the truth is mandrake is actually one of the best choices for a linux newbie, but it would seem there is something wrong with your cd or perhaps your install...
did you verify the md5 of the iso images you downloaded? (very important)
in the event that the cd is corrupted because the iso's md5 value doesn't match (or any other reason), then the thing to do would be to re-install using properly-burned cds...
however, one thing you can do that MIGHT help right now is change your sources... what i mean by this is: "tell mandrake to stop looking in the cds for the rpms, and instead use a server on the internet"...
you can do this using mandrake's "software sources manager":
"START" MENU | Configuration | Packaging | Software Sources Manager
or by using the command-line:
here's an example of what commands it would take to point your box away from the cds and toward the kernel.org server:
urpmi.addmedia rpms ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/mandrake/9..../Mandrake/RPMS
urpmi.addmedia rpms2 ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/mandrake/9....Mandrake/RPMS2
urpmi.addmedia updates ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/mandrake/updates/9.2/RPMS
then you could make sure everything's up-to-date:
and then you could try to install your stuff again, for example if you wanted to install tux racer: