CF cards are IDE, but with a smaller pin-out. If you have an adapter between the laptop IDE and the CF form factor you might be able to either plug the HD into a newer box with a CF adapter or plug a CF card directly into the laptop (assuming there's a second slot... or possibly even slaved on to a single cable if there isn't).
Personally I'd try PCMCIA ethernet because I still have a card or two in my basement, but who knows what crap you have.
Really, though, I just want to say thank you to the poster for a problem that Slashdotters really care about.
If any of you kiddies are interested in technology the NSA will have trouble getting at, I know of someone with a Contura laptop to sell you...