Availability and price often makes USB a considerably more attractive solution that mini-PCI, especially for wireless. Internal wireless is a fine idea but TRY finding those little connectors the cards use for antennae and a decent internal setup. Then try finding the /correct/ incantation of drivers for them. I gave up on both counts. I'm sure the driver problem had everything to do with the card but I'm not gambling with another one (given the woes I've had with Broadcom 802.11g cards from Dell it's not something I want to repeat)
Linux is not the way to go if the software you want to use isn't available for it. There's no NetRemote and Girder for linux. Sure, LIRC has possibilites but it doesn't support the USB-UIRT I've got. And I have no spare serial ports or a parallel port for what it DOES support anyway. Fiddling around with rdesktop or vnc for remote terminal support is far too much of a pain in the ass and don't get me started on netbooting.
I managed to get 98 running on a 340mb microdrive (not that's not uppercased "Microdrive"... don't get me started on THAT hassle). Works reasonably well. Word of advice, it appears the DMDM microdrives are the only ones the GCT supports properly. Don't know why. I've got a 512mb DMCS type microdrive that'll go back on eBay eventually since it won't work on the GCT.
If people think I'm being wordy here, think "search engine" and how it might help the next poor bastard trying all this stuff.
I think I've solved the loss of network problem. I manually pulled down each power profile and set them all to the same values. No standby, 5 minute screen and 3 minute drive power-down. Then I grabbed a DPMS screensaver. Now it comes back to life without having lost the network.
This doesn't 'solve' the problem but it perhaps shines line on where the trouble lies. It would appear that when coming out of standby (which might have been what the machine throught it was doing) doesn't properly re-enable the NetGear WG111 USB unit. The device is present and all software save for the TCP stack thinks it's alive. Go figure.
USB under linux is worse than 98. Try using devices that actually expect to WRITE reliably. They still have a ways to go apparently. I'm sure they'll get around to it eventually but I've not time to jump through to insane hoops of kernel modules and what not to get it all working on these obsolete GCT units. I've done my fair share of kernel compiles so it's not like I don't know HOW to do it. The trouble is the various pieces of the puzzle often don't work properly. Anyway, linux is great for many things and I use it for a mail/file server here.
So my solution to the standby problem was to make sure the various places the OS can be configured for it were all told NOT to use standby. Standby would be nice, I suppose, but if it doesn't work I'm not losing any more time over it.