compiling kernel is straight forward if you follow the steps as described in http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Kernel-HOWTO.html
Make sure that you have kernel sources (/usr/src/linux-2.4/ on RH)
then cd to the kernel source directory and do a
you should be running X windows for this (you default gui login should do this)
This pops up a kernel configure window,where you can select/unselect many kernel options.
this first though
after making the required changes, save and exit the kernel configurator and do a
nohup make bzImage &
this will put the new kernel here:
copy this and the .configure file in the kernel source directory into /boot
and update your boot manager.
May be you'll need to read the respective howto. Look it up in
Hope that helps.