Ok my screen resolution is stuck at 800x600. I'm trying ubuntu on my Inspiron 1720 laptop.
How can I get a higher resolution?
I tried ubuntu on my desktop many moons ago, and now giving it another shot.
I hope this is an easy fix?
There's been significant changes in the Ubuntu graphics (X11) code and you're using an Ubuntu more than 2 years old. Download an Ubuntu 12.04 desktop live CD and see if you can reconfigure the display resolution appropriately.
Don't try to configure X11 unless you have to and have day or two of free time - it's complex and idiosyncratic and while there's voluminous documentation available it's not well written and is also mostly out of date. eg. The standard config file (/etc/X11/Xorg.conf) disappeared in recent releases (though still supported for backwards compatibility) and was replaced with the not yet well documented HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) configured in /etc/hal/fdi and /usr/share/hal/fdi.
Take a look at this post: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=83973
It lists a step by step guide as well as how to troubleshoot problems (down at the bottom.)