Although I've kind of been hanging out here a while, I thought I should take a moment to say thanks for all your help.
With the assistance of TF I have been able to achieve the following:
1. Install Linux (as a complete noob)
2. Set up a machine that dual boots windows XP and SuSE linux
3. Create a shared partition for the 2 OS's
4. Network this machine with my main machine running XP
5. Access the network, shared DSL connection and printers from either machine running either Linux or Windows.
From reading other peoples posts, asking a few questions and looking at suggested web resources I have managed to achieve what I set out to do.
To anyone who doubts this forum, remember, ask the question, no matter how trivial it would seem, and you can achieve anything.
Thanks heaps to everyone at Tech Forums!
Next mission: Build a beast of a machine and possibly mod!