Good luck with Linux

I decide to install some Linux box on a spare, old PC I've found standing useless. Its main purpose: to install Lazarus and compile ZenGL to see if I can build Linux versions of my games. After all expanding user base is always a good idea.

I consider myself quite familiar with all sorts on unix-like systems. I had a lot of experience back in my days as an admin (ca 1995-2003). And here I am... It is the 4th day of my still failed efforts to install somy/any Linux.

The hadrware: Celeron 433MHz, 512 MB RAM, 8 GB HDD, 128MB Radeon 9200 AGP VGA. As I said, old and weak, but should be satisfactory anyway.

Short history of failed installations:

1. CentOS 6.3 - failed because: not enought RAM.

2. Ubuntu 12.04.3 - failed because: needed 8.06 GB(or was it 8.6) disk, also does not detect that the network is connected (while it also says IT IS connected), so "continue" button stays inactive. Why did it say "for best results..." net/disk is needed then?

3. Fedora 4 - actually succeded, but too old to use

4. Fedora 19 (netinstall CD) - failed because: after installation and reboot the system is not bootable (!). Stupid grub2. I need to mention here, that it took hours to download the system from "nearest" source, and that it hungs on Libreoffice download. I tried several times, starting from clean DOS fdisk to remove partitions for sure. I've also read a lot about how to fix grub2 booting and what to do when grub rescue "console" is showing up. No success.... What were they thinking (the authors of F19) creating a system that by default does not boot after first, clean install? If I've ever created such a lame software solution I'd have to live under the bridge...

5. Mandrake 9.2 - failed because: apparently it takes more than the one CD I have, and no spare CDR-s at the moment.

6. Slackware 9.1 - failed because: same reason as above, need more media to complete installation.

7. Slackware 8 - failed because: during network config at the end of the installation I accidentally pressed something and # shell appeared, but unresponsive. After reboot, it seemed OK for a while, but then login as root was not possible because of some lacking /dev/tty* or sth. Fdisk-ed the crap.

I'm now installing Mandriva 2007 - apparently old, probably will fail too.

Yet up my sleeve - Red Hat 9 - will it be too old?

If it fails I will have to aquire some DVDR-s and get me yet another distro...

Mandriva got installed, but it seems pretty old, and now I can't manually compile the damp RPM to the version required by fpc.
And why is it that every problem I encounter has "resolution set to wontfix" ?! Like here http://www.rpm.org/ticket/61.