Thanks! I've been saving up for an Itanium box myself, to use as a server for my home network. Now that it's here I'm really looking forward to seeing what the quad-core Itanium processor is really capable of. I figure we'd probably be fine with just a plain old x86 Windows, BSD or Solaris box, but I figured hey, if you're going to build a home network, you might as well build it with a bit of style, right? Every guy, his little brother, his cat and his dog are getting those 'black box' home media servers you pick up at WorstBuy for $799, and while I figure one of those could probably do what we needed to do, I'd like to build something different, a bit more esoteric, and probably something better!
For some reason my application for a hobbyist license seems to have fallen through the grid back in January, but I'll get it yet. Maybe I'll try to run a virtual cluster, or see if I can get a dusty old MicroVAX II that's been sitting in my teacher's office to run as a satellite node, just like Mr. Hoffman recommended.