There are so many bargains out there now, but sometimes they cost more than you bargained for. Case in point: Fry's had 250G hard drives for $70 after rebates, which I couldn't resist. I drove down there one Friday, then spent Friday night putting the drive into my server. And Saturday for a few hours too.
When I built my server a couple of years ago I spent ages trying to find the ideal case: it had to be rack-mounted, black, not butt-ugly, with lots of room for expansion. Fast forward two years and I open the thing up to add the drive, when I realize it already has 4 drives in it. There is an empty slot for another drive, but the IDE cable won't reach. Plus I had to upgrade the BIOS to get past the 137G limit. You can't get gigantic IDE cables at 11:30pm on a Friday even in Seattle, so I had to sleep. Next morning I got a long cable but it wasn't quite long enough, I had to rearrange three of the five drives in the case. So far, the bargain was $70 + $5 for a cable, plus four or so hours of my time. Still pretty good.
I don't often open the server not just because it is the most important box on my network, but because it is a royal PITA to get it out of the Avrack in the media room. While it was open I decided to inventory it, which I hadn't done before, and I noticed that two of the four RAM sockets were empty. Its been happy with 256M since it was created (it runs Windows 2000 Server), but I figured that at some point it will need more.
Back to the store and ask for RAM. I can't remember the RAM specifics, but I do know the motherboard (Asus P4T) so they look it up for me and literally laugh in my face. I need RAMBUS RAM, which they don't sell. And they smirk about it as they suggest eBay. Turns out I made a poor choice of motherbaords, as RAMBUS RAM got killed not long after I bought my motherboard. Ah well, never mind. Instead I'll upgrade my main desktop PC (an HP 7970 Pavilion). I dig out the specs for that, and DAMMIT it takes RAMBUS RAM too. I must have thought RAMBUS RAM was a great idea. Sadly no-one else seems to have.
As its going to be a while before I replace either machine, I decide that while it remains available I should treat both boxes to more RAM. The longer I leave it, the more expensive it will get, so I lay out $99 a stick for 256M of RAM, two sticks for each box. My bargain is now $471, though to be fair I do have some more RAM now.
If I'd have resisted the hard drive bargain, I would never have thought to upgrade the server, which never would have caused me to discover my pending RAM problem, and I would never have though of upgrading either machine. Ah well.