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Ok I bought a 20 dollar Dell PC. Pentium 3 1.0, 512mb PC133, Intel 815 IGP, 20gb HD (swaping in a 120gb Drive), CD-RW drive.

Now it has a Windows 2000 CoA so I can install 2k back on to it and intend to do so. What i need to know is this will be used to keep track of my customers accounts, my book keeping, and as the sales terminal. This is for my computer store im putting together. What are some good cheap or free software just for this, and what tweaks ect can I do to 2000 to make the system more secure from outside contact? But it will be on the shops network for obvious reasons.

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For your books, customer data, etc., you might want to find an older version of Intuits's QuickBooks Pro. I use their 2007 version and run it on 2K. I did a quick Google search and found that you can still buy new versions. If you go this route, be sure to write down and keep the number they give you when you register it. It will save hassle if you have to reinstall. You will loose the ability the bank online and loose the ability to automate your 1099's. Other than that it will function just fine. You quite bit of functionality for a reasonable price and will keep everything together in one place. Just be real religious about backups. Not that it is prone to errors, but I had a hard drive failure years ago and had to redo 1.25 years books. I have since became very religious about book work backups.

As for securing it, the best way is to just never let it see a connection. Other than that, I am sure there are people with far more knowledge in that area than me that can give you good advise. I'm sure you are going to hear to not do it, but it is what you want and you understand the risks. I use old versions of Zone Alarm for the firewall, and being behind a NAT. Most of the Antivirus products still work with it, so no recommendations there.

Good luck.

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I can't offer much help with specfic software, but tweaks can be found here.

There are lists of security software elsewhere here at MSFN.

Make sure the system is fully updated.

A Linux-based OS may also be an option if you're willig to try it.

I agree with bpalone on the backup, its very important.

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Well i broke down instead and bought

AMD Athlon II x2 245

Gigabye GA-880-UD3H

4gb DDR3 1333

2x80gb Western Digital for Raid 1 (for books, accounts ect)

2x2tb Western Digital for Raid 1 (for main server storage and customer data backups)

Basic ATX Case

Lite-On DVD-RW

Antec EW 500W

Windows 7 Professional

Office 2010 Professional

My grandparents loaned me 20k they cashed in a CD. Im going to use internal raid for backups. Im also considering an exteranal drive as well for this need. As for connection this will also deal with my sales ect, so this is the only bussiness machine for now. I will look into quickbooks of course, is there any good books out there to learn quickbooks with. I was considering using access to keep books on lol. Now I did buy a key card for office 2010 pro also that allows me to run 2 copies of office 2010 pro, which I will also put on this dell, which i bought another 512mb of ram for and a Tutalin Celeron 1.4 which runs fine, I couldn't find a tutalin Pentium III sadly, and I bought a copy of Windows XP Pro upgrade off of craiglist that will make this job easier of course.

Now I also bought a D-Link 8 Port Switch and am taking my spare wireless router from home to go with this. I am opening an actual location. Am signing up with AT&T Bussiness DSL and Telephone which comes with 2 phone lines and 6mb DSL. This will of course be used for doing windows updates, software updates like Java, Acrobat Ready and Virus Detection files.

Here is a list of the software I intend to use, incase anyone is wondering, we used these 3 programs where i worked for all tasks

Malware Byte's AntiMalware



Also we installed Microsoft Security Essentials if they didnt already have a paid anti virus program.

I have now also gotten my hands on Windows 95A, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000Pro, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Pro, Windows Vista 32bit, and Windows 7 32bit and 64bit, so only need to find a few more cheaply.

Edited by candle86
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If I understand you correctly, you are opening a computer store to sell and/or repair computers?

Why as much as 20k?

When computer parts are cheap in the US compared to many other places..

A similar system based on the prices of Swedish online retailers will be close to $ 2k.

Why did you choose that particular CPU?

Why 2x80 GB disks? Price/GB cannot be good when 80 GB-disks are hardly available anymore. You're not saving much compared to 320 or even 500 GB drives.

