OK, like Columbo, ..." just one more thing ". Not to prolong the suspense, the Dell with the Linux is WORKING great now.
The problem was, as most of you suggested, the Intel on-board graphics. I learned from a friend that Intel does not publish their code info for the hardware, at least not the graphics, so Linux OS creators don't know how to write drivers for the Intel graphics.
Apparently Intel does provide info on their Pentium 4 processor, so that works fine with Linux no further effort.
I bought a $14.00 Nvidia graphics card off eBay, free shipping, small form low profile PCI Express, it went right in, and with a connector adapter, feeds my Dell monitor thru its VGA cord and port. Everything still works as before, but now the fonts are readable, no distortions etc.
I like the Mint Maya, but have a long learning curve ahead of me to be able to run Photoshop, and whatever Windows application Linux needs, to nallow the install of some of the Windows programs I would like to be using. One thing is that the native Linux screen capture feature is sort of clunky compared to my Print Screen Deluxe 5 Windows program, and even Windows 7's snipping tool is better than the Linux app.