We started moving the furniture in the office and that started me really wanting a new PC. I've been using the same desktop computer that I built just before the end of my Junior year in college, 1999. I've upgraded some parts of the system since I built it, but it's still using the same mid-tower case and slot 1 motherboard. The CPU is now a 700MHz Pentium III, up from a 433MHz Celeron. I now have 768MB of RAM, up from 256MB. I have a DVD burner, which I rarely use. The video card is now an ATI with digital out. That replaced my Diamond Viper v770 (an nVidia TNT2 chipset) about a year ago.
I started looking around at PC parts. I haven't kept up on CPU sockets or chipsets so I had no idea what to get. I don't really have a budget for anything either. I'd like to build a small form factor computer like I intended to when I built my current desktop. The Shuttle XPC computers interest me a little, but they seem expensive. I looked in CompUSA which is closing a few stores in Minnesota, but didn't find anything interesting. Nor did I find anything inspiring at MicroCenter. Most of their cases were big, flashy, gaming rigs. I want something small and quiet that will fit nicely on my desk, under or next to my Dell 19" LCD.
I've gotten a lot of good deals from Dell Small Business so I started checking there. They now have a line of Open Source Desktops in the Small Business section which doesn't include the Windows tax. I found they have a deal on an OptiPlex 320n which I couldn't pass up. It's only $357+tax for a 3GHz Celeron and 512MB of RAM. I can upgrade the memory and processor later if need be. The case is 3.65" x 12.45" x 13.40". That's pretty small compared to most build-it-yourself kits I found.
So with Heather's blessing I ordered one. We'll take advantage of our tax refund. The estimated ship date is March 21st.