I looked for a hardware forum but didn't see one, so excuse me if this is the wrong place to post.

I recently was handed down a Dell Inspiron 3500 laptop. Has a 366 Pentium Celeron Processor, and 64MB of RAM. I would like to get this laptop as fast as I possibly can. I ordered 256MB of RAM for it (the max it supports). And the way the Inspiron is setup I can pop the old chips right out the back and pop the new ones in with no hasstle. Very convenient. I currently have win98 on the system, and I tried upgrading it to XP because XP seems to handle resources a lot better. I ran into a bunch of licensing problems when trying to upgrade. I did some research, and I found out that other people had the same problem when upgrading their Dell laptops. It became to much of a hastle trying to get XP to work that I just downgraded it back to 98. So for now I am stuck with win98. Linux is out of the question right now, but seems promising in the future.

Basically, I am wondering what else I can do to make this laptop faster. I would really like to upgrade the CPU, but I don't know if I want to chance that. I noticed other versions of the Inspiron 3500 have faster CPUs like a 400 mhz celeron chip. I am trying to find out if this is something that all the Inspirons will support and if I could just pop the new cpu in. Then comes all the hastle with jumper settings and stuff, so I am still doing my research on the motherboard specs.

I was also wondering about swapping a new motherboard into the case, then just hooking everything up to that one. I don't know if this is a good idea or not. This is my first time really messing with laptop hardware. But I was wondering if it is common to just purchase a new motherboard and chip then swapping it in, like how we do with desktop computers.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for upgrading a laptop to run faster? Any input would be appreciated. Any web sties with information would be appreciated too. Thanks.