Hi Matt, you will have a ton of fun here, there are a lot of very skilled people floating around here. I read your blog and I would not worry about the sewing machine, you can always get a bigger faster one later when you need it. Its also worth keeping an eye out for a decent overlocker that will handle double needles and differential feed, a 4 thread safety stitch on an overlocker is really useful and more than strong enough. It allows you to work on stretch and knit fabrics as well as woven material.
I did end up getting an overlocker - a used one that is from 1991 - but it appears to work okay. It has double needles but I don't think it has differential feed.
Funny, I read your site, and I am also into assembly language - on microcontrollers though - haven't tried x86.