Just read a PC World article that I might be able to run Linux along side Windows XP:I'd like to try but how should I start and should I even attempt it? Someone give me some direction,please?
Most modern distros will recognize Windows XP and add it to the Linux bootloader during the Linux install. You would have to start by making room on you hard disk for Linux. I would do so by using the windows utility to shrink one of your larger windows partitions so you have room to install Linux. That is, if you don't already have a extra partition on your hard disk.
But before you start making room, you might want to download a few LiveCD's of different Linux distros and test them out. See if you like how they are set up and how the different window managers feel to you. Mepis Linux, Linux Mint and Ubuntu are 3 good beginner distros that you should look at.
Click the download links on their home screens and download the Live CD's, burn them to a CD and run them directly from you CD drive. I've used a program called CDBurnerXP on windows to burn the LiveCD isos to the CD. It's readily available freeware that you can obtain here: http://cdburnerxp.se/en/home .
Also, the links above can give you some idea about how installing Linux goes. If you decide on a particular distro, we can help you step by step with the installation.
Hope this helped.