I would recommend that you try puppy linux 2.14, it runs as a live CD so you can try it without installing to your hard drive and see if your hardware is compatible etc. If you like it you can install it to your hard drive or a usb drive, I have even heard of people installing it on CF cards.
The down load is only 80mb approx so about 10 mins on a reasonable adsl connection. You then burn the iso to cd using nero or deepburner or similar, then you are ready to boot!
The OS itself is very lean and mean, I have a couple of old PIII optiplexes here and they boot in less than 1 minute, generally the speed whilst carrying out any task is awsome.
The help forum is friendly & helpful and there are flash tutorials on all the basics of setting up and basic tasks etc.
Pop over to the forum and have a browse you will be made welcome:
And if you find you would like to give it a try then the downloads can be found here:
How do you connect to the internet, what hardware do you use? I may be able to give you a head start .