You will get more attention for a JEvents 1.5 problem in the 1.5 support forum.
There isn't any problem installing SVN1417 on Joomla! 1.5.10, that is the combination that I'm running on two different sites. The error message indicates that the installer couldn't create a folder in your /components directory. You need to change the file permissions in this directory so that it is writable by your httpd user (that's at the computer level, it doesn't have anything to do with your Joomla! login.) Setting permissions to 755 (all rights for owner, read+execute for group and world) is the normal setting. Some server setups need 775 (All rights for owner and group, read+execute for world). Very few require 777, that would be bad. Enabling Joomla!'s ftp layer may allow you to work around this problem. While you are in there changing permissions, you may as well change /administrator/components too, it will probably be the next error you get.
You would get the same error installing any component, the problem isn't limited to JEvents.
UPDATE: I hate it when that happens! I just spotted your last comment about changing the /components folder. Try /administrator/components.