OK. I went and did it: got a Linux live CD ISO file, burnt it, and ran it on an old laptop.
It all started with an old Knoppix CD I had lying around (thanks Erik in Lund!), and late one evening, I inserted it into the old laptop, which by the way is a Toshiba 2520CDS. The thing ran, but very unwillingly, and slowly. But the spark was there: a real functional OS on a CD! So, I dreamt about live CD Linux distributions that night, and today I got me my first dist, after my last bout of fiddling with Debian.
My starting choice is Damn Small Linux, which is based on Debian. The homepage tells us:
Damn Small Linux is a business card size (50MB) bootable Live CD Linux distribution. Despite its minuscule size it strives to have a functional and easy to use desktop.
It just ran, out of the box, and rather fast, too.
There is an option to make a “hd install” the OS on the computer. When I’ve read enough of the documentation, which is only available as a web forum, in the shape of FAQ threads, I’ll endeavour to do a hard drive install. That will speed things up, I guess, and add the possibility to edit config files, and **save** things. That’ll be a hoot.
See you around, one of these days I might call on your help with a Linux beginner question.