I answered my own question. I installed Fedora Core 2 using a boot CD and ftp for the installion files, but wanted the boot loader on a floppy or CDROM.
Well, it warned me about needing to make a boot disk, but never gave me the opportunity to do so. Which is just as well, as the kernel will not fit on a floppy, and there wasn't a burner in the laptop that was my target machine.
After the install, I could not boot into linux as there was no bootloader to start the process. The solution I found was:
boot from the install cd and type "linux rescue" at the boot prompt.
then I told it my install media was from an ftp and gave it the path /login information it needed to get to it.
after it had accessed the install file, it mounted the linux installation I had put on the laptopn hard drive and gave me the root prompt.
I typed "mkbootdisk --verbose --iso --device boot.iso `uname -r` " to have it make an image of a usable boot CDROM for me.
I then ftp's that back to my working Linux workstation, burned it to CDROM, and then booted from it on the laptop.
Guess what? It worked!
Linux rocks, that is all I can say. Now I have my laptop booting XP or Linux without working about a bootloader. Plus I can easily recreate the CD from the image file if I ever need a replacement. The downside is if I can the kernel, I need to make a new boot image/CDROM, but using a rewritable CDROM pretty much solves that problem.
Too bad no one got to help me, but I do hope others who find themselves in my situation find this post and put the information to good use.