Purchasing the DPF
I was ready to spend money. However, after looking on eBay for 15 minutes, I started to get a little perturbed. There were hundreds of old laptops online and I found many that fit my requirements. The problem was that they all wanted $15–20 for shipping. I was about to give in and cheat on my bottom line when I found the perfect post.
"Laptop Blowout!!! 4 Dell Latitude XPi P75D PPS"—and only 18.50 for shipping! That would mean that each laptop would share the shipping cost, for a respectable $4.63 each. Now if I could only win the bid.
It's not often that I get a chance to snipe (as it's called), but in this case I needed the laptops and the price was right. To make a long story short, I won the bid at $102.05 with eight seconds to spare and only seven seconds ahead of another sniper. In other words, I was now the owner of four laptops at $30.14 each...well within my budget.
Of course, the story doesn't end here. I had failed to notice the small line that stated "AC Adapter—not included." So, with one more return to eBay, and $62.00 later, I had four complete laptops for a total price of $45.59 each. Still within my budget, but this didn't leave much room for accessories!
Now that we've spec'd out the parts and purchased them, the next steps will be to install Linux and assemble the pieces. We'll continue with those steps in part 2.