I've been at this for a couple of days now, and have made some progress thanks to many of the questions and answers here.
First, the machine info:
- elo ESY15A1 all-in-one POS touchcomputer
- CPU: Celeron M 1Ghz
- graphics: integrated
- Created 14.04 USB boot disk using UUI
- adjusted BIOS to boot from USB
- initially I would get a grey screen with a cursor... and then blank and nothing. Except, apparently, it was still trying to install in the background, it was just that the monitor was off
- using TAB at the Ubuntu install screen and adding NOMODESET to the (kernel?) line got me a lot farther, but I'm stuck again.
- Sidenote: simply adding nomodeset doesn't help at all. Backspacing through 'quiet splash' before adding nomodeset gets me one result (full log of the boot/install process before it dies - see video below) and moving the cursor back past quiet splash before adding nomodeset gets me another result: the screen with 4 dots
- in either of the above cases, I eventually end up on a blank screen that stays that way indefinitely. However, if I hit ctrl-alt-del, the screen comes to life to show the install shutting down and the system restarts. is there any other keystroke I could try here to kick start something other than a reboot?
- it doesn't appear to make a difference if I choose 'install' or 'try' Ubuntu.
For your viewing pleasure, I recorded the whole process in the hopes that someone would see a clue to the problem. https://youtu.be/ikISzmkPTtc