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I'm looking for a computer to install Unix on so I can use it as a firewall along with Snort, Sguil, and Argus. So much for separation of duties... but I just want it to learn with on my home network. I don't want to spend a lot of money and it doesn't have to be fast so what is the best place to get it? Ebay has the usual generic PCs that are cheap, but have some generic parts... some that I don't mind, but the generic motherboards and memory I'm sure will be a problem. Where should I get it and what should I stay away from, or would I be better off building my own from parts off of pricewatch/ebay?
I picked up a decent old machine from retrobox.com
It came with decent parts and stuff and I was able to install linux on it with no problem whatsoever. In fact, it works better then the store bought Emachines I use as my desktop, if only I had known :-/
Off the top of my head, the machine is a Compaq ~866 mhz, 256 RAM, 20GB HD. I think with shipping it came to about 180 but I could be wrong.
I get stuff off ebay, mostly Dells. Look for high volume dealers with high 90% satisfaction rating. These usually come off lease and have 30-90 warranty. Try to bid when everyone is asleep and not when I'm bidding.
3-years ago I bought a 500/256 Dell GX1 for $100. I know they clean them up some, but I swear this box didn't look liked it was ever used. The outside/inside looked like new, I'm talking brand new. Not a speck of dust anywhere on the inside. Couldn't believe it. Probably sit on some exec. desk and never used. Of course, I've got some the other way around. Just never know.
Got to thinking about the sw I loaded on it... it was 3-years ago in March 2002..... Forgot it is 2005 now.