So, we need a spare machine as a file and print server to let us straddle the transition of existing machines and make an on-disk backup of essential systems. (Current backup strategy is CD-Rs, ZIP disks, and duplicated spindles). The problem is that the machine with all of the hard disk space to store the backups is also the one getting the overhaul (including a DAT tape backup) so we can make the industrial-strength backups that we need. So, Steve and I hit the web, scouting OEM sites for a cheap, simple server. It needs a CPU, a NIC and a hard disk. Most everything else is optional.
So, here’s what we ended up with:
- Biostar M7VKQ w/Duron 1300 CPU, integrated sound, video and NIC, $96 at Tom’s Computer Warehouse
- Generic case with 300W power supply
- Generic CD-R (56x), floppy, 256 Mb RAM
- 100 Gb 7200 RPM Maxtor HD on sale at the local big box for $89
Total damages, with shipping $400. We’ll dig a 14″ VGA monitor, keyboard and mouse out of the cellar for the time needed to set it up, and then operate it remotely after that. Quite a good deal!