thanks heaps for your feedback everyone so far!
Unfortunately, it wasn't the typo, and it's still not working for me. I tried all possible ways to enter the resolution settings as described above, no joy. I even tried 800x600, same effect. The only thing it seems to do is that the mint@mint terminal takes up more or less space of the screen, in larger or smaller font size.
Is there anything I might still be doing wrong, syntax wise, or otherwise? For example, I tried to continue booting by pressing F10 as advised before, but that doesn't do anything on my laptop. Return does - but does it the same thing? Due to lack of any solid information, I'm just guessing around here.
As I suspected, LinuxMint detected the wired connection to the active home router and connected to it without any intervention from me. I can't belive I wont be able to do this sort of thing on my smaller machine, except that as it doesn't have a wired connection to the router I'll need to select a Wi-Fi connection and log in to it.
I don't understand, do you mean the machine needs to have internet to install properly?
Booting this way using the existing release candidate disk and then doing level 1 and 2 updates from it, looks like the supported installation route just for the moment, so I shouldn't need to do a further 700 Mb download to install LXDE 12.
Do you mean using the stable release is actually not working (well, for some hardware combinations at least), and in those cases, currently the only way to install 12 LXDE is to use the RC and then update?
If so, would you mind summarizing briefly how to do that update? Although I must admit that would already be allowing my operating system to dictate me to do more work than I think I should be forced to do, if it is to be something that I can actually do work with. It's not a good start for me and Mint, so to say, and it makes me worry into how many more road blocks like this I will run after I have managed to trick the installation into working.
This situation is extremely frustrating, so close and yet so far! It's like I can hear Mint laughing at me from the CD drive.
Anything else I can try?
By the way, this is the laptop setup:
NEC Versa E680
Pentium M 1.4 GHz
736 MB RAM
Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME Graphics Controller, 64MB
Current resolution 1024x768
Sound card: Realtek AC97 Audio
Wireless adapter: Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 3B Mini PCI
currently XP Pro SP3