A picture from the good old days! I hope to be reusing some of these computers to create some dedicated onion routers, file servers, ssh tunnels, webservers etc. Don't worry, I will put Linux on them. I would not trust XP to run as a server. Ubuntu all the way for those that can, and those that can't will take xubuntu or equiv low-spec OS. TBH it might be a case of: the processing power is not worth the electrical power the PC is consuming. So maybe I should content myself to have lots of large metal doorstops instead?
I also need a serial interface electrical switch / relay / control unit so I can bring my 32 port netgear router or a smaller 5 port one online when I need it (or for that matter anything else that plugs into the mains). I wonder if there is already a standard interface for doing such things. If I am not satisfied with what I find, I will make one from scratch as a project.
Back to the servers, I hope to be able to employ WOL magic packets to use the 'Wake on Lan' capabilities of the NICs (Lan Cards) to bring the computers online as and when I need them (to save some more power).