So, as part of the whole "let's install a CMS and see what it can do" process, I realized that my dev server was a bit out of date and needed a whole upgrade. I didn't realize this all at once, but over a couple of days of struggling to upgrade mySQL. Finally, it hit me like a Homer Simpson moment: D'oh! I was running CentOS 3, with the versions of mySQL and php (and everything else) that went with it. CentOS 5 is due out soon, so it was time to upgrade to 4.
As I type, the webdev system is churning away. As my first experience with upgrading an OS in this system, I have to say I'm impressed with the user-friendliness of the process. Of course, knowing which CD image to grab is a good first step *ha* but after that, it's a graphical process with handy little "What's going on now" information panels. (I like knowing what it's doing.) So, by CoB today, I should be (if all goes well, and I didn't just jinx it!) running CentOS 4 along with mySQL 4.1.20 and php 4.3.9. These will allow me to install the selected evaluation CMS applications and get on with it! (Plus, it gives us some needed insights into how the upgrade to the live server will go... although we're going to put that off a bit longer.)
w00t, as the kids say.