Yeah, I go along with 'bad' memory stick. Another thing you can do, is download memtest 3.0, write it to a formatted floppy and 'test' your memory. You shouldn't see any errors on the test. If so, you can spend 20 bucks at circuit city for bestbuy and get a stick of memory for that computer (if still available, I think they take pc100 memory). Take the memory with you to the store, then you have an example of what you want.
Another way is to get a 'linux boot disk' (floppy) and try booting that into the console, if that works, then maybe you got a bad cdrom reader. Maybe a long q-tip and alcohol can clean the LED.
(of course, you do any of this at your own risk).
Or, you can make a windows boot disk and check out your hard drive if you need to do it that way:
I hope some of this will get you on your way!