Need a starting point
Sorry about the cross post, but I realized after I posted this in the hardware forum that maybe this forum would have been more appropriate. I purchased the boxed set of Redhat 9 to install on a Compaq Presario 1650 notebook (P2 266 MHz, 64 MB RAM,2GB HDD). I had no idea what I was getting into, and I'm having all kinds of problems getting hardware to work. My modem, sound card, and PCMCIA network card are not working. Gnome launches programs so slowly that they are almost unusable. I've spent a week searching through forums and have found lots of tips and suggestions, but I don't really understand them. I see references to files like /etc/pcmcia/config and /etc/fstab and I can find them and copy lines into them, but that either does nothing, or causes new errors to show up at bootup.
I have the book "Redhat Linux 9 for Dummies," but it assumes that all the low-level stuff is working and just walks you through the Gnome interface. I need a book or reference that explains the nuts and bolts, so I can start troubleshooting intelligently, instead of guessing. I'm pretty Windows-literate, and understand general computer jargon, I just need a place to start with Linux. Can anybody recommend a book or other resource to help get me going?