As a late entrant into the PC world, my first “real” system at home was a Dell Pentium Pro 200MHz, at the time a top of the line monster that set me back about $3K. It was a great system, though, and I had my first dual-boot system on it, which I believe was Red Hat Linux 4.2. Eventually I upgraded that system to a whopping 96 MB of RAM for some real powerhouse performance. (Lock your knees if it helps keep you upright.) When I replaced it with a homebrew Athlon system in 2001, it became my home server, “Marilyn” on the new network.
I used that PPro up until last summer, when a disk crash gave me the opportunity to migrate “Marilyn” to a used Pentium-II 266 MHz, a gift from a friend. The original hardware is still back in my HVAC closet and works fine, although it’s not running now. I also took the opportunity to put in a software RAID configuration for a little peace of mind.
Today I realized I had an Athlon T-bird 1100 system — this one given to me by my father, who had received a brand-spanking-new system as a gift — sitting around gathering dust. Mostly it was unused because the hard disk was going bad. Today I transplanted “Marilyn’s” disks, now running Fedora Core 5, into that system, and voila! Instant upgrade. I’ll probably be moving it to CentOS 5 shortly.
Another reminder of the benefits of Linux — making good use of hardware that otherwise would be sitting in a landfill somewhere. I received some much newer hardware from a friend recently, and will probably deed my homebrew Athlon 1.4GHz to a worthy cause, like my perpetually strapped sister in law.