First, I'm under no illusions that virtually anyone who knows me will care the slightest bit about this, but I'm putting in this blog entry for my own records as much as to inform.
So it turns out that while the marketing folks at Sony have left something to be desired with regard to their flagship gaming console, their hardware folks have created a virtually peerless system which continues to be regularly updated with new functional content. One of the more geek-friendly features that the PS3 possesses is the ability to create a dedicated partition on the hard drive for an "other OS" installation, which for all intents and purposes means Linux.
When I saw this, I knew I had to try it.
A backup, repartition, and system restore gets the PS3 ready. Unplug all peripherals, remove all flash cards, and plug in a USB mouse and keyboard. The good folks at Fixstars have released, for free, regular PS3-friendly installs of Yellow Dog Linux. So all one has to do is download the installer ISO and burn it to a blank DVD, pop it in the PS3, and select Install Other OS from the PS3 XMB. Install at 720P unless you like squinting. You'll be creating a root username and password during the initial install and a user username and password the first time you boot up YDL. Going forward, I'll use "user" to refer to the username you selected.
Once you login, you'll need to access a USB drive with the .rpm files we'll discuss below already on it. To do that, login as the root with "su -l" followed by the root password, plug in the drive and type "fdisk -l" in a terminal window. You'll see a list of disks, one of which will quite obviously be the USB drive and will be in the format /dev/XXX#. Change to the mount subdirectory (cd /mnt). Create a directory (mkdir whatever) and mount the usb drive to the directory (mount /dev/XXX# /mnt/whatever). Now use the GUI to navigate to /mnt/whatever to access the USB drive. It'll appear on your desktop. Anytime you install something below, it'll just consist of double-clicking on the appropropriate .rpm file and entering the root user password.
Now, start following efaustus9's guide, which I'll abridge here to cover only what I did. Much of the same information is also in BillB's Installing Software on YDL (The Easy Way).
First, follow exactly the instructions in Section IV Expand Repositories For Avaliable Software. Now you can install other programs without problems.
Second, follow exactly the instructions in Section XI Bluetooth Controller. Now you can use the PS3 controller to play games with. (Note: See Update #1 below)
Now your system is ready to install other programs already prepared for the Yellow Dog installation on the PS3. You can find them in the PS3Bodega.
Now the whole point of this process was to play one of my old favorite DOS games, One Must Fall 2097, on my PS3. Fortunately, OMF:2097 is now freeware, and you can download it here. Unzip the files to a folder on your USB drive called OMF2097. Drag OMF2097 into a directory called DOS on your YDL desktop.
Then you download and install DosBox from the PS3Bodega. Install the .rpm and type dosbox from a terminal window. In the DosBox window, type "MOUNT C /home/user/Desktop/DOS". Now go to drive C, enter the OMF2097 directory, and install the program. Once you run it, you can configure the joystick and enjoy!
The same process follows for any of the other programs in the PS3Bodega, although you may want to refer to efaustus9's guide to see if there are any necessary tweaks to make things run more smoothly.
Update #1: Apparently Bluetooth is broken in the new YDL 6.2 release. I upgraded anyway because I was having password issues, but as of now (14 Aug 09), my BT controller doesn't work.
Update #2: I got this Logitech USB keyboard to use with YDL, and it works smashingly well! I got the USB one (vs. the bluetooth equivalent) so I didn't have to worry about the problems in Update #1.
Update #3: I recommend not using YDL 6.2. 6.1 works great and all of the help out there is 6.1-based. The bluetooth issue is still unresolved as of 14 October, although there is an unofficial workaround that I didn't want to bother with.