I am still working with computer woes. Last nite I think I isolated the problem to a bad memory module. When I pulled the module out of the laptop, the errors stopped. Well the whole darn computer nearly stopped - there is only 128 MB of memory on the motherboard, and even running Linux, that is not nearly enough. But I was able to get some critical files safely off of the machine.
I have located another memory module and will install it tonite... Wish me luck.