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I had added the larger drive—the one that required the separate IDE controller—after I had the Linux box running. While there were no obvious conflicts, apparently it didn’t get along with the video card for some reason (though it was just fine for the last year or so). I put in an older spare video card and we switched out the monitor, as well, since it seemed a wee bit odd. Now the x‑server stuff is working fine.
Oh—I found that the network cable has lost the little tab that keeps it from slipping out of place, so it has been replaced now. I believe that’s why the machine was sporadically losing contact with the rest of the world.
Now if I can just get my machine (running Win2k pro) to join Samba’s NT domain … then it’s back to that Data General box.
Sam is pulling cable to Katie’s room and the guest room now!