Optimizing the OS
Before I get down to explaining myself better, I have to make note of some OS optimizations that I'll need to go forward with the project. I took the trouble to track them down, but if I don't write them down I'll forget them. Then I'll be annoyed, and you wouldn't like me when I'm annoyed. Or something.
Windows - automatic login for WinXP:
Select user you want to automatically log in as, then remove the checkmark from "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer"
( source: http://www.tweaksforgeeks.com/XP_Skip_Login.html )
Linux (Ubuntu 9.04) - disable screen blanking:
Set preferred screen blanking/power saving/hibernation behavior.
Then go turn off the screen saver! (System->Preferences->Screensaver).
Don't I just feel like an idiot :P
There. Now I can format that machine.