System Inventory

When is an old computer just an old computer that needs to be thrown away? I have several piled up in my room that are basically mementos of years past. A Packard Bell with Free Kevin and Bawls stickers on it. A previously handed down (that bad!!) cluster fuck of a machine I ran my first version of NetBSD on.

But when is it time to let these things go? Is there an index somewhere of “my machines must meet these specs to get the honor of running on my network”? The reason I ask is I just formatted a Dell XPS450 trying to put Windows XP on it for a media center PC in my living room. Just something I can play music over the network on and whatnot. But now I’m seriously considering re-purposing the box as a traffic sniffer or something.

Well, for the rest of the day I’m watching the baby and with a little luck I may get all the files off all these machines and mark them as trash or keep. Time will tell!

On a side note, does anyone know of a good solution for home networks where there is a lot of diversity in the systems I want to run? Obviously I cannot afford a blade enclosure, and I don’t want a ton of crappy old computers laying around taking up space. I guess I’m looking for small form factor PC’s that can run current and legacy operating systems.

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