* elm--I would be using it mostly to email files using the batch mode.
available in the repositories.
* sed--I use it a fair amount to edit text automatically, strip non-Ascii characters etc.
* ftp--would ftp'in files to my website. Would love to also have a light-weight ftp server, but it is not a must.
I use gftp, but you can find others.
For your computers specs, you should use the light version. http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclinux-6.0/iso-release/VL6.0-Light-LIVE-Final.iso
Give it a try, I think you'll like it.