Yesterday was Hardware Day. Not intentionally mind you, but the Computer gods decided to play some ugly tricks on me.
1. My main working machine, a homebrew Pentium III box, has a huge fan and power supply. Now, normally this fan sounds like the turbine of a Boeing 747 readying for takeoff. I've learned to ignore it. But yesterday morning the fan started warbling, and then buzzing, and then...ominous silence. Then I heard a pop and my screen went dark. Uh oh. (I'll save you the suspense -- the power supply croaked. Hopefully the motherboard is still okay.)
2. My Sun Ultra 10 machine also has something wrong with it -- it just reboots every so often with no warning. So I can't use that.
3. I did have an old Pentium II 233MHz machine moldering deep in my closet. It's an old machine that my wife used before I upgraded her to a homebrew Duron machine. I transplanted my two hard drives and 256MB of RAM into the machine and am at this very moment installing Red Hat 9.
If the motherboard in the Pentium III machine is truly dead, I might investigate getting a dual-cpu Opteron box. I've always wanted an SMP machine to fool with. This (and a new power supply, of course) will have to wait for a few weeks until my coffers are full again. So in the meantime I'll have to make do with the Frankenbox now sitting on my desk.