This has certainly turned out to be a friendly forum, and I am grateful for all of the advice. The good news is that apparently that Windows XP was misreporting the RAM. When I installed SliTaz, I learned that I have 256MB installed (the maximum for that model, I believe).
SliTaz was perfectly adequate for what I want to do and had some surprising bonuses. However, once I saw how zippy the machine could actually be un-crippled by Windows, I decided I wanted more, so I'm trying an install of antiX, which unfortunately is taking forever.
While Comix is a respectable program, the Windows-only very crude CDisplay program is precisely what I want, and apparently no analogous LINUX version of it seems to be available. I suppose once I have settled on my distro, I will try to install a version of WINE simply to be able to run CDisplay as opposed to Comix or any other cbr/cbz program.
Okay. It looks like I have to work with SliTaz. The particular machine has some quite proprietary video hardware, which I understand from a previous unsuccessful attempt to get a Mint live CD to boot to it is pretty tricky to get most Linux distros running on it. antiX would not finish loading after waiting for about an hour to load. Likewise, I gave up on Puppy after about twenty minutes of waiting for it to load. DSL (Damn Small Linux) never quite made it to a workable GUI, either, though I did get to terminal, but my status as a novice makes that unworkable for me. Unlike the other distros I tried, SliTaz just boots smoothly, installs smoothly, and runs smoothly. Thanks to all for the recommendations. This has been a good learning experience for me.
Use the F keys and help menu in grub to try other boot options for AntiX. They were explained partly in the video I provided.
Thanks for that reminder. I'll give it a shot when I have more time.
Originally Posted by rokytnji
Wine installed into SliTaz nicely, and CDisplay is up and running by default without a hitch. Love it!
One thing very useful I learned through last night's ordeal is to never ever ever try to run a live CD on an old laptop with a WiFi dongle attached. There were all kinds of read errors from all disks. I didn't figure it out until I tried to reinstall SliTaz and found numerous read errors and boot problems that went away when I removed the WiFi dongle.
LegacyOS, available at distrowatch.com, is a variety of Puppy which has some oddball drivers in it. It might accidently have the one you need.