After more sturm and drang than I want to talk about, I have finally managed to burn a disc with UBUNTU 8.04.1 and get it working on my Dell XPS 410. I just wiped the hard disk to do this, so there is no partitioning involved. The box is pretty rudimentary with one CD drive and a couple of USB ports on the front. It has Open Office and I have been to file some backup stuff from my main box. So it is somewhat useful. There are some games, too, and most of them seem to work. No printer, Internet, scanner or WIFi. of course, though the keyboard and mouse work. I have not a clue where to go from here.
I do have a fifteen disc distribution, Debian GNU/Linux 3.1r4, which I have also tried. The Dell will try to boot from the first disc but suddenly finds itself unable find the very disc it has been working from. That seems odd but typical.
Ok. From here, where?