try the knoppix disk or the Gentoo disk 1
i think with Gentoo, you can type pcmcia at the boot: prompt (probably the same with knoppix)
as far as booting from pcmcia, not sure 100% as i dont use laptops but i think that may be a bios thing. i could be dead wrong. I know Gentoo and Knoppix will both want to boot the CD but neither install anything but i dont think you can detect, then boot from the pcmcia drive with those 2 CDs.