".i'm needing a list (what and what version) of what is running"
Most distributions have a method of keeping track of what is installed. If you are using Mandrake, Red Hat, or SuSE then what you have installed is probably catalogued in the rpm data base. You can list the rpm data base to a file with:
rpm -qa /root/my.rpm.list.txt
It is possible that your predecessor compiled some packages from source and did not register their names in the rpm data base.
It is also possible that you are using a distribution that does not use rpm, but if you are then rpm -qa is a good place to start.
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.