Finding its specs online, I knew it had to have at least 128 MB of RAM and a 1.5 GHz P4 CPU – and it had no hard drive.
All the pages about the GX270 on the Dell website are copyright 2004, so this model is 10 years old, which was the tail-end of the G4 era at Apple and the middle of the G5 period.
(The GX260, which I thought I was buying, is a 2001/02 contemporary of the Quicksilver and Mirrored Drive Door G4 Power Macs with no SATA, AGP 4x video, and “only” six USB ports – considering the model’s age, they could be be USB 2.0, which is faster than the USB 1.1 in Macs of that era, but probably aren’t, since is doesn’t mention the USB revision.) All in all, it’s a fair lot of computer for $15.
I have mice, keyboards, power cords, monitors, and hard drives galore – even a few PC keyboards.
I’ve got USB Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi Fi adapters, so there was no need to buy anything to get this up and running with Linux.
As a Mac user, having a computer with eight built-in USB 2.0 ports is amazing (my 2007 Mac mini has only five), and discovering that it supports gigabit ethernet was another plus.
Then I learned that it supports Ultra ATA/100, so it should work with any ATA/100 or 133 hard drive up to 2 TB (the spec sheet also says it supports SATA, but without a spare SATA drive, I can’t test that).
There are two half-length PCI slots and one low-profile 8x/4x AGP slot for upgrading video.
System RAM can go all the way to 4 GB (cost is about 3x what I paid for the computer! And then there’s that one thing no new Mac has had since 1998 – a built-in floppy drive.
My plan was to download and install Puppy Linux, but while that 20-some minute download was going on, I found an old Ubuntu install disc.
I had Ubuntu mostly installed by the time the Puppy download was finished.
Oh well, I could use Ubuntu from the hard drive and experiment with Puppy on CD.