Hey all, thanks SO much for all the advice.
irishbitte, I tried GRUB too but got the same error msg.
I tried xubuntu before, can't remember why it didn't work.
You are right, it will be awesome to conquer this thing and learn how it works. I really don't want to pay someone else and be a noob forever.
For some reason when I try to install ubuntu it takes about 20 hrs, I think it is just too much for the poor old thing!
Because I have DSL and it was previously working successfully on my machine, I think I will just re-install it and try to make it work.
The reason I was abandoning it was that I couldn't figure out how to use it, specifically how to get my network card to work or how to get anything off of a cd (for example madwifi). It's very confusing for someone who was used to clicking on "install" or "run" or an ".exe" file. But I hadn't found this forum so I was going it alone
I will come back and ask for help with that.