Alright, lets see. This is a newer machine -- I believe it was probably loaded with 12.04 and then upgraded to 12.10. The graphics never worked but in trying to fix them I lost even low graphics mode, and then I may or may nor have broken GRUB and/or created memory issues.
So. Stopping after loading initial ramdisk -- if it were memory problems, how would I fix this? Some time ago, the BIOS complained of bad memory or something like that -- it specified one of the DIMM slots, and the error went away after I removed that module, but memory issues is something to keep in mind. The error no longer appears which leads me to believe the memory is OK but perhaps I should not trust that.
The graphics cards: there are two of them. My understanding is that one is for graphics and the other is for computation. From doing lspci, back when the machine still turned on, this is what I saw:
03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF108GL [Quadro 600] (rev a1)
04:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation Tesla C2075 (rev a1)
I can try removing the tesla card and see if that helps anything, although it would be good to get both of them working eventually.