Start Outlook Express and click on tools then accounts. Now click on add new account, and follow the instructions; it will be pretty simple from there; hotmail automatically configures itself. You will get both your ISP email and hotmail under the same identity.
Well if you have a 56K, it will always be longggg. If you can afford broadband, change, you will never regret it. I have a bandwidth of 6500k, and compared to a 56k my connection is over a 100 times faster....speed is not a configuration issue.