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You might like the instructions on my blog for configuring the Oracle Client 10g on your Mac OS X after you install it in a VMWare Fusion virtual machine. Both Linux and Windows versions are available for Oracle Database 10g Express Edition. My students typically install it in a x64 XP Pro version. Allocate at least 1 GB to the VM.
Grab the free VM from sun http://www.virtualbox.org and install a nice small OS (e.g. I'm using Ubuntu server) with 1GB of memory, and follow one of the many directions you will find on the web to install Oracle XE. Huge advantage is you can then backup the VM versions and pass the VM onto others etc.