You're right, that's a pretty low spec laptop (by todays standards), but certainly not so low it couldn't run Win98.
What exactly is the problem? You installed Win98 but it won't boot? Or you simply can't install it? If it's the latter, perhaps this can help.
Before you move into an unfamiliar Linux territory, I would check this first if I were you- you may still be able to use Win98:
Check your BIOS menu to see if it's set to boot from CD. If it isn't, turn that option on.
the BIOS menu is usually accessed by hitting a specific key at startup (usually you are told what this is in some way). Common keys are ESC, DEL, or a function key (I've seen F2 used). If in doubt, turn it on and start hammering all possible buttons straight away until it works
because not all will tell you what key it is, and trial-error is a pain. Look for something like "Boot options" or "Boot order", and try to figure what it's telling you (different BIOSes present this in different ways so I can't really be more helpful I'm afraid). If it is a priority list, put CD at the top.
Then try again.