Is 169.254.0.0 the bridge IP address for VMware or did this address got created upon boot up?
If you want an static (permanent) IP address you need to tell Redhat 9 to not use bootp or dhcp to setup the network. When using a static IP address, you will need to pick an IP address that none of the computers on your network are using, know at least two (2) DNS IP addresses that your ISP gives you, the gateway address which is your router or Windows XP.
You can try using Knoppix and copy its /etc/resolv.conf. You need at least two nameserver lines in your /etc/resolv.conf just in case one fails to look up the URL address.
It seems your Windows XP is running a DHCP service. Disable it if the router also have DHCP enabled. It is easier if you connect your Linux system directly to the router and to have one DHCP server. Running multiple DHCP servers creates confusion if one is improperly configured.
On consumer grade routers, you can access its network information to help you configure your systems while setting up a static IP address. Usually, opening up a web browser and typing http://192.168.1.1
will come up with a password box and you type in the password. The interface will be web driving. Clicking on status or similar will give you information. Check your router's manual because it gives you a lot of information.