i was going to try gnome as it says it uses less resources.
The ram is a little low, but its just going to be learning experience, once i get to grips with it i'll pop it on my desktop. (2.4ghz amd, 1gb ram, etc)
can you disable/choose not to install certain items in yast at the install stage?
xp runs ok, its only for surfing the net and the odd word doc.