nossr50; along with ppuru,s welcome as a member-newbie have my extended welcome too. as a guide visit http://tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX
and peruse site towards your benefit. this site is extensive covering
top to bottom of linux even has an additional site that helps with compatible and non compatible hardware with linux. http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Hardware-HOWTO/index.html
that is for starts as you become more comfortable there is more just ask on any correct forum.
forums cover additional information and help from members.