Motherboard – JetWay J627F800-OC with a VIA C3 Processor – $84.99
It’s old, but it’ll do fine.
Memory – Kingston ValueRAM 256MB 184-pin DDR 266 SDRAM – $18.99
It was the cheapest stuff that I could find on NewEgg without dropping down to 128MB.
Storage – A-DATA Turbo 4GB CF Card – $41.99
I was going to use a quiet hard drive, but then I decided to try to build something with as few moving parts as possible. The clicking noise of well-used hard drives drives me insane.
Converter – SYBA IDE to Compact Flash Adapter – $14.99
The reviews for an adapter that would directly fit into the slot were pretty bad. However, this one doesn’t support DMA, so perhaps this other converter might be better if it came back in stock.
Case – iStarUSA S3 STORM Mini-ITX Tower with 80W Power Supply – $89.99
This is a really nice case. It is extremely compact, looks to have good cooling (I’ll probably replace the 80mm fan with a quieter one), and definitely looks very beautiful.
Total (minus shipping): $250.95
As for the touchscreen monitor, I have found several on eBay for as low as $60 with shipping.
The machine could boot extremely quickly with Slackware and a customized kernel. I could easily remove most of the init stuff that slows down system boot time. My ultimate goal would be to get it to start (from off to having the interface up and running) in about 15 seconds. I don’t know if I can reach that, though. I think that I would use a web-based interface. Perhaps I could make it compatible with iGoogle gadgets/widgets/whatever-they-call-them. The screen would be divided into several sections. At the top left-hand corner, there would be a section containing email. Ultimately, I would like to design a way for people to quickly respond (i.e. an on-screen keyboard would pop up or something). To the right of that could be a weather module or something. The bottom of the screen will be dedicated to the internet radio. It would only require a tap of the screen to select your favorite radio station.