Linux on my IBM A21m Thinkpad
Hardware/software: I bought this computer online, from Marine Park Computers. They actually delivered the wrong model (i.e. I had ordered the one with a CD-RW drive, not DVD-ROM.). I was pissed, but the anger quickly dissipated after playing around with this new toy; so I decided to just keep it and not complain. The Linux distribution I chose was Red Hat, mainly because I'm used to it (I probably should try something different, like Debian). I bought the latest Red Hat CDR from Linux System Labs for a few bucks (another good one is Cheapbytes).
Installation: Redhat 7.1 installation went smoothly. Nothing to really talk about.
Post-installation: I wanted to hook-up a USB mouse, but didn't know how to get it to work. After a few searches on Google, I found a few hints, but not until I came upon Greg Wierzchowski's Second Mouse in X mini-HOWTO did I find the answer. Here's my XF86Config, and XF86Config-4 files if you need to check them out. Also, I had to setup sound by running "/usr/sbin/sndconfig" as root. I still haven't tinkered with the internal modem (probably a dreaded "winmodem"), since I already had a PC-Card modem for my dial-up connection. The DVD-ROM is for the most part just a CD-ROM to Linux for the moment, because I haven't really looked into the problem much. If I want to view a DVD, I have to reboot into some other OS. One more thing, I tried to secure it as much as I could; mainly by closing all unnecessary internet services/ports (for example: instead of just "startx" for X startup, try "startx -- -nolisten tcp" to prevent remote connections to your X server). Check out the latest security (and other) HOW-TOs at the Linux Documentation Project.