Hello All,
Yes, I'm a complete Linux newbie and have no idea what to do.
I have numerous questions and would appreciate any advice. Currently I'm running Windows 2000 Pro on a Windows network setup at my house with one other Windows 2000 Pro machine that has a satellite modem, so I run it as proxy for my laptop to access internet.

The one really bad thing I noticed when I upgraded to Windows 2000 is that for some reason I can't watch DVDs anymore. Using WinDVD or PowerDVD, I've tried both, I put my dvd in the drive and start up the software and it crashed. Basically I'm tired of this and want to know how Linux handles DVD playing and is the any software for burning & ripping dvds???

Also, for reference, my laptop specs are:
NEC Versa SX w/ hot swappable drives
366 mhz Pentium II
6.0 GB HD
Toshiba DVD drive, reads all other forms of cds also
3.5 floppy/superdisk combo (Versabay)
2mb video
audio is unkown, Ess maestro something or another (big headache otherwise)
1 usb port

I would really like to set it up to dual boot Windows 2k or Xp & Mandrake 9. I've got Partition Magic 7 ( I think)
I tried to Partition my HD the other day and screwed it up, I wiped everything clean and did a fresh install of Win98 to start over again.
If anyone has used PM7 and has suggestions please let me know. Questions on partitioning also. I read that Linux boot has to be under 1024 cylinder, if a drive is partitioned does it start over in couting the cylinders at the beginning of the new partition?

Not to make this topic too long, I'll go ahead and post this.

Thanks in advance for any help