I've downloaded the three iso images Mandrake Linux 9.2. Windows/Opera etc... give the size in MBs at around 695 mb each, but the actual size is 700mb+.How big were the red hat iso's?
i did not understand your earlier question. the red-hat cd-s were 653mb, 661mb, 496mb. if you need an app to create iso files, then i suggest winiso.
Also, apparently Mandrake 10.0 release is just around the corner.
software-wise there will be some upgrades. i expect ver 10.0 to be running on kernel 2.6.x and a few other important apps also. but again in open/free source, there are very regular updates and generally you need upgrades relatively quickly. besides for learning purposes you do not need too bleeding-edge software. but there might be some usability upgrades in mandrake 10.0. so really its all upto yur patience. i would suggest to wait. practice on red hat till then.