Basically you need to shrink you one
big partition of 1.6GB to say 500MB or so and allow Linux to install its
partitions above the windows or windows 95 partition. To do this use the
FIPS program located on you Linux cd, under dos utilities. Instructions
for doing this are found in the same directory. This will shrink
you partition down to 500MB or so and allow for the installation of Linux.
My preference is to buy Partition Magic at CompUsa as i find this a worthwhile
utility. Note: please scandisk and defrag your drive before doing this.
After you have done this and booted with the included boot disk you will begin the install and will be asked basic questions which should be obvious. Now choose Disk Druid and make your partitions. There is much debate as to what i am about to tell you and i will only say that there is no really wrong way to do it. I recommend a / or root partition a /usr/local also maybe a /home partitions if many users will be accessing the system. Lastly you will need a swap partition which should be at least double your ram. Note: if you have 64mb or more ram you can create a swap partition equal to your ram and not double. Since this is you first time make / (or root) 500MB and /usr/local say 250MB, lastly make /home at least 150mb (remember if you are the only user you do not need to this, although it is generally considered a good idea). When you learn more you can then do a reinstall and do whatever you want but for now this will work. You should be reading you manual now and not just reading this page!
RedHat 5.2 now offers the choice of a workstation install or a server install, this may appeal to you but if not read on. If you choose not use one of the canned installs then you have to choose what packages to install. I suggest using the default packages and also selecting dos/win connectivity, emacs, samba, kernel development and whatever else you think you might be interested in web,ftp servers etc. You won't hurt yourself by installing the Apache web sever and never using it. Keep in mind though that if installed it will run automatically on each boot and use some system resources.
All I will tell you is this. get a PCI card that is listed as compatible with Linux. If you do, autoprobe should find your card and you will be all set. I use at home linksys lnepci2 10 bt cards which are ne2000 compatible and require no special configuration. If you have a compatible NIC but are new to networking, you can make up a name and ip address. put for example john.home.com for your hostname. 192.168.1.1 for your ip address, 255.255.255.0 for you subnetmask. In the DNS section put in your ISP's domain name server ip address.
Lilo is the boot loader which installs itself in either
your mast boot sector, or in the first sector of your / partition. Unless
you running System Commander or some other utility install it in you master
boot sector. Note if you have more then 64MB of memory installed you may
need to add the line linux mem=xxMB where xx represents how
many MB of ram you have. This should be done where your a prompted for
additional entries for LILO. As I alluded to there are other ways to boot
into Linux such as loadlin, boot commander etc. They all do the job well
but lilo is the easiest.