Thus far, I have run into only two small problems with the 300Mhz Celeron I brought home a few weeks ago. The fan in the machine is rather noisy, and seems to spin a little more than is really necessary. Personally I doubt the machine would run so hot that the fan would be absolutely critical, and even if it did overheat the system would shut itself down. A noisy fan isn’t going to save it.
Shutting down the fan is fairly easy; in Arch Linux, this one-liner from a root prompt will do the trick.
echo -n 3 > /proc/acpi/fan/FAN/state
After that you can check the status of the fan by rereading that same location.
echoing a 0 to the same file will cause the fan to turn on again. Rebooting reverts that setting too; in my case this is an always-on machine so I can comfortably enter that line once every two or three weeks, as luck will have it.
The only other problem I’ve had is trying to figure out why Arch Linux sometimes can’t recognize an external hard drive connected over a 1.1 port. If I restart the machine the drive appears in
fdisk -l, but if I unplug it and plug it back in, it’s unable to sense it. That I will chase some more, in the future.