Well I got my Serial to USB converter from Amazon for $15.25, I wanted one that I knew would work with Linux. I also just got libfann to work with the gumstix and ran the first program on it, sadly the battery died so I have to wait for it to charge.
Thanks for all the suggestions! The current problem I have is how many angles should I take measurements at? I have the ultrasonic and IR sensors mounted on a HS-50 servo, which is fairly fast. I need a good trade off of scan points and speed. Does anyone have experience with this? I think the standard would be 5, full left, 45 left, forward, 45 right, full right.