Beginner questions: Linux for Embedded Planet RPX Lite boards

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I'm thinking of buying a **cheap** Embedded Planet board to learn
about embedded Linux development.  I'm not actually going to embed the
board in anything, just play around with setting it up and developing
code for it.  Secondary goal is to play with a non x86 architecture.

I narrowed my choices to:
  RPX Classic CC (CLCP 860)
  RPX Lite CC (LICE 850)

I'm leaning towards the LICE850 as it comes with built in Ethernet.
[Assume I could plug in a PCMCIA Ethernet card into the CLCP860?]

Base kernel support for these boards????
Looking at the Kconfig for 2.6:

- RPXLITE supports the Embedded Planet RPX Lite MPC823 boards.
  Does it also support their MPC850SR boardsets such as the LICE850?

- RPXLITE supports RPX-Classic (MPC860) which I assume includes the
  I also noticed there is another config choice of RPXCLASSIC which
  supports the MPC860.

Is there a particular *free* ppc distribution that is recommended for
targetting these boards?  I'm assuming I will seperately need to get
the DenX ELDK toolchain?

If anyone has any other tips/suggestions for a total beginner, I'm all
ears. If there are better/cheaper hardware platforms or you know of a
used board I'd be very interested to hear from you.

thanks in advance

Re: Beginner questions: Linux for Embedded Planet RPX Lite boards
which type are architecture is demanding in the market

x86 or other why?
which type is easy to learn and play around with linux.


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