If you have an old machine around. You can probably bring it back to life using irish made, Linux Mint (based on ubuntu)
At this point i recommend using mint 13 (although its currently at 16..) xfe (low resource consumption). 13 is LTS (Long term support) meaning software support is up to 2017.
The installation is a breeze and you should have all the installation drivers done for you. Chrome, Firefox, Libreoffice .. all supported.
If you are finding that your laptop or desktop is still sluggish slow. Try the following
1) Install preload
> sudo apt-get install preload
2) Edit swappiness config of mint.
> cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
This should be at 60
> sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
Add in the following lines
# improve swap
vm.swappiness = 10