Unfortunately, any distrobution can advertise what the current kernels support. In fact Compaq itself is supplying Linux drivers for this particular unit.
However, installation is an entirely different challenge. Whether the generic kernels in boot images carry the particular driver I need (in order to allow partitioning and device access) is another matter.
For those of you interested, i found this:
a while ago, but these are slack 7.1 disks, and I'm trying to get things working for 8.0. I know it shouldn't matter, but the boot disk supplied didn't work for me. It might just be my own unique problem, so give it a shot anyway.