Today I reinstalled Debian Lenny on my Dockstar. I thought it was bricked, but it isn't. I never did manage to get the CA-42 serial cable working, though, so now it has a useless tail. If I ever do brick it I guess I'll revisit the issue.
I first reinstalled Plugbox Linux, but then after installing the Dockstar kernel I discovered there was no XFS support. So then I went back to Debian. I have Lenny on some other 256MB RAM machines I own (Digital Tech Dt168 and Dt360) so I knew it would run okay with no swap. Swapping is a bad joke these days in general, and swapping to flash is an idiot move.
After installation I had to change the time zone (actually now done with
dpkg-reconfigure tzdata.) If you want your root on ext3, run
/usr/sbin/fw_setenv usb_rootfstype ext3 before rebooting. You also need to edit the
/etc/fstab file but you can do that after the first boot so long as you unmount cleanly. Mounting ext3 as ext2 only fails to play back the journal. I hacked the script slightly to eliminate the mkfs and did it manually elsewhere, but I didn't edit the fstab until after my first boot.