G'day mate! Today we advocate not only mental but physical stimulation and your homework assignment is to master the boomerang.
My Gentoo installation on the Dell Inspiron 8000 (nee tuxmobl) shows some progress now since I have managed to successfully start X and obtain an LXDE desktop. Network access is currently through the PCMCIA card and I have yet to try the laptops built in NIC jack that would not work under M$. I can ssh in and set it building while working from 'random' host; which I did yesterday. Once set to a task I checked on some of my open bugs and posted a new blog. Flameeyes has hardware issues and reported he is not able to do tinderbox runs at least where it concerns the packages I use I can try to pick up some small portion of the work.Since updating to gcc-4.5.1 I am currently running 'emerge -e world' on the the 'random' host At 12:00 pm EST there are 290 of 856 packages done.
As the laptop installation proceeds I am forced to make choices concerning hal and udev. Since hal is going away but the documentation still outlines hal and until Gentoo migrates to openrc and baselayout2 hal is still used on Gentoo stable AFAIK With laptops there is the whole battery runlevel and issues of power management as I progress through the problems I intend to post updates here. Further there was discussion I recall on using i2c versus lm_sensors.
The 'random' host has already been migrated to openrc and baselayout2 and seem to be fine running udev without hal. The only thing that at last check actually still required hal on that system was the gnome-gvfs IIRC I chose gnome for a desktop on it since it seemed the easiest way to manage a working install without hal.
I must also keep in mind some kind of solution where integrating the other boxes into the network better yields access to what the linux and windows boxes here can do. Like shared printing and a shared rsync solution between hosts random and tuxmobl Then there is a little router project I have in mind as well.
Good luck with your own tasks. And enjoy a sunset near you with a friend. I'm off the weekend and hope to make some progress then so keep checking back.