Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland
ffutures

Small PCs?

My second PC (HP Pavilion 400mhz, 256mb, runs Windows 98) has begun to freeze up occasionally - can't find anything obvious wrong, and it hasn't done it since I reseated the memory, but I think I need to start thinking about replacing it.

The thing is that it's mostly used for downloads and as an emergency backup, but it's now a bit long in the tooth for the backup part since a LOT of the software I use now won't run on Windows 98 anyway. It really needs to be an XP box for maximum compatibility, although at a pinch I can do without OCR, Pagemaker, and the other applications I own that demand XP for a few days if I have to, so Linux or a Mac isn't absolutely out of the question. I want to avoid XP Media Edition crappiness.

As I've previously mentioned I've been thinking that it would be a good idea to have a PC permanently attached to the TV in another room, and if I use WiFi or extend the network in there, the backup PC might as well be in there. So what I think I need is suggestions on buying or building a small-case PC; I have two hard disks and a DVD writer in the current machine which ought to be OK for a new one, but memory etc. and the OS would have to be bought new.

If I go the Linux route which is the best implementation for a complete beginner with lots of Windows and some OS-X familiarity? The main applications I'd want to run would be bittorrent, a web browser (opera for preference), and Open Office, scanning and paint software, etc.

If I do end up with XP, what's the best deal at present?

Finally, what make of casing, motherboard, etc. should I look out for if I do build my own?
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