My father in law has a serious lack of IT management in his company. No wonder, it's a typical small business. Files scattered all over. I occasionally went over there in my free time to help a bit out. They had an "old PC" with data on it that they couldn't recover. Of course, I recovered the data and from then on it just sat there. Now it was a P-III 900MHz with 128Meg RAM. It ran dog slow with the common Redmond OS, and I thought it would be a nice platform to build a small business server on. You know, a samba server, automated backups at night. The usual, or at least what is "usual" on my own small networks.
Well, I had this machine in my car for a few weeks and I finally decided today to take a look at it. Well, as it turns out, one of the memory slots is not working. I can put any SD-RAM module in it (and I have quite a variety) and it will not boot. Frankly, while the 128Meg will probably be fine for a small business server, I am not going to build a critical server on a machine that is already partially defect.
So, the P-IV that I found in the dumpster will get the job, and the P-III 900MHz will find its way into the dumpster (after I "harvested" it of course!) Advantages are that it has a 100Mbps integrated network card and USB 2.0. (The P-III has only USB 1.1 and the network card was awfully slow, even though it is marked as 100MBps) The USB is going to be nice because that's what I'll use for backup: an external USB harddisk.
I already have two 160Gig harddisks that I will put in software RAID. That should do for a small business server. I hope at least...
This reminds me: he wants to pay me for my work! He had this old IBM PS/2, running a metal cutting robot. The machine was failing slowly, so I replaced it with an old computer which I got from a friend. I think he bought it in 1995 and used it at least 5 years. Then he gave it to me and it served as the family server for another 4 or 5 years. Then I retired it. It sat there for a year and now it controls a robot. Hehe, and my father in law asks me how much he owes me for that machine. What do you ask for a machine that is over 10 years old and strictly has no value at all. Okay, I put my work in it, installing FreeDOS on it and adding some hardware I had lying around... At least one can say that this machine really had a useful life ;-)