Actually your hardware is not *so* very old. I am just figuring out
how to run linux (and X!) on an old 4MB laptop with 120 MB disk. Some
postings on the web indicate that this is not feasible; but I have
actually found more than one distribution which promises to be able to
To answer your question: there are several distributions around for
small disks and older computers like yours.
(1) You should have a look at "Vector Linux" 4.0, which is reported to
be quite fast. The ISO download is 200 MB. I seem to remember it is
Slackware based but sleeker and even faster. You do not need to bloat
your PC with KDE or Gnome to do GUI computing; Vector Linux uses ICE
Window Manager which is smaller, faster and still functional. (You
will lose the ability to run the "K" and "Gnome" applications,
however, if you do not install the respective libraries.) I have tried
the install on my laptop and found it quite comfortable.
There is also an "office" version of Vector 3.2 for download (>600 MB)
which includes KDE and Gnome and OpenOffice applications.
(2) Another small distro is "Peanut Linux" (ISO download is 340 MB),
which comes with KDE and OpenOffice. Your PC is low on memory,
however, so you should sacrifice a reasonable portion of your disk
space to a swap partition if you plan to use Java applications like
Maybe you could wait though until the small distros include the newer
OpenOffice version 1.1, which is reported to be faster and better than
the old one.
(3) If you are interested in a Debian based distro you could have a
look into the Canadian Libranet distro (540 MB download).