Well, my mouse problem was solved by re installation. And in the previous installation, the master volume would return itself back to the bottom. Now I get a blank box - no slider controls in the Volume Control. And in the first install on this box, the sound was fine, though scratchy, probably due to the internal speakers. Alsa-config finds es18xx which is on-board.
This is on a Compaq PIII (Katmai) 500MHz with 384MB Ram. VL5.9 Standard.
FWIW: This box seems to run slower than my PIII with 256MB