The M1400s IDE hard drive (a very old one) became testy, so I decided to make a fresh install on another HD (from the box full of IDEs..).
The results are: Ubuntu 10.04 (using mini image) has irreconcilable problems with xorg and video card drivers, so the sanity prevented me from keeping on playing with it.
Ubuntu 10.10 (mini image - 14.5 Mb one) installed well - actually the ability to connect the IDE frive through USB dongle and make the install on it, is a convenience of sorts,- you still need to disconnect the parent laptop hard drive, as Ubuntu insists on installing the grub on it.
After the minimal (without xorg) install, I transfered the hard drive into the tablet, removed persistent-70, got the network going and installed xorg.
A pleasant surprise was the working xorg and! working stylus-cursor. Sort of out of the box. The wireless also started up on its' own, of sorts.
I started installing the rest of the software, and here the oh, so familiar to me Ubuntu experience happened again,- a totally unexpected bug. With the hardware temperatures being somewhat higher then with debian (114 F vs 100 with debian Lenny) the damn thing started just shutting down. Entering 'acpi.power_nocheck=1' in grub did not help at all.
As far as i can see, the issue is related to the 10.04 video card driver, and while xorg actually comes up, the video card runs hot, heats up the memory and... voila... down we go. I had enough time to notice that xrandr refuses to work, no matter xorg.conf edits, so, no screen rotation.
But the danger of killing the video card stopped me rather cold.
Debian Lenny install on the same hard drive went without a hitch, and the tablet is purring along again.
There. 10.10 works, sort of.
I am not responsible for your dead video card...