After struggling with issues with the SCSI CDROM and hard disk I was using I finally got a combination that worked. I put the case back on and then I couldn't boot off the hard disk any longer.
Not one to be limited by failed hardware I struggled for another hour and got the system to boot off of the network, except then the CDROM decided to stop working again.
More cursing, fiddling, stress and then it started working again for little apparent reason. Taking advantage of this momentary fortune I started ripping the CDs. I don't know if the system will work if I reboot it, so I might as well make sure that it doesn't matter.
The stress and lack of food (as I was hacking instead of eating) left me crying off in the corner occasionally. (Bad things happen to me when I don't eat fairly regularly.
But it works now and that's what's important.