This is the first post on my Magento blog. I've been using Magento on 4 sites for the past month and wanted to start sharing what I've learned.
Magento is an extremely flexible ecommerce system, but it can be a bit tricky to install. I've created a VMWare LAMP virtual appliance with Magento 18.104.22.168 pre-installed so that others can easily experiment with Magento. The virtual appliance is built on Centos 5.2 and has all necessary PHP modules pre-installed.
You'll need either VMWare Server or Player, both are free and can be downloaded from http://www.vmware.com. When you load up the virtual appliance, it will display it's IP address on the console, open the IP in your web browser and complete the install. You can then access the sample store at the IP of the virtual machine.