I have grand plans to

I have grand plans to flesh out my home network
with, among other things, a box to serve as my main fileserver in order to
hold backups. These plans are stalled by a lack of space and a desire to
save money.

Nevertheless, I am very anxious about the integrity of
my data. I don’t want to loose anything and I dread the thought having to
reinstall an OS and all my applications by hand on one of my existing desktops.

As an interim solution, I was thinking of buying a firewire drive enclosure
and a big IDE drive to go in it, adding a firewire drive to one of my computers
and use it as a source of extra storage & network & local backup.

I realize though that for the same price, I could probably get a cheap used
low end PC and add a big drive. It would be bigger, it wouldn’t be as fast
and it wouldn’t have the dual drives I want in a server, but it would probably
be good enough.

Still, the idea of a firewire drive is compelling. They make enclosures with both Firewire and USB2 support. Such a thing could almost give you a completely portable computing environment, just plug
it into any machine and boot from it. Older machines might require a boot CD with the right drivers/loader, but that wouldn’t be so bad.