I just discovered that old Wyse Thin Clients are dirt cheap. I am not talking about a couple of hundred dollars cheap, I am talking $12 cheap. Seriously, you can buy an old Wyse Cx0 for $12 on ebay. Mind you these are not old but reasonably powerful computers. They generally have very limited RAM and extremely anemic storage. When I saw some available at this price, tested and working, with power supply, I decided okay, this is something I can use, so I bought 2 of them.
The systems I bought come with 512MB of RAM and 128 MB (yes MB) of flash storage. Before I bought them, I did a bit of research and found I could upgrade the memory to 2GB. The system uses DDR2 SODIMM's, which cost $10 these days. I also found out the systems use a standard laptop IDE interface for the flash storage. Thankfully, there are these little devices called SD2IDE which allows you to mount an SD card on the IDE channel and use it as storage, these devices even allow booting off the SD card. Again, these cost $10 a piece. I already have a small pile of SD cards ranging from 512MB to 32GB laying around not being used. After all was said and done, I am in less than $80 for both machines.
Now of course the question becomes, what do I do with these thin clients. The first thing that popped into my head was install DOS on it and use it to play old DOS games like Doom, Civilization and such. My second thought is to use one as an actual thin client so I can use the resources of my desktop computer in another room of the house. I could also just install Linux on it and make a small unobtrusive, quiet little computer for the bedroom or whatever. Who know what I will ultimately do, but there are at least a few interesting possibilities.