Ubuntu 64bit edition will be best for you. Download Ubuntu 12.04, 64bit .iso image from here. Download Windows version of UNetbootin and use any blank USB to create LiveUSB of Ubuntu. Post back here after creating LiveUSB.
ill get started on that now. the first part is downloading as we speak. ill get back to you in the next 10 minutes
what do mean by USB? do you mean that i have to have a USB key that you stick into the laptop? or is USB short for something else?
My mistake ! I should have explained in a bit better way. Use any 1GB+ Pen Drive/USB key. Use UNetbootin software to burn downloaded .iso image to that Pen Drive.
i just want to ask, why is that necessary?
HI. i downloaded and installed ubuntu as you told me. im scared now though because when i rebooted ( which it told me to do in order for the installation to work ) i was booted onto the ubuntu system. so now i am in ubuntu and it is completely different to windows. HELP. can i start programming now?
I'd recommend installing VIrtualBox on your Windows system and using that to create a Linux virtual machine first. That will give you a way to try Linux first before blowing away the OS on the system. And VirtualBox is free, runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. So if you do end up switching the OS on the hardware to Linux, you can still use what you learned about VirtualBox to installing other OS'es in VM's on your Linux system.
Where did you install Ubuntu? Did you use UNetbootin to create LiveUSB or installed Ubuntu in Harddisk only?
I'd try to donwload and install Wubi (Ubuntu Installer) which will install Ubuntu Linux in your Windows machine without doing any partitioning.
Look for it in Wikipedia, I cannot post links yet, sorry.
Once Linux is up and running in you machine, then you should be able to open a terminal application to get to a command line interface, aka shell console.
I would suggest you then to read the "Bash Programming - Introduction HOW-TO", it's on tldpDOTorg and Google can help you.
It will be difficult, surely, but not impossible.
Look for the VMware workstation if u can find it
u can download virtualbox totally free and install
one more thing check in your BIOS if your system support Virtualization
your machine can handle virtual machine easily
as a beginner i suggest you to install virtual machine then install Linux distribution on your base machine.