Note: this works on any platform (Windows, Linux, and Mac). None of your data from your computer is going to be affected.
What you have to is to download VirtualBox from here, and the Android 1.6 that will run on VirtualBox from here (scroll down to "StableRelease" and click "view" on the first file, named "android -x86-1.6-r2.iso" to start downloading). These two downloads are not large so the download should finish fast. Do not burn on CD Android OS after downloading, just let the image somewhere where you know about it. Then install VirtualBox like a normal application.
When you finish installing VirtualBox, do the following (if your know what VirtualBox is and how to configure it, all you must know is that Operating System and Version must be selected as "Other", and respectively as "Other/Unknown"; otherwise follow these steps):
- Select "New", give it a name, and at Operating System select "Other" and "Other/Unknown" at Version.
- Give it a quantity of RAM (doesn't matter how much, but make sure to have free on your system that amount you're giving to it).
- Let the settings like they are (Boot Hard Disk and Create new hard disk)
- Then, on the window that appears, click Next, then Next, and because 2.0 GBs are just enough, click again Next, then Finish and again Finish.
- Now, your new Guest OS appeared on the left column of VirtualBox, with the name you gave it. Click Start.
- On the window that appears, click Next.
- Now, where it says "Media Source", click on that folder sign on the right part of the window.
- Click Add, and browse to where the image it located and click Open. Make sure it is highlighted and then click Select.
- Click Next and then Finish
You can now try and explore the functionalities of Android 1.6 on your PC (except calling and SMS because there isn't any carrier available). Below is a video which demonstrates you that this really works (even if I tried it on Mac, it runs also on Windows or Linux hosts).