I picked up a Blue and White Apple G3 at work (which was going to get dumped that evening if no one took it on their own hands) with a massive 17" monitor (ie... it weighs about 20 kg and is deeper than my desk; I have to lean back to look at it without getting the sensation that cathode rays are melting my eye-sockets), thinking I'd install a linux distribution over the damaged MacOs 9 partition on its 30 gig hard drive, and set it up with tomcat or something.
Then I noticed that someone had pulled out the CD drive on it before leaving it behind. Good one.
Anyway, I found an ide dvd/cdrom drive in Maplin and picked up a USB wireless dongle, getting slightly ripped off in the process, as is the style when you go to Maplin.
After much pissing about and a couple of days coming back to the same problem that it wouldn't boot the Ubuntu install CDs I'd burned, I realised that if the Finder could see the CD but Open Firmware (the Apple powerpc equivalent of a pc BIOS) couldn't, it was probably the jumper settings, which it was.
So I installed Ubuntu and all looked good, until I tried compiling the zd1211 drivers that seemed to fit the bill for my X-Micro USB wireless stick, and realised that, along with a couple of missing packages that needed installing such as the gnu compiler family, I couldn't build the driver without having kernel sources existing and built.... and to this end, I got a hold of first, the wrong source - even older than the 2.6.12-9 kernel that came with the Ubuntu disc, then a more recent 184.108.40.206 (or something) archive from kernel.org.
After much time building at 600 bogomips, I finally "installed" the new kernel image, adjusted the yaboot config file (which is annoying; yaboot-config-whateva just creates a new one automatically rather than guiding you through the process) and rebooted. I certainly wasn't impressed when I got a screen half-full of boot messages and half-full of white emptiness, with the machine clearly crashed and the keyboard not responding to capslock or anything else.
More than two hours later, four hours before I'm planning to get up (shit!) I'm still waiting for it to build another kernel, with the limited prompt given by the ubuntu cd's rescue-powerpc image.
Mystical, no-error-message freezes in unbootable kernels SUCKS.