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Hello there,
for some time now, I've been hearing a lot about LaTeX, and I understand
the basics (I think...), but can someone tell me which programs I need 
and where to find them  in order to transform a simple text file into a
PDF?

Are these the steps? :
1) Write code in notepad/whatever
2) Code is processed by interpreter-program X into a file
3) This file is processed into a PDF by another program

I often imagine it to be like HTML, the code can be written in virtually
any text program, but the reading of the code can be made in IE, Netscape,
Opera etc etc. Then, you can also have plugins like JavaApplets, Flash,
ActiveX etc.

Is it the same with LaTeX? : the code is standardized, and there are
plugins if you want to write in Arabic, Hebrew, your own Conlang etc. And
finally: many different programs which "interpret" the code into a file
which is _then_ made into a PDF.

Thanks for taking your time,
Felix Ahlner