linux and using an "outboard" system as an audio component (driven by LAN signals from the primary sequencer, for example)?

Here's what would be really helpful:

[1] the choices in Linux (which one[s] to download),

[2] installing pointers (such as possible dual-boot options -- do you really need to get something like "PartitionMagic" or other product?),

[3] simple first steps to confirm connectivity

I'd plunk down my PayPal info for this!
ANY POINTERS? I've been searching various Linux pages and boy, do they drop down into the tiny details fast! Anyone who can play "interpreter" here would be the mythical man/woman on the proverbial white horse!

tia ... KevinKauai