I bought Debian from Cheep Linux. I don't have the bandwidth to download it, and Cheep Linux could supply it on DVD. Personally, I had not used Debian previously. I had always used RedHat, but I had heard so much in the way of Debaian's packages being superior, that I decided to go to Debian 3.0 now that it had support for 2.4.x kernels.
The notes describing installing Linux are obviously geared towards Debian. However, there will be information that is almost certainly of interest for other distributions. You might have to search for it though.
I have set my machine up in stages. Firstly, the basics of both operating systems are installed, and then I went on to configure them further. The notes on installing Linux cover no more than getting an absolute basic system installed. This means no X, Gnome, or anything else. Notes on installing these is provided in a later section.
The vga device needs a value, I have found that the value
0x300 works but I haven't bothered
to find out why. If you do not specify this value, then part of the display is off the bottom of the screen.