So - I took the Desktop Acer home, opened it up to start planning surgery and realized even with the top open, the video card wont fit because of a big row of cables that plug in to some pins pretty close behind it, as well as another above it towards the front. I don't know if any video card would fit in that slot.
I know the one below it can be used because I have another Acer that uses a mobo with the same layout and it has a wireless adapter plugged into the lower one. Of course it's a tiny, tiny card.
So I wont be running two screens from that machine any time soon - probably not ever. Instead I'll just move the linux laptop home and use the second monitor from the little Acer laptop. I'm moving the Acer desktop at home to the entertainment center. It solves a few problems, like the really bad time we've had getting netflix to work consistantly from the wii. I can also get rid of the transformer that was letting us use our dvd player as I wont need the dvd player any more. That was my last piece of equipment in there that couldn't handle local power.
I hooked up the pc to the tv with hdmi and it looks and sounds great. I could do better I'm sure with more work and equipment but we aren't audo or video philes - we're pretty easy to please when it comes to that stuff. Now I just need to get a wireless keyboard and maybe a remote. The front of the acer is all black except for a silver acer badge. I can probably pry that off without too much trouble.