well, I suppose there's no help for me. I went to irc.linux.org and asked my question there and got somebody who knew what I was doing. Turns out I also knew what I was doing cause I was doing everything right and still the damn card wasn't being recognized.
so now I try to upgrade my 2.2 kernel to 2.4
I'm about to go search on google to figure out how to do this - but if anybody would like to tell me how - I'll be reading that as well.