Bandwidth to download a large (~50Megabyte) file
A CD ROM burner and burning software, to burn the ISO image
Probably the bare minimum hardware you will need to make this run includes:
Pentium 150Mhz CPU or faster (may work with slower CPU's, not tested yet)
32M of RAM (may work with smaller amounts, but not tested yet)
A video card that's VESA 2.0 compliant (PortaBoom runs under Xwindows in Linux in framebuffer mode)
A CD-ROM drive. All IDE controllers are supported, some SCSI controllers are supported, and no proprietary CD-ROM drives are supported. This will probably change a lot before everything is over with, as there will be at least 2 different boot floppies, one for IDE and the other for SCSI/Proprietarty CD.
A floppy drive (if the machine cannot boot off of the CD-ROM drive)
And here's a list of other hardware that PortaBoom supports in addition to the requirements above:
Mice, both PS/2 and USB (yes, USB mice work!)
A network card that's supported by Linux. Dialup network connections may be supported at a later date, but but they are not currently. [ List of network cards supported in Linux ]
An NFS or Windows SMB/CIFS file server. The PortaBoom image is capable of using file shares exported from either of these two network filesystems. This means that you can store game files, game settings and game saves on a master server, instead of having to remaster the CD to include them.
More memory. The more RAM the better, as Linux will cache files in the extra available RAM as it uses them. The less the system has to talk to the CD-ROM, the smoother the game will be. Eventually game files will be cached in any RAM left over after the base system is up and running; the more RAM, the more that can be cached.
The PortaBoom image can be burned with a computer equipped with a CD-ROM burner (CD-RW's work too), and any CD recording program that can burn an ISO image. You can use 'cdrecord' in Linux/Unix, and Nero or CDRWin in Windows with good results.
Put the CD in your CD drive and boot it. You may have to fiddle with the BIOS settings on your computer to make it boot off of a CD. The CD image may also not work at all, as some comptuers have problems booting El Torito (bootable) CD's. Not to worry, you can boot off of a floppy image, and the floppy image will then boot off of the CD. Once you get the CD booted, go check out the PortaBoom User's Guide. The User's Guide will take you from booting the system to using the PortaBoom GUI interface.