Birdman, I know a little about a little, so you've been warned, take anything I say with a healthly dose of scepticism!
I was saying how easy it was to setup a kernel, but to check the status of support on the sata controller I downloaded 2.4.30 and ran make menuconfig to see what it said about some of the modules, AGGHHHH, Id forgotten how much of a mess the config in the 2.4.x series is! The sections are all over the place, trying to find hardware support can be tricky as items are not where you'd expect them.
Happily though the 2.6 series has a far nicer config screen, with more logical sections and a far less confusing layout, not perfect but far better than 2.4
As Nelz has said, udev is one of the biggest changes, if your interested theres a quick pro's / cons article here:
http://www.us.kernel.org/pub/linux/util ... v_vs_devfs
With KDE 3.4.1 out now Slackware-Current might have the packages by the time you come to do an install. Im running the contrib version from kde.org, seems fine.
After installing Slackware, run swaret to update everything before logging into your desktop environment (ie login at command line console run level 3, as controlled by /etc/inittab). This is because some of the KDE files which are stored in the home directory have changed a lot, and if you did run startx on kde 3.3.x and then update to 3.4, you'd have mess around deleting ~/.kde stuff to possibly avoid problems. By not running startx it will not create all the kde config files in your users directory, giving you time to install 3.4.x and then running startx will start you off with the new/correct config's.
Another reason for runnng swaret straight away, is it will overwrite your kernel, so you don't want to spend 30mins installing your 2.6 kernel only to have it wiped out by swaret.
After updateing with swaret run ldconfig and updatedb. updatedb will take a few mins to update the file name database, you can then use this to search for new config files which you will need to manually overwirte the old ones. Again, its a 2 minute job, eg
ldconfig (updates the library cache)
scrollkeeper-update (update the scrollkeeper databases, might not be installed)
fc-cache (update the freetype font index)
updatedb (updates the file name database)
This will list all the .new files, simply copy them over the top of the original config files. Most of these will be located in and around the /etc/whatever directory. This is because by default Slackware, when upgrading packages, leaves the old config files as current so to not overwrite any important settings like your samba.conf file which you spent hours tweaking
Once this is done you can install your shiny new kernel, would suggest downloading the source for 2.6.11 (not 188.8.131.52, just 2.6.11) from
http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/ ... 11.tar.bz2
homepage = http://www.kernel.org/
Unpack that into /usr/src then apply the ck patch, download
http://ck.kolivas.org/patches/2.6/2.6.1 ... k9.tar.bz2
The advantages of this patch are detailed on the homepage, but basically it makes things a little easier for desktop users, different schedulers, memory page allocation tweaks and support for 1GB RAM without the need for enabling highmem support in the kernel which you would have to do in vanilla 2.6.x kernel.
ck9 already includes the 184.108.40.206 stable patch, hence the reason to not download the full 220.127.116.11 from kernel.org, otherwise you end up with errors and pressing enter a million times as it complains about overwriting changes with ones that already exist.
Unpack the ck9 patch into /usr/src/linux-2.6.11 and apply with:
patch -p1 <patch-2.6.11-ck9
Thats it, then you can run the make mrproper && make menuconfig stuff as mentioned above.
There is also the cko patchset (I use this because of my hauppage nova-t card). It takes the ck patch and then adds stuff to it like UML, Supermount, SHFS, Reiser4 etc etc But if none of that is needed, just run with the ck patchset, its excellent!