As far as kernel options go, unfortunately, I'll tell you what a lot of people will, read the help pages. At first they may seem somewhat confusing, but as time goes on, and you learn more about the different aspects of linux, they'll get easier to understand.
As far as lilo goes, did you edit (say.. with pico) /etc/lilo.conf to include the new kernel for the menu to recognize? Did you run lilo after saving lilo.conf?
And as a note: nothing's going to change if you don't change it.
slack.old is your old kernel that's "fresh out of the box", so of course everything's going to be the same.
Listen, you have a working system now, and I can tell you are VERY new to linux in general, so for right now, just get familiar with the tools and 1000s of applications linux has to offer.
And be sure to take 3 of these and write me back tomorrow:
(everyone in the linux world should have these bookmarked as they are GREAT reference points)
(all sorts of great linux resources)
(need an application?)
(the linux documentation project)
(more specifically for you: http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Kernel-HOWTO/index.html
Also, take some advice, if you really want to get into linux, be prepared to do A LOT
I have nearly 2 full bookshelves on Linux notes, programming books, and other material, another box in the back storage room, and the Linux bible stays right on my desk (basically as a paper weight now though
). But then again, I'm also a fanatic.
Still, if you want to learn linux, the best advice I can give you is read, and start with linux.com. That's a pretty good starting resource on the net.
Good luck with everything!