The only real issue with this machine (as far as I know) is the NVRAM battery is toast.
This is a slightly bigger issue than it sounds like, as the battery is permanently encased in a big polymer blob on top of a chip.
There are a few ways to deal with this, one of which is to just carve away the top until you expose the battery contacts, and add a CR2032 holder somewhere.
So ... time to fire up the Dremel.
My "I wonder if this will work?" idea of writing an ISO image to a 1GB CF card and putting an adapter on the secondary IDE instead of using the CD-ROM seems pretty solid.
Booted a small Debian image for testing, I'm still waiting for #NetBSD to finish downloading.
So when I got the NetBSD installer to boot, it black-screened on me - I suspect it was switching to serial console, not that it was broken. Rather than scavenge around and figure out a serial console, I tried #OpenBSD - and it worked perfectly.
I have a lot of cleaning up to do now, but it boots properly and now I can start installing things.
Bonus - an old USB PCI card I used to use in my Blue & White G3 Mac works great, and I can just use a USB stick to copy stuff now!
Turned out #Solaris 9 was a right pain. The installer actually crashed at certain points and I really didn't want to keep fighting with it.
While wondering if it was just a dodgy drive causing me grief, I pulled out the old CD-ROM and replaced it with an IDE DVD drive I had on the shelf - and ended up slapping a 120GB hard disk in it as well.
Consider this a friendly, local pub. Make yourself at home, bring your friends, have a good time! Meet new people, have a laugh, enjoy the ambience, and the Oxford commas.