lemme try to de-mystify too
This is about installing "some stuff". some software comes with source (theres a BIGGGGGGG list of software like this)..some come directly with pre-compiled binaries(like mcafee antivirus for linux ..mostly vendors who want to keep the source private )..why are sources included???
well..linux is cross-platform...& u expect it to run on any differenct processor technologies.. & one instruction set of processor might not be understood by another processor
(i guess windows softwares go by the assumption that u have a pentium based processor clearly defined in Requirements of any software....or at the most AMD based... in which case they use generic machine intrucstions..)
when u have sources...u can use a compiler to generate machine instructions that are specific for your configuration(processor)...in linux..mostly done with gcc compiler (a form of C compiler) more info at http://gcc.gnu.org/
When u use pre-compiled binaries...(eg: RPM based...)..they have been already compiled by some other user/developer using a similar setup as urs...RPMs are very specific for each machine..u will see xyz-i586.rpm..or xyz-amd.rpm or xyz-sparc.rpm as file names (or something like that)....this are just like windows installers..which copy ready-to-run executables to ur hard-drive...
As per ur Ipod-30 Gig problem...check freshmeat.net ... search for ipod.... u will get myriad of similar applications as itunes... u need not run wine for every windows software..u can get similar package that do the same job..& mostly free tooo!!
yes..linux can read ntfs drives.... provided u have ntfs support in ur kernel or u have ntfs drivers installed (check freshmeat.net for that)
for ur wireless thingy...start googling
i will end up with a list of windows-linux applications which might help the "noobiest noob i've ever noobed ..that basically do the same job (this list is specific to me...others like others)
winamp-xmms (pretty much same as winamp..u can even use winamp classic skins)
MS office - open office
windows media player - Mplayer, xine, amarok
Internt explorer - Mozilla, Konqueror, Firefox
Windows Explorer - Konqueror, Nautilus
yahoo mesenger/MSN mesenger/AOL/google talk - Gaim (yes everything in 1 )
Photoshop - Gimp
Nero burning ROM - K3b (for burning DVDs/CDs)
IIS - Apache
Ftp server - vsftpd
windows (not as an OS..but the GUI) - KDE, gnome etc...