Originally Posted by linux/unix87
i just installed those debian 5.0.3 dvds and it said it had a kernel error and to sent the report to kerneloops.org
Debian 5.0.3 is old, probably why it is not working for you on new hardware. Debian Squeeze is (S)till (I)n (D)evelopment (SID) for a little while longer but it is very stable, stable enough to use.
I believe Ubuntu *.01 is based on Debian SID and *.10 is based on Debian Testing.
Therefore it may be a better idea to stick with Ubuntu that has a lot of documentation and centered around new users. Once you get the basics installed you can then play around with the command line. Apt-Get, Aptitude, installing rkhunter and chkrootkit, understanding how to update grub 2 menu, pretty much getting use to the command line and commands if you want to get more into Linux. A couple of links in my signature might be of use to you.
Once you are more familiar with this then you could jump into Slackware.