My second machine has been acting strange ever since the hard drive bellied up. The new drive, a Maxtor 10 gig, is fussy, but then so are the two CD Rom drives that have to cipher disks. Older PCs are much like older cars, reliable when they run, but wear and tear show at odd times.
Xubuntu didn't do so good. So I whipped out my copy of #!Crunchbang. It sliced through my hardware like a clean knife and is a fast install as I ever seen. Crunchbang is Ubuntu based but has Openbox window manager. It is lean and mean with a stark black screen and white letters. You have to tweak it to make the colors come out but you don't want to spoil it. As my second machine I don't need it to do heavy lifting so I'm using it for doc storage and to play back video tutorials.
Oh yeah, Conky is on deck with this distro with it's on screen system monitor and a listing of keyboard shortcuts to make learning them a breeze. All it need now is Synergy to share keyboard and mouse.
I sense a GNU-vana moment approaching. It's an endless cycle upgrade, then learn new stuff, then make it better again, then fix when it brakes, then............If I had new stuff I would be bored, Linux just works, gives me nothing to do, so I tinker.