A couple of days ago, I removed the dust from my old laptop, and installed Linux on it. I chose to install the damn small linux (dsl) distro and encountered some (small) problems during installation, which I describe below.
Since my laptop does not have a cd-rom drive, I used a bootdisk I still had lying around from a previous version of dsl. I put the dsl image (dsl-4.2.5.iso) on a (FAT16) usb stick. Note that my old laptop cannot boot from usb, hence the bootdisk. After booting I got a segmentation fault, which was solved by booting with the following kernel options:
dsl lowram mem=16M vga=771
The vga=771 line was needed to get the display resolution right. After having booted successfully, I followed the harddisk installation instructions, but the dsl-hdinstall script did not run because it could not write to the /tmp directory. The /tmp appered to be a symlink to a ramdisk, but the ramdisk did not exist. This was easily solved:
rm /tmp; mkdir /tmp; dsl-hdinstall
DSL is running from my harddisk now (still using the lowram mem=16M boot options). I still need to configure a couple of things and check if all the hardware works. If anything interesting comes up, I will add it to this message.