Originally Posted by DebLynne
The screen connects via a small vga cable.
Is there just the one cable? If there's only a VGA cable connecting the screen to the PC then it's not a touchscreen. Or it's a touchscreen which isn't fully connected. Or it's some sort of unusual/propriety wiring on the VGA cable. But then presumably you know it is a touchscreen because you've, well, touched it, right?
Maybe posting some pictures of the thing might help, you never know someone might recognise it. Sounds like a potentially exciting piece of kit.
To jump ahead a bit, I've been tinkering recently with Ubuntu running on a device with a 7" touch screen and it's made me realise that there is a big difference between an interface designed for use with a keyboard and mouse that you happen to be able to poke with your finger and an interface that has been designed for use with a touchscreen. You may want to bear that in mind when looking at what software to use with them. This may not be so much of an issue on a 17" screen as it is on a 7" 800x480 one though.
I've heard talk of a Ubuntu Tablet Edition in the works but don't know or if it will appear or if it will appear. I can't find any solid info on it just now.