i figured this was the place to go for questions like this since most linux boards are short of hardware freaks my experience with linux is that it runs great on old hardware, but not cheap stuff. that usually means production quality server parts, of which i have none. my first thought was to turn an old socket7 box i have laying around into a home file server running slackware 10.1. all it will do is host shares, no xwindows, no other services (maybe dhcp cuz i am sick of rebooting my linksys router), but really it will just serve files. my nickname for the box is "the mystery machine" since i have no idea what kind of proc it has (socket7 something or another, don't want to pry the heatsink off to find out) and everything but the nic is integrated into the board. i am not religious about using the mystery machine, it's just a good place to start since it isn't doing anything else. i am not sure if i want to do raid or not. the goal of this little project is to have a few hundred gigs of storage space on my network, rather than upgrade the drives in all my puters and my modded xbox, so the goal is stability and price, not necessarily speed. i'd rather spend my cash on storage space than anything else, but i don't want to lose harddrives either. the "server" will house mostly mp3s, the occasional video file, and some networked backups of things. i'll probably be the only human accessing them at any given time. nothing major, just centralizing storage. after reading about the importance of good PSUs and disk failure in this forum, this changes my budget somewhat now that i definitely have to replace my mystery OEM PSU. if i use the mystery machine i will need a new PSU, a disk controller, and of course some Big Ass Harddrives(tm) (BAHDs). does anyone have experience with an inexpensive controller (like under $100) that plays nicely with slackware? i am not sure if i want to do the raid thing or not. from what i have read here, IDE raid doesn't really boost performance, it just insulates you against disk failure. unless i am mistaken, 1 BAHD would be as fast or faster than a raid0 setup smaller disks. i haven't spent a dime on this yet, so i am open to other suggestions if anyone has experience with building "budget file servers". building a new machine isn't necessarily a deal breaker, as long as i can do it inexpensively.