A second wing of that plan involves the household's servers. That plan can be summed up in one word: defenestration. Of our four servers (Anna, Bingo, Solstice, and Wixer) three out of the four were running Linux (Slackware 9.1 or 10.1) already. Bingo, the household file server, was running Windows 2000 Server. As of today it's now a Slackware 10.1 box.
I decided that, as I had just overhauled Solstice, it was time to give Bingo a renovation. I picked up a pair of Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM 500 GB (!!) SATA drives and scrounged a pair of 9 GB SCSIs. The two SCSIs and an old AMI RAID card gave me a redundant boot drive. The two 1/2 TB SATA drives are paired as a software RAID 1. Add in Samba and away we go.
I spent a chunk of the morning hacking up a shell script to automate Bingo's backups: with over 125 GB of data, it's too big to dump to tape, so I've been using a pair of USB 2.0 external drives in rotation. I think I have the script squared away. I'll run it manually tonight and then stick it in cron. Given that I never had a "real" backup tool (like Backup Exec) under Windows, moving to Linux (where I have cron, find, cpio, tar and happy shell-scripting tools) I could probably hack up a script to do nightly differential backups. All I'd need to do is remember to change USB drives once a week. Heck, for that I can have Bingo email me a reminder. :-)
 With Windows Vista out, MS will be withdrawing support for Windows 2000 (now planned for 7/13/2010)
 Same deal as Windows 2000 today ... now that Windows Vista has shipped, Windows XP will have a limited window of ongoing support, then *poof*. Quoth Microsoft "Mainstream support will end two years after the next version of this product is released. Extended support will end five years after mainstream support ends." That would be 2014 for those of you too lazy to do the math.
 We're assuming that the selection will be either Mac OS/X or some flavor of Linux (Ubuntu?). But, you never know -- MS might get their collective head out of their ass and 'Vista++' might not be the abomination that Vista is.