You should certainly be able to run Puppy on that. All of the latest standard versions of Puppy I have tried run on my old laptop which is only slightly higher spec than yours, with plenty of resources to spare.
It might even run Linux Lite 2.0 which I have just installed on my desktop pc, as I understand that 512MB of RAM is all it requires. No doubt there will be many other similar lightweight distros you could try.
One thing I would personally advise researching is whether Sony ''tattoos'' their hard drives, which could mean that you would have to flash the BIOS in order to be able to install any operating system other than the one that came with the laptop. As far as I understand, the BIOS in some laptops checks the hardrive for the ''tattoo'' on bootup, and if the ''tattoo'' isn't there, because for example you formatted the hard drive to install another operating system, the computer won't boot. I could be wrong on this, but this is what I read when I considered installing a Linux operating system on my laptop.
In any event, Puppy is designed to run as a ''live'' operating system, even though it can be installed to a hard drive. Without installing it to hard drive, and unless your computer can boot from USB, you would have to boot from CD with Puppy like I do. But it's easy to set up, as the options are all self-explanatory, so that it boots and loads drivers from CD, then loads everything else from a savefile which it creates on a USB (or the hard drive - if you decide to put it there).
All you would have to do is set the first boot device to CD in the BIOS, and leave the CD in the drive. Then all that anyone has to do to boot the computer up with Puppy, is to press the start button just as they would with Windows. Once the computer has booted up, which doesn't take long because Puppy is tiny, opening an internet browser for example is simply a matter of clicking on the desktop icon, again, just as with Windows. I use Firefox with Lucid Puppy 188.8.131.52.
Even though it's a ''live'' operating system, all of your settings, bookmarks etc, and any software you decide to install, is all saved in the savefile, and so loaded whenever you boot up. Puppy also automatically saves everything when you shut the computer down, like any other operating system does (although it can be set not to).
I have never used Puppy for email, except when connecting to a webmail server using an internet browser, but it does have an email application which I imagine should be no harder to set up than Outlook Express.
Edited by Al1000, 11 June 2014 - 07:27 AM.