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It may not have a place for an Ethernet cable. These older laptops required special cards to be attached to them or inserted into a special port for them to work with an Ethernet cable. The port your referring to might be for a phone cable which means it would have a modem and be dial-up only.
You will need to install NDIS in linux after the install to use the windows drivers for your wireless card if you have one. Sometimes older wireless cards will work but most of the time you need the NDIS to use the windows disk that comes with your wireless device(if you are using one) Your hard wired ethernet port should be detected automatically as well as all your other drivers(since the machine is old) Good luck..if you need any more help I will be around. No other compatibility issues exist, and it will run a lot faster than XP. I would suggest 512MB of Ram but 256 will handle it fine.
That phone line will only be for actual phone lines.. as it will be a modem.
If the lappy has an ethernet port (slightly larger than a phone port, but looks the same) you could use that with an ethernet cable to a DSL modem. (the modem has the phone wire plugged into it)
Most laptops have an ethernet port, but yours might be a bit too old perhaps? If that's the case, you can buy either a USB to ethernet adapter (but you might not have that either) or a PCMCIA ethernet card. The latter will definitely work for you, and can be bought second hand VERY cheaply... if not for nothing.
I really hope it has something a bit newer than '95 though... otherwise just getting the internet to work could be a problem. Good luck!
Sound's like you've had a hsrd drive crash. The message 32768 kb ok is a memory test, this indicates that something went wrong with the operating system the last time it was shut down. It should, after the memory test, either correct the system problem or give an error code. Since it does nothing, this indicates that the hard drive has failed and, unfortunately, needs to be replaced.