He could buy a somewhat newer video card. I think the GeForce FX-series and newer work with 8.10's driver.
Here's the relevant passage from the 8.10 release notes:
"nVidia "legacy" video support
The 71 and 96 series of proprietary nVidia drivers, as provided by the nvidia-glx-legacy and nvidia-glx packages in Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, are not compatible with the X.Org included in Ubuntu 8.10. Users with the nVidia TNT, TNT2, TNT Ultra, GeForce, GeForce2, GeForce3, and GeForce4 chipsets are affected and will be transitioned on upgrade to the free nv driver instead. This driver does not support 3D acceleration.
Users of other nVidia chipsets that are supported by the 173 or 177 driver series will be transitioned to the nvidia-glx-173 or nvidia-glx-177 package instead. However, unlike drivers 96 and 71, drivers 173 and 177 are only compatible with CPUs that support SSE (e.g. Intel Pentium III, AMD Athlon XP or higher). Systems with older CPUs will also be transitioned to the nv driver on upgrade. "
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|1.5TB 7200.11|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45|Logitech MX 518 & F310|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX