Herein I share my half-vast (about a month on 15 Jan 08) experience with Linux and gOS (OS = operating system, the fundamental software on a computer).
Commercially available materials for learning Linux, including a tutorial CD for gOS: []
If you are totally exasperated with one of those Everex gPCs from WalMart, your best bet is probably to return it. IMO (in my opinion) it is inappropriate for anyone who is not a hobbyist or does not have a hobbyist around the house. Shame on WalMart.
Back in December someone posted a question on []. She said her mother had bought the computer for her and 'im just not smart enough for this'. That just about broke my heart: here is a girl, I'm guessing about 12, whose mother may have had to stretch her budget to get a computer that was threatening her daughter's self-esteem. Shame on WalMart.
I dashed off an answer. 'No Kate: it's not you, it's the computer – more precisely, it's the operating system. Have your mother take it back.' LinuxChick thought she should stick to it and answered her question. I see that between Christmas and New Years she asked a flurry of questions. I imagine she was home from school and slugging it out again. So if you think we grow from our trials and tribulations, this wiki is dedicated to you.
Most of these computers can perform useful tasks as originally configured. In the 'Ibar' across the bottom of the screen is an orange globe for the Firefox browser. Get to know it: for reasons I won't elaborate here, I think we will be using browsers as tools equivalent to much of the software we load onto our computers now (examples below). If you need help with Firefox, use their many resources. (It has dawned on me that if you are reading this page, you are probably using Firefox.)
This [] is a good tutorial with lots of screen shots that will give you some useful practice and download a lot of software. Most of you can skip the installation and go to page 3. It's a long tutorial: you can always come back again to complete it. At the top of page 5, where you start to use Synaptic, click on magnifying glass and search for 'xdebconfigurator'. Right-click on it and mark it for removal and then Apply. This program interferes with installation of many of the programs you are about to install.
For a file manager somewhat like Explorer in Windows XP, download Thunar, using Synaptic. Description of the Linux (Unix) file system File system.
to be continued....