hrm.. I see the specs just fine.. anyways...
You probbaly won't have a lot of luck on that if you are a linux newbie.. KDE and GNOME will NOT run on that machine.. you *might* be able toget it to load up.. but the time it would take to do anything(i.e. - move the mouse) would be so painfully slow, you couldn't do it..
40 MB of RAM is pretty decent for that machine.. (i have an old Toshiba Satellite Pentium 200MMX, 2.3 GB hard drive and it only has 32MB of RAM!)
I assume this has a CD-ROM drive?? If so.. check out VectorLinux
. It's a trimmed down version of slackware. I *think* the install is small enough to fit on that, but I'm not sure. I know it went on that 2GB of mine... now understand it's still going to be slow.. but functional... Vecotr comes with Mozilla.. but don't use it on there.. use Dillo for web browsing.. and sylpheed for mail... other than that you have GAIM for instant messaging and AbiWord for word processing.. then I would suggest that you use vecpkg and remove the things you're not going to use.. to save as much space as possible.. i.e. - Mozilla!!