welcome to the community!!!
how much swap do you have right now???
how much of it is being used when you've got all your stuff running???
post the output of this command:
you can also post the output of this to show us more or less what kinda setup's on your disk:
yes, adding swap can be very helpful to low memory systems...
but if, for example, you already have 1gb of swap and are on average only using 300mb, then it won't really make a difference...
here's red hat's info on adding swap:
a likely reason for red hat 9 running so slow on your machine is that bluecurve is not exactly the lightest thing out there if you know what i mean (i'm _assuming_ you're using bluecurve, the default red hat desktop environment)...
with 32mb of ram you'd probably want something like icewm, xfce, or blackbox...
those are window managers made to be very fast and not require so much power...
blackbox is my personal favorite, you can get the rpm for it here:
to install it just do a (as root):
rpm -ivh blackbox-0.65.0-fr4.i386.rpm
then you'd just have to put something like this in your ".xinitrc" file, to make x start blackbox instead of bluecurve:
the location of blackbox on your sytem will probably be different than mine, though...