Distro Decisions

Although I'm a big fan of various Linux distros, my Netvista 8364 NUS has sent me searching for the right one. Must work on older hardware, have some sort of desktop, and be able to boot from various media. I found it in Damn Small Linux, which has a number of extensions that allow you to modify what elsewise would be a standard LiveCD distrobution. Since I have no ps/2 input devices for the Netvista, i've been trying to create a frugal install on a new 128mb SimpleTech compact flash card via a Crucial Technology usb device, after booting off the live cd. It didn't take but one try for me to apparently "brick" the new CF card. Either the reader is not Linux friendly, or it was not done writing during install. Oops. I was confused to say the least, but now it doesn't show up in Windows, or when it does, it doesn't allow me to format it, giving "error in IOCTL call".

Although SimpleTech's tech support would not believe me that it was possible to put Linux on a CF card (?), the rep did say that they would RMA my product, just "Don't do it again". Not the type of geek advice I like. I'll try booting the netvista directly from CD-rom, and see if I can get it recognized there. Then maybe Linux will rescue me once again.