OK, I need to face facts before I'm standing over this computer's grave delivering the eulogy.
This system is terminal. It is crippled by bad hardware, corrupted drivers, and age. It is only a matter of time before something else fails (and yes, the mouse is again out at the moment) and I lose this system entirely. Time to get something new(er) and salvage what we can off here.
That said, I'm in the market for a desktop. Financing a really shiny new one is not an option. So it needs to cost less than $500. Beyond that, here's pretty much the shopping list.
Processor: faster than our current (an older Celeron, circa 2002. Not sure of the model or exact speed)
Hard drive: at least 40 Gig. Speed not that important, but the space must be there.
memory: 512MB minimum.
Video card: I'd like one. That's all. Doesn't necessarily need it, but it'd be nice.
Optical Drive: CD-RW. Must be able to back shit up reliably from now on.
Preferably at least three USB ports
Keyboard, mouse, speakers, and monitor are not necessary, especially not monitor.
Operating System: I'd like to stick with XP Home or Pro, unless somebody can either tell me that XP Media Center is good for things more productive than watching porn, or someone finds proof of decent loop-mixing software that'll run on a Linux platform without windows emulation.
So, with that laundry list of specs in mind, anyone seen any decent deals anywhere? With no mouse, I'm having a bitch of a time being able to do things like refined searches, so all my looking so far has been pretty hit & miss.