I have a laptop that, at the moment, runs Windows Millenium Edition. I have been looking and do not know which versions of Ubuntu will work on it, or where to get it from. The problem worsens, as my laptop does not have a USB drive, and can only receive info through the CD drive or through the internet (that doesn't have security)
So around 10 years old. History tells us that in 2001, mid-high-end laptops computers from that era ranged around 600-850MHz Pentium III-M mark with around 256MB of RAM. This is probably slightly newer than 2001 but who knows how good it is. No USB (becoming widespread in 98) so probably fairly low end.
It's essentially a less powerful Raspberry Pi, without the (relatively) powerful graphics and without USB... Probably using several hundred times as much power.
My honest answer? Throw it away and buy something just five or six years old that has loads of USB ports.
But no, you should be just be able to run the 32bit versions of Ubuntu. Obviously I'd suggest something cut-down like Xubuntu, Lubuntu... But yeah, if you can, bury this one far, far underground.
Be sure and use an alternate CD of Lubuntu or Xubuntu, these may work depending on the computer specifications, but a live-CD will most likely fail,
I would try lubuntu first myself, burn it to cd from another computer.
Here is more information on the "minimal install" for lubuntu, but it takes alot more setup then the alternate install https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Lubuntu/Documentation/MinimalInstall
Minimum Hardware Requirements for Ubuntu
yes this could to be a problem.
The Minimum Hardware requirements for the actual Ubuntu 12.04 Editions are here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements/
It sounds your Laptop is a few years too old for the Ubuntu Desktop Ed. So it could be a good idea to try a more lightweight Ubuntu as for example Xubuntu or Lubuntu. This Requirements are on the same website, .. scroll the text down and check the Requirements. RAM quite often, seems to be the limiting faktor:
If No. 2 or 3 matches your hardware:
Alternatively try older Ubuntu versions here: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/
But keep in mind that updates (including security updates) are limited. According to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LTS Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is the oldest supported Ubuntu, by now.