Ok, so I found out that my old monitor had somehow fried the nicer of the two graphics cards I have for my Ubuntu PC. I installed a new card and found that my X11/Gnome/xserver didn’t like the new graphics card as it was setup by default. After doing some googling with my laptop I managed to find out how to reconfigure the xserver to use more generic settings, and its now all working.
Its pretty cool that firefox is installed by default, at least that’s one thing I don’t have to figure out how to install for now. Its now after midnight, so I should probably go and get some sleep. Its not an amazingly huge start, but at least the OS is installed and the basics are working. 😀