Try starting at the Cisco website for documentation – this <a href=”http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cisco+3500+xl+configuration”>Google search</a> will get you going.
Switches are 2 types,manageable&un-manageable.In manageable switch,switch is assigned with IP address and is more relaible.Coming to un-manageable switch no ip is assigned and life time is low compared to manageable switch.In manageable switches you can create VLANS,but this is not possible in un-manageable switches.
Examples of manageable switches are Cisco 2950,2960,3550&3750 and so on………
Examples of un-manageable switches are D-link switches with 8 ports&12 ports.
You can login to switch through hyperterminal by connecting a console cable to console port of a switch instead of Putty.Putty is a software used in many corporates,definetely show and enable command works,I think you might had given a enable password to enter into a previleged level of a switch,if you had forgot a enable password,break the password of a switch and try……….