I'm a newbie and knew linux ubuntu a month ago. I just installed ubuntu 12.10 with windows xp. It's success, but after login just background, no bar, no button and there is no anything. What is the problem?
I had a similar problem with 12.10. I would suggest downloading and installing 12.04, because it is an LTS, and will be supported until 2017.
I would also suggest using Lubuntu if your machine is really old and slow.
Though the regular Ubuntu interface is very nice... you can get it here