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If you have a working Windows machine I would suggest trying some Live CD's first. Live CD's give you the opportunity of booting a machine and running Linux without installation issues, and more importantly without losing what you're accustomed to.
I'd suggest you go to ubuntu.com and download the ISO of the latest desktop version (which defaults to Live) that matches your machine (AMD64 for 64 bit OR AMD processors: i386 for single core Intel machines), burn to CD and boot from it. Boot, play and bail out if you think you're something wrong: repeat.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Open-source and linux, first place you should check is tldp.org; all of the documentation is kept there. Another place would be distrowatch.org; they track the latest versions of linux and bsd and which ones are downloaded more.
Personally i can tell you that the best way you can learn (at least for me still works that way) is doing things.... everything you want to do, try to do it, so to accomplish something you would have to search, investigate and test.
But,if you want to read and learn something more you can try with the manuals for your GNU/Linux distro, every distro have a web page or wiki and there you can find a lot of documentation.
Learn as many basic commands as possible.
Practice on non-production machines.
Go through the free course link I am including and practice every step of the way on that non-production box.
Good Luck. http://www.linux.org/lessons/beginner/
My apologies since I haven't read any of those (except for the last). Know that this forum and google are your friends.
This links might look ugly (and maybe are outdated), but reading is all you need.
On the other hand you can begin learning by getting in to it. Here you can download a linux distribution
and here will tell you how to burn the file to a disk.
you can also install ubuntu linux from windows using wubi (haven't tested either)
Another place would be distrowatch.org; they track <snip></endsnip> which ones are downloaded more.
It tracks only what pages visitors view during the visit, and can therefor tell which distribution is on which rank, compared to the others.
It doesn't tell, how much the distribution is used, nor how many people actually download a certain version. (since DW doesn't offer downloads)
it makes a huge difference.. in what the rates actually mean.
Hummm....you can find lots and lots of materials about Linux.But First you should define your family distros.You can go Debian Family and work with (ubuntu,knoppix....) or Red Hat (Fedora, Mandriva,CentOS....) or SlackWare (...I donīt know).Try Fedora 10 or 11...Welcome and good Like.