So, I finally bought a recent computer and have a bit of memory now (8GB - Yay). Note that when you install a 32 bit OS, you just don't get to see those extra gigs (oops :).
A brief note about this thought, when you install some x86_64 apps outside of ubuntu's managed packages, you may need to install the package "ia32-libs". This happened to me when I finally gave up trying to get vmware 5.5 working and downloaded the 64bit version 6. It installed and ran, but when trying to start a machine it failed with the error "Failed to connect to process". Sheesh!
Luckily I found the fix eventually through google.
Now to see how the quantum orderfinding goes...