I'll fill this in later but a few headings now
3. trying to figure out boot loaders
isomaster - I thought of an .ISO file as a finished product something that could be copied but not altered. That is my misunderstanding. This lab had the intention of having us automate a linux installation. One side-effect was an introduction to isomaster and using it to modify our iso file to automate the installation. This tool is very powerful.
kickstart - this is the Fedora way to set up an automated installation. As I learn about Wubi (Ubuntu installer for windows), and its 'preseeding' approach to automating a linux installation, I see the kickstart approach as parallel thinking in different open software communities.
The lab had us download an iso file for fedora installation and modify the generic kickstart file that is created specific to each installation to copy it to the iso: thus creating a new iso that repeats our basic install with need for human intervention. This is one of those barrier breaking moments: a very enabling lab.
boot loaders - sitll a mystery to me!!