The furnace is fixed, bad motor bearings, burnt armature, weak capacitor. Good to have friends in the HVAC business, comforting and reasonable. I am experiencing heat with a whisper instead of clank, grind and rumble. One down, the hard drives will have to wait for now.
I was looking at shipping container homes, they are amazing. The shipping container is.......imagine a solid truss (8 ft to 9.6 ft high I beam), it has a top and bottom rail and the corrugated panel between them, then use 4 of them to form a box and seal the ends. This is all Corten steel made to withstand harsh sea travel. If you cut holes for windows and doors or remove a side for a clear span opening you have to add steel to reinforce the rails to return the strength. Welders will be back in vogue, we in Lorain had ship building at one time. They use a plasma torch, ooh! that sounds so high tech. The altered box can be finished in high tech or conventional materials. So you can get the industrial look or the California/Florida look or the homespun Ohio look if you want. What you build doesn't have to be square or cubic and with a little finesse, you can leverage a quite interesting living space even on a 50 x 150 foot city lot. Since the major part of the structure is pre-built, you can spend the rest of the cash on finishing. I would not look for cheaper over all cost but for the same cost a higher quality and more aesthetically appealing space. You could put $200,000 design in a $100,000 house.
Most of the so-called modern home designs I've seen on the net are boxes and flat planes jetting out all over the place. Having a city lot with restricted space and views I am going with the traditional box with a twist. I am opting for a flat roof on which I can perch a quonset or a geodesic. The building codes won't allow a dome home but might stretch for a dome roof. Man! that's what I call an attic!
Getting back to designing in Linux, I was looking for 3d models of shipping containers. There are a few if you look hard, but mostly they are for sale. The price is smaller if you are serious about modeling with these structures, freebies are rare, after all it's just a reinforced box. I thought modelers were a strange lot, some model every bolt and weld seam. That's too much detail or too many vectors to crunch moving around a 3d scene or rendering. I am looking for somewhere between photo-realistic and a cartoon. My needs are simple.
The thing is you don't need pro-ware to visualize a concept and nail it down to where an architect can "get it". I'm am using my trusty Gimp and Inkscape for now and am starting to explore Cycas Cad 3D. I am imagining what kind of art can I put in a space like this.