i found this similar problem here - with solution
looks like i need to use an earlier kernel version, oh god!!!
ok, not sure how to do that but i'll give it a go...
just could not face the idea of rebuilding a kernal - not there yet - so instead i rewrote yaboot.conf the boot off the cdrom - replaced the boot "pathtoebian" with "/dev/sr0" and device path to hard drive - with cd:
somehow that worked i think maybe not either way i am now in yellowdog again
seem to be chasing my tail with this one!