I've been fiddling with usb devices - here's what I have :
A sandisk sddr-31 compactflash adaptor - works great with current (small - 45k) driver on sandisks website.
A Lexmark Z32 printer - again no problems with standard drivers.
A Micra Digital USB ethernet adaptor. This did not work with it's original supplied driver (the link light lit, but no usb). Internally , it is a Kawasaki chipset, so off I went to www.ksli.com to get a driver from http://www.klsi.com/drivers/index.htm (its u2e304.zip). When installed, this now works fine. It installed an older version of the files that came with my adaptor, but the older ones work where the new ones don't.
Works fine now - I can load jpg's (400kb work ones) other the usb ethernet whilst playing files with winamp.
I can also plug in the compactflash drive and transfer 32MB (The 8 largest files from Office 97, copied/pasted with explorer) from our netware server to the flash card , whilst playing mp3's with no skipping (I've only a 32MB card to play with). I dunno how much a the sandisk unit draws (I guess not much) but if there were processor usage / power problems with ethernet I'd thought I'd have seen something by now.
(Side note - enabling "client for netware networks" as the login processor in network settings kills my audio. "Client for microsoft networks" login doesn't. That's weird!)
I can plug and unplug the usb and things keep going. Pressing the sleep button with the usb ethernet connected just wakes it back up after a second. With the power management set to 10 mins and playing winamp it tries to switch off but wakes back up again - winamp continues to play.
I've still only got the 48MB DOC in it, so that's about the extent of what I can do.
Oh, if you need to process word/excel files get that software602 package. Works good and with everything installed on my system (sandisk/ethernet/lexmark/software602/winamp + original famewolf image) I've got about 10MB free.