Finally got the thing working - had to buy another USB keyboard and a USB powered hub. Very limited power ability for the USB ports. Don't know about cheap computing all the accessories you need really work out quite expensive!
Anyway I setup the preferred Debian Linux on an SDHC card and it boots. I login and type StartX and get to a desktop.
All good except:
1) There is no RTC on the board so the time and date are wrong - how the heck do you set the time and date?
2) Can't find anywhere to setup connection details and consequently I can't connect to the internet. How do I specify my DHCP server/DNS server in Debian? I did notice it aquired and IP address during the LInux boot (192.168.1.24) but when I run a browser it can't resolve the addresses of websites so I presume I need to manually specify a DNS server.
Not exactly lacking frustration - though it does look pretty with its flashing lights!