I Got the same laptop. I havent tried fedora yet, but gentoo CD live CD does come with a special kernel for emachines. The kernel has to be compiled and started in a special way to get it running M6805.
1) USB support has to be built in into the kernel. If its a module, u get the error that u get.
2) Pass the parameters 'pci=noacpi noapic' to the kernel.
3) Refer to the thread
on the gentoo forum. On page 4 there is a post by brad_mssw.
Read the whole thread in general and the post in special. YOu will know what you have gotten yourself into
I hope this helps. I am still struggling with my installation. Will keep you posted of the progress if u wish.