Installation was smooth, and even after installing KDE 3.1 it works like a charm. All hardware was recognized and installed automatically except for the built in modem, which was resolved and is explained later.
Happy with the performance, I wanted to squeeze a bit more of power out of it, and decided to give Gentoo a try. Having the whole system optimized for my processor surely was going to lead to better performance.
The installation from stage 1 took two days plus two extra days for getting KDE to work. It really takes a long time to compile a whole system with an old Celeron Mendocino processor, but it was really worth it. KDE took longer than expected as I ran out of disk space when emerging KDE. I started with a 2.1Gb hard drive and was filled up quickly, so I rsynched my HD to my desktop PC, switched hard drives, booted from the Gentoo CD again, formatted the hard drive, rsynched my HD back, reinstalled the bootloader and I was ready to go.
When compiling the kernel, I enabled APM and Intel i810 audio support ad well as the usb hid and mouse modules. Again, the only device not working was my build in modem, which is an AC97 winmodem. However, Google quickly took me to the IBM Agere modem drivers page: http://www-306.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-52698
UPDATE: More info on the drivers can be found here:
I downloaded the file AgereSoftModemBeta-2.1.0.tar.gz and had to twak it a bit in order to get it to compile. There is something wrong with Modversions but can be solved by removing the following block from the file agrmodem.c:
#if defined(CONFIG_MODVERSIONS) && !defined(MODVERSIONS)
# define MODVERSIONS
# define MODVERSIONS
I also temporarily remarked the line 21 on /usr/include/linux/module.h that includes linux/modversions.h and proceeded with make install (do not forget to change module.h back afterwards). Modem now works great.
I have emerged tons of good stuff so far and I love it. I periodically make an rsync backup of my HD and would recommend any Gentoo user to do as it would be very easy to recover from an HD crash. Specially if you use old hardware like I do
Here is a screenshot of my desktop.