My strategy at these auctions is pretty much to lowball bid. A couple of the machines I went higher on, because though they are "obsolete" in terms of our production systems, they're still very usable machines, and the term "render farm" has been bandied about.
Well, they pulled the auction this morning. Of the fourteen computers, I won thirteen of them.
There are three more that you can't see: one is a laptop, one is another rack-mount, and the third is a scary paperweight that's currently having its hard drive wiped.
Of these machines, eight of them are XP-capable. The hard drives are wiped per company confidential information handling procedures, which is fine by me-- most of them have XP keys, and I have Dell XP install disks anyway. And some of them don't currently have RAM. One is missing a power supply. And one is minus a hard drive.
For the non-XP capable machines, there's always Linux.
I hadn't planned on practically sweeping the table. I figured that one or two systems might come my way. Still, my total cash outlay for the whole thing was less than I've spent on a date, or less than three tanks of gas for the 'Sploder.
These aren't first-quality machines. Two of them are pretty decent workstations (Gx620's), and will probably become render farm machines, or possibly backup PCs for general internet access and tasks. At least one of them is going to become a media PC, quite possibly the small form factor GX280 if it will take a new video card that will handle high-def HDMI. One might become a media server to store MP3 and video files.
The three rack-mount units are probably gonna get cannibalized. They're prehistoric in PC terms, circa 2000. All I really wanted from these were the cases anyway, though it turns out they're passive backplane systems with the computer-on-a-board, and they're built for brutal environments. There may be some experimenting there. The cases are really nice.
Six of these are full-size mini-tower configurations.
For now, it's all moot anyway. All of the PC's have their hard drives pulled, and have to be wiped before I get them back. Not to say that I couldn't put in a different hard drive in the meantime.
And of course, I have to find a place to put these in the Big Broken Box™. There is no end to the amusement.