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First off, I have just built a new system after being without one for a few months. In the process, I realized that my Windows XP Home CD would no longer work, due to the complete hardware change. I went to buy a full copy of XP, and upon realizing that a standalone copy retails at $199.99, I made a quick decision to purchase SuSE 9.1 Professional. I now have the system up and running, and have figured out some basic things. I have read through almost all of the User manual, and a good portion of the Admin manual, but I'm not clear on many things. So I have come here looking for help, and after learning, I hope to stick around and help others. Anyway, here are my questions:

1. How do I install programs I have downloaded, such as motherboard/mouse/graphics card drivers?

2. How does the WINE Windows emulator work and do I need to install it from the SuSE DVD? If so, do I just insert the DVD to install it? Will it run games, such as Battlefield: Vietnam and Unreal Tournament 2004?

3. Anyone know how to make my IBM mouse scroll button scroll? I have looked on the IBM site and downloaded a driver file that is supposedly for Windows and Linux systems, but the file is a Windows executable and I can't figure out how to open it.

4. I have two hard drives. Windows is still on one and I would like to format it. How do I go about doing this? I opened a program (forget what, it was like the Windows "Device Manager") and it looked like I could format the disk, but kept telling me that this would probably screw something up and that I ought to know exactly what I was doing to go ahead. Also it said something about the partition was still mounted and I should unmount it first, yet I could find nowhere to unmount it.

As you can no doubt tell, I am a complete Linux newbie. However, I have abandoned the M$ ship and am now in need of assistance piloting Linux, so any help is much appreciated.
I am just going to hit a few of these here.

First, installing programs depends on what you have, if you have the binary source code, you need to configure it and than install it. For binary packages I always always always tell people to read the README file first. Thats the key, be weary of any program that doesn't have a readme file. Otherwise, as a general rule, these three commands will build a binary.
make install

I don't remember if SuSE does RPM packages, if they do the command is almost always rpm -uVh package.rpm but again, the readme is a good place to start, you seem to be ok with reading.

2) WINE, I am skipping that because I have never felt the need to use WINE

3) The easiest way to get the sroll button working is to edit your XF86Config file.
You can edit your XF86Config file with any editor as long as you have root privilage. The easiest way to me, is to open a command line, type in su and your root password to gain access. Than open up the file in emacs with the command emacs /etc/X11/XF86Config and make the following changes.

Set the "Protocol" option to PS/2" and set the "ZAxisMapping" option to "4 5". I also removed the "Emulate3Buttons" option (by placing a # in front of it) because the wheel on my mouse is the third button.

Section "InputDevice"
      Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
      Driver          "mouse"
      Option          "CorePointer"
      Option          "Device"                "/dev/psaux"
      Option          "Protocol"              "ImPS/2"
#    Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
      Option          "ZAxisMapping"          "4 5"

4) If you are fine with loosing the data, use fdisk to delete the partition, and the command mke2fs j /dev/hdb1 to format it, obviously you need to adjust the destination device to yours. Read this guide to help you out.

Creating a Linux Drive
SuSE 9.1 does use RPMs, for the record. I'm not quite getting this entering commands thing. As a Windows refugee, GUIs are my best friend. I tried typing in what you said, the system told me it was a bad command. Though I do remember setting up the mouse and telling it not to emulate button 3. That is probably where I went wrong.

Another question:

Using Konqueror to browse the web, how do make it so the bookmarks toolbar isn't on by default? I'm sick of closing it every new window.
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