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Enraged though I was last week at the Mandriva version of Linux and its inability to cope with two monitors, I have to say that it probably would have installed perfectly well with one - and indeed it integrated seamlessly with my network and downloaded updates off the internet without human intervention.

Albeit on strangely truncated screens. When I installed another Linux distribution, Ubuntu, on a single-monitor computer, it worked perfectly.

Like a lot of new Linuxes, you buy what is called a live version. You make your lead start-up device a CD or DVD drive and the live version of Ubuntu or Kubuntu or Knoppix (and there are at least 50 more) takes over the running of your computer.

Mostly you can then install them permanently. But mostly not if you run two monitors. Like I said, possibly next year.

This is a deeply serious column so I won't direct your attention to www.greatbuildings. com/ buildings/Chinli_ Kiosk. html which seems to be connected with Oregonbased ArchitectureWeek, the 'leading', as it describes itself, 'online architecture magazine'. Maybe it is, but when last seen the above url had a big fart button plastered across the top.

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