This is a project I've been wanting to complete for some time now. Finally, this laptop is maxed out with 192mb of ram and has a 3.5 gig hdd installed. I started with a Debian LXDE netinstall, which ended up being a damaged install. After a few days of reading, a lot of patience, some time using xterminal, I believe it is repaired and loaded with a bare minimum Gnome desktop environment. I still have 1.2 gigs of free disk space available.
It's not the fastest computer, but it's close to being as fast as some of my customers computers that are loaded with XP or 7.