So, you have tried to install any flavor of Linux on a spare machine at home and went through much paid trying to figure out the drivers, the packages, and wonder why the hell does Linux have to be soo difficult. You even tried the latest version of Red Hat but wonder why compiling, making and installing takes 3 moons.
Well, you don't have to go through any of that pain anymore. Neither do you have to have a spare machine at home in order to enjoy the powerful (but mysterious) world of Linux.
Knoppix is a CD bootable version of Linux! And not only does it boot your machine, it finds ALL the drivers that you need - video, sound, PCMCIA - whatever. You don't have to format your drive or mess up your Windows configuration (well its Windows which means that its messed up by default).
Knoppix comes laced with all the Linux type tools you need - Xterm, Apache, All yer office applications and what have you. Get your copy from the official site here - I suggest that you download using Bit Torrent as that is the fastest.
By the way, you are probably wondering about saving your configurations - you obviously cant save on the CD. You can designate a drive (be it USB Stick or any other removable device too) to save your settings too. You could save your settings to a USB memory card and together with the Knoppix CD means that you can take your working environment around anywhere. When you boot up, just use the knoppix myconfig=scan command.