So, a friend of mine donated a few M1400 Motion Computing tablets to my collection a few months ago and I've finally got around to playing with them. I think they're more of a boutique item (Pen tablet PCs), rather than "really" something useful, but playing with them may prove interesting.
First off, these things are a bear to boot anything off USB cdrom or USB hard/flash drive. After a minimal search via Google, the consensus looks to be that booting off a firewire drive to be the easiest, so I dug out my old-trusted FW CD drive and plopped an Ubuntu 10.04 Live CD into it.
It booted fine and selected the Try option, rather than install. After a few moments, video blanked out and no more CDROM activity. Lol.
Guessing it's a video driver fubar, I Googled some more and found the following boot option will get you going: i915.modeset=1
by the way, if you are using other video chipsets, here's a brief common list of what you can use:
* Older Intel video card: i915.modeset=1 or i915.modeset=0
* nVidia: nomodeset
* Generic: xforcevesa
Just add this to your list of boot options at the end and you'll get the lovely Gnome Desktop (Or KDE for those running Kubuntu - Which I prefer, myself).
After install, I'll add it to my /etc/default/grub and will run: update-grub
I let you know my mileage on this laptop, after installation is complete and I've played with it, a bit.
By the way: The pen actually worked while booted on the live cd, without any modification or manual loading of Wacom drivers. Sweet.