Nice going tweakerxp - you made progress: more than I did with RH7.2 way back and RH was supposed to be a newbie-friendly distro. I seem to recall that it had some kind of CD-ROM drive problem which didn't load a required module!! Yikes
Anyway, if the distribution is installed correctly and the drives are partitioned correctly (a previous poster suggested a partition table, but a far simpler one for starting out is: SWAP = 2 x RAM up to a Gb, / = 4Gb /home = rest), once you reboot you'll be facing a virgin system and will be expected to login. Again, if
your system is correctly installed, you only have one option really: type root at the prompt and whatever password you entered during the system installation. This will make you master of the computer's universe and it is here that you would ordinarily create a new user who is your everyday account. The easiest way to do this is once you've logged in as root, simply enter startx at the prompt. This should default you to KDE. Then go to the menu ('K' on the panel) and under system (I'm going on memory now because I use Xfce) select user-manager, and create a user for yourself. Now when you reboot or login again - login as this user and enter startx at the prompt to bring up KDE. In which case, well done!!! You've arrived.
The devil is
in the detail however. After this point, you will still have to configure your system - a Windows machine will automatically configure a system for you which sounds nice, but actually does lead to a whole host of significant problems down the line. The GNU/Linux way requires you to configure the system settings: this is tough on a new user who may just want to plug-in and go. At the risk of sounding elitist, this underscores some of the most different aspects of the Windows and the GNU/Linux worlds is that the former is more like an entertainment centre with a computer attached, whereas the latter is firstly a computer that you configure to do what you want it to do, because a computer is first and foremost a tool. Mostly I'd suggest you set it up as a workstation for general purpose, so it'll be a compromise between ease of use and convenience on one hand and security and robustness on the other. This requires you to undertake some tasks that might not initially seem obvious to you:
1. lock down and configure your system - there are some excellent guides for you, and even one on this site
, prepared by Shilo which is Slackare specific and easy to follow for a quick step through getting a functioning system that is stable and responsive.
2. become acquainted with the console and using the command line. At first, coming from a Windows environment typing at a text window seems counter-intuitive to speed and efficiency, however once you start to use it, you will find that using a mouse to point-and-click is not the most efficient way of doing things, and that it sacrifices efficiency and power for visual convenience.
3. when in Rome ... . Be willing and prepared to experience the differences involved in using a different computing environment. This isn't Windows, and while you will undoubtedly make comparisons between the two, and no doubt you will find yourself preferring Windows for a time, experiment with GNU/Linux, don't take it too seriously, but play around with it, try learning bash (the language your shell/terminal uses) which is a powerful programming language in itself.
If you are into languages, GNU/Linux comes innately loaded with most programming languages and you will be able to install some cool IDEs for programming and web development. There are also a great range of games, productivity suites, utilities, browsers, email clients, and so on. At first the range of options and the strange sounding names can be a bit daunting, but try different applications until you come across the ones you like most to do the job. You will encounter difficulties with installation and use of new programs, because an icon generally isn't automatically added. If you use KDE there is a menu updating tool to load new apps onto the menus. To install programs generally you will face one major hurdle which is library dependency. If you default to adding Slackware-specific packages, generally speaking you should be okay.
The range and extent of user choice given to users of GNU/Linux can also be a cause of its problems - there is no homogenised benchmark machine like there is in Windows. However, it is because of the homogenised configuration of a Windows box that in part makes it so vulnerable to malicious software. However, a Slackware package from http://www.linuxpackages.net
will load into your system quite easily, and if it requires any dependent libraries that should be quite easy to pick up by using a google.com/linux search.
Slackware doesn't have any of the bells and whistles and automations that some other distros come with, so hence some people here were recommending that you continue with Ubuntu. Ubuntu, Mandriva, and some others will come with more automatic configuration scripts, although Ubuntu has a pre-selected application list. If you want to let the software do most of the work for you, then you may want to consider something like Mandriva or OpenSUSE - check out http://www.distrowatch.com
for comparisons. But as a Slackware user I confess my bias - you've picked a great system, and it's great because
it is minimalist and gives you a robust base upon which you can build. Subscribe to the user group lists, lurk on the forums here for the distro, and enjoy the learning curve. Set tasks for yourself: keep your Windows box for everyday work in, but use Slackware for all Internet activity which is not mission-critical; see how that goes. Begin to play around with OpenOffice.org as an alternative to MS Office and gradually expand your comfort zone with GNU/Linux. You'll soon get the hang of how to be productive and confident in using GNU/Linux, but as with everything else, it is all a matter of practice and exposure.