Finally plucked up the courage a couple of weeks ago to add Mandrake 9.1 as a multiboot option to a Win 98/2000 setup. Very impressed by the simplicity, smoothness and comprehensiveness of the installation. Most everything picked up, including USB scanner. Subsequent addition of (Samsung) USB printer a bit problematic - installation went fine - they actually included a Linux driver on the CD - but apps couldn't see it. Samsung tech support useless - they knew less about Linux than me. Eventually devised my own workaround with manual install of a different Samsung driver. So far so good ..
Next big test was installing Firebird and Opera as alternative browsers, but no problems there. (OK, might not have been a big test for you experts ...)
Finally, last night, decided to try installing the latest nVidia drivers. First problem - nVidia's Web site wanted me to download and install Flash, requiring a bit of command line interaction. Managed to pass that test ... looking good ... Now the moment of truth - command line install of nVidia ... ERROR
Unable to find system utility 'ld' - make sure you have 'binutils' installed and that 'ld' is in the path
Have a look at Mandrake config utility - yes, binutils is on the distro CD, not installed, do I want it installed? You bet - and it installed fine from the GUI. Try running nVidia install again ... edit XF86Config-4 using command line again ... YESSSS
Thanks to all here who have helped either with specific advice, or links to guidance notes (eg nVidia drivers install). As a previously unreconstructed Windo$e user, but one who is willing (indeed, quite keen) to be converted to Linux, I feel this has been a great achievement. I still feel, though, that Linux won't make significant inroads into the home user O/S market (do you want to?) as long as Joe Public has to "get his hands dirty" using command line interventions. Personally, I don't mind - I enjoy the challenge (something to look forward to in my impending retirement?) - as long as I can rely on help here.