OK. I can edit the xorg.conf with Nano, but nothing changes - then when I reboot it just opens up a terminal-type login which [after I enter username and password] gives me what looks like a non-GUI terminal prompt, as though it's waiting for me to do something intelligent. Hah! It'll be waiting for a while then.
However, I followed the helpful "How to undo your ham-fisted edit" advice contained in xorg.conf, and rebooted, and now I'm back to where I was, unscathed but a bit more experienced.
You're dead right about the video card - it's old! I've downloaded a new allegedly Linux-specific driver from nvidia.com, and now there's a .run file sitting on my desktop - which leads to my next question [and I beg your indulgence here
]: Now what? The only tools I've used so far for installing new Stuff are mintInstall and synaptic package manager, neither of which seems to want anything to do with this new driver. Hardware drivers just tells me I have no proprietary drivers installed. I knew that already
It's kinda odd, but the more I stumble through this, the more I believe that Linux is way superior to that other operating system. I've spent some time reading forum posts, and everyone is so helpful! You don't get that from a helpdesk!