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The Plan....
Craig suggested that the IDE controller in the computer is dying/dead, and that I should try an IDE card. That sounds like a good $20 possible solution to the problem of the dead computer.

So the plan:

Today I'll order an IDE controller card (and a new DVD Burner while I'm at it; the CDROM drive I'm using now is old, slow, and cranky). Tonight I'll pick up an old PIII box from Doc's garage (his ex collected them to make thin-wire clients for a local youth program), which will get me going until the new controller comes in.

The long-range plan is still to get a new box; one with growth potential. I've been looking at "barebones" systems from TigerDirect, NewEgg, etc. A "barebones" system comes with a case, motherboard, CPU, memory, and possibly a hard drive. Essentially, all the parts I really need. Arc claims that most of these systems have mismatched CPU/MB combos (they sell the system on CPU speed, and cheap out on the MB), but I can replace the MB later without a problem. That'll get me SATA and PCIe capability, which is good for future expansion (AGP and IDE appear to be deprecated or obsolesced).

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Glad to be of service. Perhaps you can get a mobo that has an integrated video system so you can upgrade to a card at a later date.

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