pbrt build process
I built pbrt on the myth machines, and then on my own Linux machine (running Mandriva 2007), with no problem.
Speeding up the rendering process
I set the image size to 200*200, with 2 sample rays per pixel, which makes the rendering pretty fast.
I also wrote a simple script to be able to "render/convert to tif/display the resulting tif" with just one command (productivity gain).
Obtaining the first configuration was pretty straightforward. However I had trouble getting a correct image for configuration 2, because I hadn't figured out that the "camera coordinate system" was activated. Configuration 3 was straightforward as well. For configuration 4 I first tried to use a spot for the main light, then realized I had to use an Area Light. After that it was easy.
"Cool" stuff (?): Pop Art