Ok, I’ve got all the hardware I need (took a few minutes with a vacuum cleaner to carefully suck out as much of the dust that was caked in there), and hooked it all up. The computer starts up ok, but it needs an OS – the hard disk was wiped clean of all government secrets, as expected.
I downloaded Oracle Enterprise Linux release 5 from OTN [link]. I choose the x86 32 bit version, Release 5 Media Pack. It comes as five ISO images (ignoring the four Source ISOs), which I burned onto five CDs (just happened to have some blanks lying around).
Pop the first CD into the tray and hope nothing’s broken. It works! It’s alive!
Oracle Enterprise Linux welcomes me into its world and I recklessly accept all the defaults. It’s successfully detected all the hardware, and after the last CD has been inserted the transformation from boring ex-government PC into a shiny clean Linux box is complete.
A bit of a brush up on linux commands (Guide to Linux File Command Mastery), and now it’s play time!