Also, you should always try to have some extra free space in case you'll need it later on.

An external hdd is a good idea yes, but keep it in a safe place away from the machine (off site) and only connect it when doing backups to avoid losing both your primary storage and backups in a fire/flood/burglary/other.

Are there any specific reason why you need Office Professional? Access or Publisher maybe?

Open Office is a great, and completely free, option if you just need an MS-compatible office suite.

I like your idea of using older computers for basic tasks, they sure can handle it with ease.

Nowadays people even throw away Core Duo systems because they'll rather buy new stuff than pay someone to reinstall the OS!

May I ask which Dell model you've got?

For a bit of a performance boost, consider adding a PCI or AGP graphics card (depending on support) to that machine. It makes quite a difference in 2D-performance compared to the built in graphics.

Ebay, Craigslist, flee markets and others may be useful in finding cheap components.

Make sure your router has the latest firmware, it sometimes helps with stability and maybe even performance.

In case that old router cannot handle the load or has stability problems, you could use the Dell you've got as a firewall with pfSense (it's simple, just make sure the NIC:s are high quality, preferably Intel with dual ports).

Foxit Reader is lighter and faster than Adobe Reader.

What do you mean by "gotten my hands on" those different OS:es in the last paragraph?

Always install genuine software for customers, but using those discs with the customers' own license is probably ok.

Many of those OS:es are obsolete and you most likely won't need them. You're missing Vista x64 in that list.

Good luck with the store, if you need any more help just check the forums

Edited by DL.
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Im going to use internal raid for backups

RAID is NOT a backup! If a accidental deletion, fire/flood, voltage spike, disgruntled employee, virus or burglar makes your files vanish (basically everything, save for a single drive failure which is FAR less prevalent than many others on this list) the files will be gone regardless.

I was considering using access to keep books on lol

Quickbooks is pretty much the standard tool for this. Accountants know it (that's fairly important) and it actually works. I wouldn't waste a massive amount of time on trying to self-develop a sub-par solution over time myself.

Now I did buy a key card for office 2010 pro

Too late for a refund, is it? You should have used Bizspark ;) It's meant for startups exactly like yours.

Why did you choose that particular CPU?

It might not be the absolute best choice (e.g. the Phenom 86xx being cheaper and also faster) but overall it's still not a bad pick.

Open Office is a great, and completely free, option if you just need an MS-compatible office suite.

I wouldn't exactly say it's a great suite myself (I truly don't care for it -- I'd MUCH sooner run an older 2nd hand version of MS Office). Most businesses rely VERY heavily on Outlook too. As for price, Bizspark would have made that pretty much irrelevant.

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Well im going with access because a highschool project I did involved book keeping using access's database and to auto fill recipts for accounts ect. ITs because im familiar with access. As for why not OpenOffice, I find it to preform slower than MS Office thanks to its reliance on Java, which Java is also adds another security hole. As for the raid setup, I understand the risks of an angry employee or fire ect, I did purchase a 400gb External for monthly backups. 80gb because its going to store things like an access database with tables and account info, that wont even use 80gb, the set of 2tb drives is for things like AV tools, Service packs, OS disk backups, and client data backups. As for CPU choice, I wanted to go with pure AM3 over AM2+ due to DDR2 and AM2+ stuff being EOL while AM3 and DDR3 arn't its incase something in the machine breaks i can get the parts new without paying twice the cost.

As for foxit, I know its faster, but I'm also aware 90% of users won't know what foxit is, and im also aware if adobe updates PDF foxit doesnt get the update for a few weeks or months, Im going to use what a customer is comfortable with. I will preload OpenOffice on referb box's i sell simply so they have an office suite, and install it upon request for machines im working on, for minimal cost.

The old dell is an OptiPlex GX-150 but has the i815 A2 stepping chipset, not all GX-150's had them. Im using the included Riva TNT2 AGP card, as Im not gonna drop alot of money on this old pc.

Edited by candle86
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