Got myself a cheapish used laptop for about 670 euros -- a ThinkPad 570Z. Debian GNU/Linux installed from over the network with the 3-disk "compact" set on the first try (which is also a first for me -- I usually end up messing something up at first...). The keyboard on this thing is nice enough for some typing (although the auditory feedback just isn't there) and the 800x600 TFT screen doesn't seem to be causing me any head or neck aches so far. It remains to be seen if this laptop is any good for long hacking sessions -- the battery seems to last for about two and a half hours when the CPU is mostly idle.
q:laruisku is coming along pretty well, I think -- I took the easy route and neatly encapsulated the Airhook reliable datagram protocol so that I could concentrate on the structure of the actual game instead of spending an awful lot of time on a problem that has already been satisfactorily solved. Now I'll just have to figure out how to encapsulate the physics model in a clean way and make the server transmit sufficient game state information so that the client can actually draw frames that actually look like something... Then I'll start posting CVS snapshots on my home page, or something. Hopefully I won't get tired of this project before I release something that actually works.
I quit my new job after I found out that my new potential employer has a patent policy that's incompatible with what I personally believe in. That's one more thing I'll have to remember to ask about in the next interview... I'm just hoping that this was really the right thing to do, as I seem to have hit a few snags in finding a new job; there aren't that many openings for a generic C/C++/perl programmer here at this particular time, especially with the few (i.e. none, apart from some work experience) formal qualifications that I have. I suppose it'll just take me a bit longer to find a worthy employer...