Ok frist off, I'm sorry for the rude welcome you've had to the linux community.
when I posed the question "why cant I just click a link and download the thing and install it like windows" everyone on the forum lost it and started being extremely rude to me. I guess since I didnt want to do things the "linux way" of going to a command prompt I was disrespecting them.
But you seem to miss understand a VERY important aspect to any OS. Each is sperate, Each is different.
Linux is not MSwindows, If you want an OS to do just like windows, and install windows packages, the windows way. I'd politely suggest you stay with windows. Because Linux is not windows and never will be.
First post about this is the way we do things maybe you should learn linux and forget windows and get used to having to type everything in Im outta here and it will be my last attempt to ever try linux again.
Threats like this don't earn you any favors, if your still here, We will help you. But you got to understand unlike windows we are all volinteers here. We don't have to help people just because you want help, we help because we want to, or because we believe thats whats right, But you GOT TO forget window's way of doing things, I'm sorry but that's a must, there is no way around that. But there is NO ONE LINUX way ether. Linux is all about choice. For every job in windows that had only one way of doing it. Linux will have a number of ways of doing the same job.
If you still here, Sabayon is not Linux, nether is Mint. Both use a Linux kernel with GNU utilities. The name Linux is abused and taged on as the whole OS. Mint is a linux distro, same as Sabayon. Each built and maintained by volenteers, each having thier loyal followers. This is very unlike windows where the kernel and the utilities are all MS made by paid programers, where you have a right to princess and threaten because you paid a premium price to run thier trashy software. But really how far did princess and threating MS ever get you. Not far I believe.
I have taken computer information systems courses in college and I am extremely smart but I dont have time to go through help files in order to install a simple plugin for my browser
Ok I'm not sure exactly what a "computer information systems courses" involes, But installing a plugin into a browser is the same in windows as linux, absolutly no difference. So I don't see what the problems unless, your have a transition problem from Internet Explorer to Mozzilla, But that's not the Linux communities fault or problem.
One last note before we get down to your problems, if your still here and still reading, On any forum windows or Linux, No difference. It's considered best to post a new thread for each problem, not grouping them all in one.
Ok problem number one,
Your flash plugin:
I don't use flash, but mozzila has a function called addons under tools, that's where the plugins are. It's just a point and click same as windows. If it's not there. Then you might need mozzila extra packages (MS term programs) in ether windows or linux. The windows .exe will never install. To install in linux you have got to get the package made for your distro, in this case LinuxMint.
It has to be installed with the package manager of said distro, Linux Mint has more than one way to use the package manager. #1 way CL (command Line) or #2 is the GUI (point and click) front end. In Mint they use Synaptic Package manager, It operates with as much ease as windows add and remove programs.
Problem number two,
Your hardware specs;
I didn't really see a clear question about any thing listed in your hardware listing, I assume you want our oppion as to wether it'll give you problems in Linux. I'm sorry but you will have give it a test run and see or do some research on each piece seperatly and see what you find out. But I can say just about all hardware is supported by Linux, some easier than others.
I will also add, if your planning to invest in new hardware, check it out frist and see if it plays nice with Linux. Or just purchase a linux box preinstalled, if you really don't want to configure it yourself.
Problem number three,
Running closed source formats;
You will find a lot of webmasters who don't support the open source ideas, and they build thier sites so it only works with IE or some other close source codex apps. Those web sites are not built by us here in the open source community, they don't open the source so we can build apps to run or access them, so simple put, it's not our fault you can't run our apps and access them. It's thier fault, so please princess at them. Maybe, if enough people princess in the right place we'd see them change.
Problem number four,
Running windows apps and games;
Wine is not the only choice, there is 5 or 6 different ways of running windows apps in Linux. But with the hardware you have I'd suggest virtualbox, then install XP or vista as a guest inside your linux OS to play your games. I have two programs I run that way, One is IE because I have to access a goverment site which won't work with any other browser, and I need CorelDraw.
Vbox installs real easy into debian based distro such as Mint.
Now back to your real beef;;;;;;;;;
Using the command line will be a must, from time to time. I'm sorry but it's a MUST from Time to Time.
If you really can't handle that, then Linux just isn't for you. That doesn't have anything to do with power or speed, it's just that, when you ask us for help. We don't know what desktop your using or what packages you have installed, and it's much more precise and clearer when we answer you with CL code. One size fits all so to speak.
One last word of wisdom,
I've been where you are today;
This link is a good read, nearly a must I'd say to most newbies in the linux/opensource communityhttp://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
Good Luck and I hope you took my responds well.