Friday morning I drove up to Mankato for a few things. One was to see if Computer Renaissance had any really inexpensive monitors. They did. I decided not to look at any of the CRTs (which I was told were really cheap, and these days I'd be surprised if they weren't). I wound up with the least expensive thing on display: A 15-inch LCD that could do 1024x768 for $50 and tax.
Once that was home, the rebuilt machine (which will be the "new" percheron, replacing a P-III system) booted up nicely and Xubuntu 11.04 appeared nicely. Yet another attempt at ArchBang did not. I have no idea why, but ArchBang which is supposed to be a neat thing has never even booted properly for me. *shrug* So I re-partitioned the drive and installed Xubuntu 11.04 on about half of it. I did that install almost in my sleep, Saturday morning.
Almost everything went well. The updates updated. The video card's proprietary driver worked. The 32-bit compatibility was already there due to a question asked (and carefully answered) at install time. Out of curiosity I tried Phoenix and it ran - at nearly 30 frames per second, though the graphics settings had to be at 'Mid' for that. It dropped to about 8 fps for 'High' and I wasn't about to fiddle with 'Ultra' considering the video card is old/low-end enough it doesn't have its own fan because it doesn't need one.
The only problem I had was the network connection which came up at 100 Mb/s rather than 1000. There is an issue with *buntu 11.04 and the Realtek 6168 but it turned out it wasn't the problem I had. Instead of my having to play games with drivers, jmaynard found that the cable was plugged into a 100 Mb/s port on the switch. Moving that to a gigabit port (and restarting percheron - yeah, I know, but it wasn't doing anything important anyway) and everything seems to be fine.
Right now I'm just letting it run. I'm more concerned about any Xubuntu flakiness than any trouble with the hardware now. I don't want to install 11.04 on andalusian (the laptop) only to find it has some screwiness I could/should have avoided.