I opted to wait on purchasing a replacement desktop until my new credit card arrives, so I can use the purchase of the new computer to hit the card spending requirement (landing me some number of airline miles), then pay it off and not use it again. Either way, I'm aiming for ~$1k, which means I'm probably going to buy a fairly high-end Sandy Bridge processor, a ton of RAM, a motherboard with dual NICs, and as silent a case as I can find to put it all in.
I talked to David Sun in lab today about his work involving localization with array microphones, and he gave me some pointers that might help in implementing an open-source sound localization library for use with the Kinect. Most of that work is currently on hold, though, because 1) all my notes on the cryptographic handshake are on my desktop, safely saved, but currently inaccessible without yanking the disks and doing some magic with external housings that might upset the RAID1, and 2) I HAVE PROJECTS THAT ARE DUE SOON AAAHHHHH!!
On that topic: our security term project is progressing. Preliminary tests were successful and show a 10x slowdown to network traffic with our technique, which may turn out to be acceptable. Promising results, at least, which we'll detail in our poster session on Friday. TODO: set up printing on the giant plotter in the lab.