devfsd is what Mandrake uses and many other distributions. If devfsd detects new devices, it goes into its scripts. Then it runs a script if it needs to. You can put Load "v4l" in the Module section of /etc/X11/XF86Config. Also you can put bttv in /etc/modules.
If you have certain instruction to get the card to work, you can add the commands at the last line in rc.local.