A quick word about patching your kernel
If you do need to, or simply want to patch your kernel then it is quite easy. Download the patch and move it to /usr/src/. If it is compressed uncompress (e.g. gunzip patchname.gz) it and the cd into the directory /usr/src/linux and type this:
patch -p1 < ../patch_name.patch
Here is an example, while in the directory /usr/src/linux and the patch preempt-kernel-rml-2.4.19-2.patch is in /usr/src/ I type
patch -p1 < ../preempt-kernel-rml-2.4.19-2.patch and the preemptive patch is applied. Walla!