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I have this old piece of crap laptop that I bought five or six years ago, it has a 400MHz AMD K6-2 Processor, 32MB of SDRAM and a 4GB HDD - I'm looking for a basic Linux distribution that it might be capable of running.
Damn Small, Tiny, Peanut... there are plenty of distros that are designed for the older end of the hardware spectrum, but to be honest you could probably get away with most distros as long as you steer clear of the resource hungery desktop managers, e.g. KDE or Gnome, and instead use Fluxbox, Icewm or Xfce.
I've had Mandrake 7.2, Knoppix 3.4 and Debian Woody running on a nearly equivalent laptop for years.
Hardly a piece of cr*p. It would install any distro, tho MDK 9.2 would be a good choice. I put 9.2 on a P150 with 32meg ram recently, but KDE was sluggish until I upgraded to 64 meg ram, so you might want a light WM rather than KDE...
Old PC's that you may really have trouble with are things like an AMD 386sx25. I recently did get this to boot small-linux and it ran, but I was only able to find 3 meg of working ram and no suitable HDD...