installing new programs

I installed suse last night and is the first time that I have used Linux in 12 years. Well I remember linux being a little bit complicated but I had someone to show me through it then and now I don’t. I have downloaded several programs all in tar.gz when they come to me. I understand that I have to unzip these files but I really don’t know what to do from there. I opened the terminal and did a ./configure on these files and I got the same error message on them
error: GNU gettext tools not found; required for intltool
I really don’t understand what to do to fix this because it won’t let me use make at this point. I don’t really know if the terminal is the fastest way to do this or not just kinda the only thing that I could remember. I see that GUI has come a long way from the days of old in Linux, but I also see that there is a ton of stuff for me to see learn. If someone can please help me I would greatly appreciate it. I really believe that Linux is the best operating system out there but its probably not if you can’t use it to its potential. So thank you again.

Installing software is really best done via Yast - Software Management.

Maybe have a read here first:
NEWBIES - Suse-11.1 Pre-installation – PLEASE READ - openSUSE Forums