hmm I have about the same laptop, a bit slower then..
PII 267Mhz, 3.8 GB HD, 96MB Ram
Last night I tried to install RedHat 9.0 several times on the machine, but it didin't worked out. Everytime the error: Running out of space (even when i changed the partition size)
Anyway, i'm working on SuSE now, it's a hell of a job to download the whole installation directory (about 7,2 GB and 6404 files)
During the installation proccess (right now) everything goes fine. So I won't recommend RedHat on a "old" version laptop because maybe the same shit can happen to you.
(ohw yeah, almost forgot i'm also a newbie
, the thing you have to do is just give it a try and if you can't find out how something works ask people here)