OK, so I had to a clean install and I have the spiffy 10.4 kubuntu thing going. Only thing is firefox, something called nepomukserver and virtuoso-t make sure my AMD Phenom is absolutely too exhausted to do anything else.
I got rid of firefox (thanks for Chrome, Mr. Google) but what do I do about the nepomucky thing. It's absolutely rampant. The hard disk never stops chattering, it's chewing up resources <sigh>. How do I get rid of the nepomuckserver?