Thank you for responding ...
When I select Terminal from the Linux menu, I don't see any "code: select all" , but I entered inxi -F and have this information, which I had also found in another place as well, from the Linux menus.
Dell Optiplex GX280
Intel Pentium 4 , 2.80GH , 32-bit , 2055MB memory with 331 MB used
Kernel 126.96.36.199 cache 1024 kb
Memory 2055668 kb, which is RAM of 2 Gig
Hard Drive ATA WDC WD400 BD which is a 40 GB drive, 9.2% currently used
monitor Dell 19" 1280x1024
The machine used to have Windows XP Professional, but that is gone now, with several Linux Mint installs over it.
I have three times successfully installed this Linux districution, image burned to DVD, into the Dell via its optical drive.
Linuxmint-14.1 - mate-dvd-32bit.iso
completely replacing the Windows OS, using the entire hard drive.
Each install behaved the same, everything works fine, but the fonts are generally chopped up and in many places impossible to read. Sometimes, by highlighting the words, they become correct, but sometimes not. Sometimes it is possible to highlight-copy-paste them into another place, and they become readable. RIght now, the wireless adapter is removed from the computer's USB port, and I have not allowed this install to access the internet. Previously in the first install, I connected and enabled the wireless, Mint found the network, and downloaded some considerable amount of updates, which did nothing to improve the font problem, but progressively FIrefox got worse and worse with the font becoming totally distorted.
I have been into the fonts tab and tried to adjust settings according to some suggestions, such as ensuring 96dpi, and pixel rendering, but the default settings are persistent, and there is no "OK" button to fasten them permanently, just an exit, and when returning, they have reverted.
Presently, there have been no changes made to the install fresh from the disk.
I would be willing to reinstall another distribution, but am not sure where best to get one.
The downloads from Linux, and DVD burns were done on a Windows 7 desktop.