The openembedded huge bitbakes were running uncomfortably slow in the virtual machine. So I decided to install linux on USB and take it from there. The Karmic installer unfortunately put grub on my Vista boot disk while I wasn't looking , what a naughty koala.
So I do have BootRec to fix the boot sector on my Windows recovery CD, just for the kicks and performance feel I decided to live in the liveCD instead. I have a couple of build VMs on the windows drive, I installed virualbox and started up some VM's for persistent work. The virtualbox booted at least 4 times faster than in windows, they must have done some nice optimizations in the linux build.
Gentoo portage and I have done Gentoo stage 1 installs, from experience this will take a whole day or so. I hope I don't have to repeat the same experience with the BeagleBoard, since there is a prebuilt ubuntu distro from the arm port. At least the beagle-board is much cheaper than the Gumstix and the shipping is tolerably inexpensive. Now the very competitive HawkBoard is also in the market.