I'd been using an old laptop in the kitchen wanted something newer. A while ago I saw that the Toshiba Satellite L755D-S5104 (15.6 inch 1366x768 screen, Quad core, AMD/ATI HD6520 graphics from the A6 processor, 4 GB RAM expandable to 8 GB, 500 GB HDD) could be had for a low price, but was just above Best Buy's 18-month no-interest threshold. I went for it, planning to make it the new caspian. And then ran into trouble as I couldn't get a Linux distribution that filled my requirements to run on it.
Each distribution had some issue and with many I simply didn't get any video at all. I wound up going to PCLinuxOS's 32 bit version for a while as that at least gave me video. Then I tried Pardus when a DistroWatch comment said that worked for someone with similar problems. Alas, Pardus gave me other headaches, mainly dealing with audio and rather random behavior. More researched revealed the problem many distributions had: The HD6520 video system was too new and the 3.0 Linux kernel did not handle it well. The 3.2 kernel could supposedly deal with the HD6520. Looking around, there was something that had that and looked like it would solve my audio problems: Xubuntu 12.04, which is still in alpha.
Xubuntu 12.04 (alpha 2) is better than I expected an alpha to be. Sure, it has a couple bugs but so far none that cause me real trouble. They were minor setbacks at worst and either had almost trivial work-arounds or simply didn't matter to me. The result? I have what I set out to have: a 64-bit Linux that gives me video and audio properly and can run Firestorm.
The old laptop? I'm not sure if I'll do anything with it. It is 10+ years old after all. However it does run, if slowly, and nothing is actually wrong with it. I have this feeling it should be doing something, but I've no idea what. There is a name available for it on the network: shan.