The 3400 BIOS doesn’t support PXE or USB boot… so I decided the quickest install method was to take the disk out and put it in a USB adapter connected to another machine. I wiped the disk, created a partition and configured grub to boot the debian installer. Linux install was straightforward. I’ll need to rebuild the XFree86 fpit driver to get the touchscreen working. My first attempt to do got a reaction from the mouse but was still rather broken.
Purchased four Fujitsu Stylistic 3400 tablet PCs from ebay. These should make good frontends. There is even a manual on the Fujitsu web site but I don’t suppose I’ll read it. Looking forward to trying to get Linux installed on them.