I downloaded the latest ISO and a CD burning program - this was a "live CD" which allows you to sample all of Puppy's functionality with ZERO hardware investment. The CD booted and I found myself presented with maybe 5 simple, straightforward questions about time zone and graphics compatibility - not the "HOW MANY MEGA-FLOPS IS YOUR RASTER PEGGED AT?" sort, but the "Can you see this box?" kinda thing.
Guess what? your running Linux! At this point I just screwed around a bit with desktop appearance to get a feel for the interface. This is a great idea as there is no real chance of screwing much up in the process. Mess things up? Just re-boot off the Live CD and try something else.
Eventually you'll want to "bring Linux home to meet the parents" and the best way to do this is making a boot-able flash drive. Click the INSTALL icon on the desktop and choose BootFlash USB installer. As suggested you should try the USB-HDD option first (I had to resort to USB-ZIP myself as I couldn't get the other to work).
When done, boot from your flash drive - but DON'T BLINK - you might miss it entirely. Your Puppy Linux USB boot-stick can be treated just like a hard drive system. Programs can be added to the USB, data can be saved, it can even migrate from computer to computer. Screw it up? Just re-initialize the Flash Drive.
TO DO: Wonder where your old CPU found all this youthful vigor.