Texstar, I put the three lines at the bottom of the rc.local file. No visible change after reboot.
Ferdes, The laptop screen has always worked fine with or without the external monitor. The maximum resolution is 1024x768 on the internal laptop screen though. Xrandr has separate settings for VGA1 (external) and LVDS1 (internal)
Running Windows XP I can choose up to 1600x1200 on the same Dell P190S external monitor, same Dell D610 laptop, different hard drive only. Of course the setting remains after reboot.
I prefer 1280x1024 but when PCLOS is restarted, that choice is gone. After rebooting PCLOS the list shown below from Xrandr -q is the same except no 1280x1024 choice for VGA1, so it isn't permanent. Going back to the first post in this thread, it has to be manually loaded after each restart. No progress so far but still trying.