Re: Memory upgrade for an older computer and a video problem
Thanks for the update johnu1960.
In your shoes, if that is your machine in the link I posted earlier, I would try the latest Long Term Support version of Ubuntu, which is Precise Pangolin 12.04 LTS. It is supported until April of 2017, and you just might find that your graphics will behave differently (the bouncing box error message), and you'll also have the option to use Unity 2D, which is probably far better suited on older hardware like that anyway. All you have to do is log out of your session, and choose Unity 2D from the options available before logging back in, but Unity 2D was removed from the 12.10 release and later. If the LTS release improves your performance, then once you've got used to it after six months or so, you can still decide if you want to dive into some troubleshooting for newer releases, but I don't really think Unity 3D is ever going to be ideal on that machine.
In terms of performance from a SSD, using Precise Pangolin 12.04 and the Unity 2D desktop, I would expect your machine to boot in about thirty seconds, and to halt in about five seconds. Firefox should open in just one or two seconds. Solid state hard drives of 64MB and less are well under $100 now, if you search carefully. Smallish drives with just 30MB will be far more than you need for running Ubuntu (10MB is plenty for the system, standard applications, and swap memory). My guess is that it's taking that machine close to one minute to boot up currently, and maybe as much as twenty seconds to shut down.
Intrepid User of Xubuntu & LXDE on:
(1) Dell Latitude, CPi R400GT, PII 400 MHz, 256MB SDRAM, 66MHz.
(2) Toshiba Portégé 3490CT, PIII 700 MHz, 256MB SDRAM, 100MHz.
Both using NETGEAR MA521 Wireless PCMCIA (no issues!).