One thing I'd like to pass along to other Linux übernoobs, like myself: I highly recommend giving a Virtual PC try. You can set up multiple virtual machines and install different Linux distros and play to your hearts content. The Linux drive image is just another file on your "host OS", so you can back it up and copy it to other machines where you have VPC installed. It'll save you gobs of time over the inevitbale re-install from too much "experimenting".
It just saved my ass. I had hosed the Xconfig file in my fresh Red Hat 8.0 install trying to change one little setting. Then I couldn't get X to start. Then I hosed something in my network setup. So, I just dragged a backup copy of the drive image into my VPC folder and started over. No muss, no fuss. You can play all you want and if you fuck it up, you just get another copy of the drive image and start over. And you don't have to reformat a drive and worry about losing any data.
I'm running VPC 5 on one of my Mac G4s, but they sell it for PCs too which is cool, cuz you can have multiple Linux flavors running at once alongside multiple flavors of Windows. I've got OS X, RH 8 and Win98 and Win95 (eek!) running all at once and I can drag and drop files between them.
The down side is that since VPC is an emulator, the "guest OS" runs slower that if it was running on a native machine. But for me, I'd rather work on somehting a little slower that I can easily fix than sit looking at installation progress bars over and over. You may also have trouble getting certain sound card or printer settings to work right. But again, I'm in the "experimental" stage so that's not a big deal....I'm just happy to have some damn training wheels.
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