thanks again dopey
in the end I found deleting the MD and regenerating it cured the problem (but I have little idea why!!)
I do wish I could get my head round Linux a bit better!
in fact.. I wish I had never seen M$ and that way I would have concentrated on Linux from the beginning
and maybe today I would not feel like the useless gimp I do right now!
7 weeks and about $1100 in..
I have a core that works mostly..
an MD that works except I have no way to control it as the mouse died when I tried to set up the wiimote
and a crate full of X10 stuff I dare not connect..
a tuner card that just brings down the whole system..
well you get the idea!