I started using Linux sometime in the mid 1990's. The first distribution I used was Mandrake 7.1. It was very easy to install, but I had a hard time getting some of the hardware to funtion properly. I quickly lost interest and resumed my life in the world of Bill Gates. Later, about the time Red Hat 7.3 was around, I created my first dual boot machine (Red Hat 7.3/Windows 98). All of the hardware was recognized, and the necessary drivers were installed, except one - the modem. This became my first hurdle that I wanted to conquer.
I succeeded by booting into Windows, going on the internet to browse a ton of tutorials and download the Linux driver, then rebooting into Red Hat. I copied the driver from the Windows partition to the Linux partition, unzipped the zipped tarball, and followed the steps in the INSTALL file. Tada! I had internet on Linux. Since then, I've set up Linux boxes to perform various funtions, including, but not limited to:
DHCP, File and Print sharing, Primary Domain Controller (Yes, I know it's a Windows thing), RADIUS for wireless authentication, DNS, NTP, MySQL, web server, email server.
The links below are to help those who want to try Linux. You are encouraged to do your homework prior to installing Linux or any software or service for the Linux operating system. You are hereby warned that anything you do is done at your own risk. The authors make no guarantees on results and assume no liablility
Fedora A spin off of Red Hat Linux. It is my choice in distros. Even though it can't view NTFS partitions and can't play mp3 files (both due to potential legal hassles), there are software plugins and packages that can get around that.
OpenSuse The free version of Novell's Suse
Knoppix A live CD that I find very useful to copy files from hard drives when unable to boot to the OS. It can also resize partitions (including NTFS) without loss of data. Great tool to use when you want to create a multi-boot computer.
Ubuntu One of the more user friendly distributions. Live CD that can be installed onto hard drive.
Open Mandriva A very user friendly distro having applications that can play video and mp3 files with no additional work. Due to potential legal problems, United States distros like Red Hat do not support mp3 codecs.
Slackware is a very stable distro, but it is not for beginners.
Ophcrack The password cracker. If you have kids that create their own user accounts or are helping out a friend because he/she can't remember their logon password to a local computer, boot to this CD. Within 20 minutes, you'll have all of the logon passwords stored on that computer.
Smoothwall Is not as much of a Linux distro as it is a firewall builder with a web based gui (graphical user interface for you noobs). Excellent tool if you want to setup a spare computer as a gateway to your internal network.
This tutorial goes through the step by step process to create an automated backup of files from one computer to another on the same network
Wireless security with FreeRADIUS
A quick step by step tutorial on creating a RADIUS server in order to secure wireless LAN with WPA and FreeRADIUS.
This is a quick reference of vi commands. For a tutorial on the use of vi, click on the link "vi tutorial"
This tutorial will assist the user in creating a bootable Knoppix flash drive. Similar to the bootable CD, the Knoppix flash drive will allow you to boot to Knoppix from a flash drive.
NORLUG  For all of you noobs, LUG is an acronym for Linux User Group. Norlug is the Northfield Linux User Group, of which I am a member.
www.linuxquestions.org  A resource to assist the Linux user in solving probems.
www.tldp.org  A whole bunch of HOWTOs on anything and everything Linux
www.justlinux.com   Another resource to assist the Linux user in solving problems - similar to www.linuxquestions.org.
www.linuxhomenetworking.com   A resource to configure your Linux computer for various services like Samba, DNS, DHCP, Web server, FTP, etc.
www.kernel.org   The primary site for the Linux kernel source