For the price of some charred oinky ribs I had a friend of mine come over and install Ubuntu on my ailing magic elf box.
It didn't go as smoothly as one would hope.
Finally after about five hours of work it came up and connected and seemed to be acting fine, but wouldn't connect to the printer (online forums were less than helpful, their solution was to get a non-Lexmark printer) and wouldn't share files (yes, the proper software is installed).
Not fifteen minutes after he left the damn thing dropped off the network and won't reconnect.
I'm going with his suggestion to get a bigger hard-drive so that Windows XP and Ubuntu can both be installed. That way I can play with Ubuntu to my heart's content and still have access to my files and printer the rest of the time.
Good thing I still have the laptop!