Buster, thanks a lot, but I did this as a first step, but to no avail.
I actually endet up with a lot of tar.bz2 files containing the .21 kernel and the pathches for the suse revision -144. I tried it about 10 times, in different variations and finally even unpacked the tarball's, applied the patches, moved the source to /usr/src/linux.2.4.21-144/ , symlink to ./linux but still the compile fails ..... complaining to need to use some other header files ... did that too as described, now the message is gone to but the compile errors stay, claiming some mistake in the nvnet.c ......
I'm realy starting to get fed up with this now .
As I understand it, as long as you have the same patchlevel, one actually CAN use the binaries from a different machine.
As far as your tests are concerened, you tried to use the precompiled ones from the nvidia website, which require the patch level -99. however, your have the kernel with patchlevel -144. Therefore I would like to test, if your NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.i586.rpm found in your /usr/src/packages/RPMS/i586 might work on my machine.
I think what is wrong with my machine is something trivial but hard to find and I'm close to completely setting up the machine anew. So at the moment, I would be very gratefull if you could post your -144 rpm ....
thanks (It's the last thing I want to try)
Cheers and Thanks