To make use of the computer I will need software that can interface with the drive controller. The product I am currently trying out is called TurboCNC from DAK Engineering. It runs in DOS and is quite compact. I haven't actually used it yet, but I read good things about it online and it is compatible with many popular controllers. You can see it running on the monitor in the computer link below.
I also hope to test out some open source software running on Linux. I have become a bit of an open source advocate in the past few years.
After testing several controller software packages, I have decided to use Mach2 by Artsoft. It seems to be the most user friendly and feature rich. It is not free but is not terribly expensive. It runs on Windows and I have scavenged together a P4 1.6 with 512 MB of RAM to run it on. I did spring for a 15-inch LCD monitor and wall mounting bracket. A touchscreen would be cool but they are far too expensive.
I am currently running Mach3 on the router and really like it.