Whatever soundcard you have Alsa drivers will deliver better performance and if like me you have the Yamaha 724 the Alsa drivers are nearly as good as those provided by Yamaha for Windows. You will of course have to compile them for your system but don't let that deter you. Its a simple matter of three commands. The alsa drivers are available at http://www.alsa-project.org/
Those used to scrolling with their mouse wheel/s will not like Linux if they can't scroll. The good news is you can but it is not set up by default. Add the following line to your XF86Config file in /etc/X11/ in the mouse section "ZAxisMapping 4 5" (obviously without the quotes though in Xfree 4.01 you would have to enclose the numerical values in quotes) If this doesn't work visit the Linux scroll wheel homepage at http://www.inria.fr/koala/colas/mouse-wheel-scroll/ set up by a curiously named fellow called Colas Nahaboo.
By default the hard disk is not configured to perform at its optimum and in most cases the difference can be dramatic. DMA, 32═bit IO and multiple sector transfers are disabled by default and you should enable them at the earliest this is of course presuming you have a relatively new hard disk that support these features. As a test you should benchmark your hdd before and after you change the settings just to see the difference tweaking can do to your system. The utility to change the settings is hdparm and you can run it from an xterm or the console but for a permanent solution append the command to your rc.d local file in /etc/rcd. Before you use hdparm read the documentation carefully. Its a powerful utility and misusing it can trash your disk. First run hdparm with the -i option to get the info on your hdd, then benchmark it without the changes by running hdparm -Tt /dev/hda. Then run hdparm -c 1 -d 1 -m16 -k 1 /dev/hda
hdparm -d 1 (sets dma to on) -mx(this sets multiple transfers where x represents the maximum (in my case 16) that your hdd allows – running hdparm with the -i option gives you the maximum that your hdd allows ) -c 1 (sets 32═bit io) and -k 1 keeps the setting. In my case the data transfer shotup from a mere 3.16 to 16.8═Mb/sec!
A file system driver for the ext2 filesystem for Windows, ext2fs is available from its homepage http://uranus.it.swin.edu.au/~jn/linux/ giving you the added convienience of reading your Linux partitions from within Windows.
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