Linux attempts

I’ve been having fun trying to install Linux on my laptop. I got the 2006 Edition of the Linux Bible by Christopher Negus which comes with a DVD and a CD with different distributions and “live” distributions. I’d like to get a stable distribution that will work well on a laptop, has a decent desktop manager, and will also support amateur radio applications. I tried the KNOPPIX live CD – and it worked nicely. But I couldn’t figure out how to install it to run other than as a “live” CD version. I then tried Fedora Core 4, but there was a flaw on the disk and locked up during installation. Ubuntu installed but crashed when I tried to bring up the desktop. Next was SUSE, which installed nicely but locks up when I try to bring up the desktop. My next attempt will be a commercial version of Mandriva.