Okay, I'm a newbie, that's why I'm here. I want to learn what I can about Linux and get on to the bigger and better task of fun and productive computing (and networking). I have downloaded and installed RH8.0. Yeah, I ran into some of the issues I see others *wine*ing about (sorry, couldn't help myself on that one), but I just backed up (figuratively) and took another run at it. First thing I did wrong was I burned the .iso file to the CD and tried to install. Anybody else do that? Then I did a number of seriously ignorant things, some of which required that I fdisk the drive from my Win98 EBD and start over - but I did learn. I've been using RH for about 5 months now, so I'm downloading Mandrake .iso's to burn and install so I can compare the two and find out what's Linux and what's RH/Mandrake/etc. Hopefully this will give you some idea of how to answer my question.
The question is - which source-distro would be a good starter project? I'm a programmer (mostly Java and web stuff with a bit of C and Pascal), but I have NO concept of an OS, the kernel or any of that truly geeky stuff (I will get there, but I'd like to start in the shallow end...) at the code level.
Anybody got some help for me?
BTW, I do appreciate the great value of true geeks - and you know who you are - but I'm not quite up to speed on a lot of the jargon. I'd appreciate any answers to be in "for Dummies" terms.