I rebooted the computer today and it refused to power up again. Half an hour of unplugging, replugging, removal and replacement of box panels and much swearing later — all while working under a desk, amid a rat’s nest of cables with a Husky standing on my chest — I discovered the problem. When the Palm is sucking power through its USB cable, there’s not enough juice to power up the box. And conversely, the box tries to draw power from the PDA, so flat batteries on the Palm.
Probably worth noting that I’ve had little to do with USB until recently, as instead of the usual array of USB friendly peripherals I opted for the SCSI versions instead. And I’ve never had the Palm connected to the box when I’ve had to reboot.
After this encounter with the pitfalls of USB, I’m quite glad I opted for SCSI for the hard core peripherals instead.