After whoever mentioned it on this forum, I went into town and picked up a copy of APC, with Mandrake Linux 9.0 on the cover CD. After waiting to get hold of a friend's spare 4GB hard drive to experiment with, I've unplugged my normal HDD (just so nothing can screw up windows), and I am *trying* to give Linux a go.
I can get through all of the installer fine, up until the "Configure X" bit, where it asks me to pick a resolution/refresh/bit depth. On selecting the combo that I want (i've tried a couple), The installer does a video test, to make sure that the display mode works (it does), after which it basically displays a completely blank screen, and won't go back to the installer.
the keyboard lights (caps/num lock etc) are still functional, but the trusty three finger salute doesn't work, neither do any of the other keys/mouse/yada yada.
My machine is an Athlon XP 1800+, 256MB DDR, Nforce2 motherboard with onboard sound/lan, and a Geforce 4 MX440.
My FSB is overclocked ever so slightly to 143 (up from 133), and the AGP bus is at 100MHz (from 66), but all of this is completely stable in windows, along with the software overclocking for my card.
I've been wanting to try Linux for a long while now, I'm confident with DOS and Windows (to the extent where I still use the command prompt in XP), but have had absolutely no experience with Linux whatsoever.
Oh, by the way, the HDD is clean, and the Mandrake CD is bootable, just in case anybody wonders.