Ipex WBT 370CE
Sun Ray 170
Asterisk PC reviver
What to look out for
Anyone have storerooms of old PCs laying around doing nothing? Assigned to the back room just because they do not rank in the multiples of gigahertz and gigabytes? Well it's time to dust off the old machines, disconnect the hard disk drives, and plug in the Asterisk PC reviver. The marketing blurb pretty much sums it all up "Turn your old PC into a Citrix terminal server or Linux thin client -- in minutes!"
I dusted off an old Intel Pentium III HP Vectra, installed the IDE card, and turned the machine on. Lo and behold, within a minute or so I was presented with the Asterisk configuration screen. The software is Linux based and the configuration is performed in the embedded Mozilla browser. While it's slightly more difficult to set up than a Windows client terminal it is really not too hard.
Once up and running it was very much business as usual. While I would be hesitant to roll out such devices in an enterprise-wide deployment, they may be useful for filling a niche requirement. One that I can think of straight off the top of my head is remote server management with Terminal Services. Or in a small office of say 10 to 15 users where wider scale deployment, management, and servicing headaches do not exist. Remember at the end of the day there is still an old power supply unit waiting to go bung, but at least there is no data held on the box.