You could get a flavour of linux or FreeBSD, both of which are very cheap (how much cheaper can you get than free?) via the internet... or buy Intel Solaris for non-commercial use (slightly less cheap), and any of those will quite happily run on a common-or-garden old PC (with lots of memory preferably). And there are plenty of good books out there too. I generally have a copy of the O'Reilly UNIX quick reference book on my desk, which is always handy for reminders and refreshers. Or do you mean courses? HP Education run some excellent UNIX courses, as do Sun Education, but they don't come as cheap as my first suggestion. Oh, and befriend your local UNIX guru - there are quite a few about.
Well, no to your first question. There is a software called VMWare that allows you to run different OSs concurrently. Linux is the free implementation of UNIX, they are not exactly the same. Unix has many variations. I like Suse the best.
From a user perspective Linux and BSD are almost identical to Unix. They have the same command-line tools available, very similar command-line shells, the same set of servers and so on. They are really only different internally and to some degree in the location of key files, so unless you are writing device drivers, low-level system software or installation scripts you will probably find Linux, BSD and Unix to be the same thing.
i'd suggest getting a lunux book that includes the install cd's. the caldera or mandrake distibutions are pretty nice. a good book will teach you all about what you need to do to get linux installed on your harddisk next to or in place of MS windows. i'm under the impression that getting good at using unix is closely tied to using the shell in linux. (in linux you can open up a "terminal" program window that a shell runs inside of) i'm pretty sure you can use any shell you want---bash is the default for linux, but i think tcsh and csh are available as well.
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