Summary pretty much says it all, but here are more details if helpful…
I just purchased MBWE for SOHO needs at home. I was excited to learn about hacking it for SSH, VSFTPD, etc. I successfully did that. A MAJOR factor in my decision to buy it was the gigabit connection. I just upgraded to gigabit so I could transfer to MBWE much faster. I am disgusted to learn that it was to no avail because of general NAS limitations (relatively slow processor, etc.).
My 3 equal priorities are accessibility (thus ethernet), speed (I can't fathom not reaching at least 30% of gigabit capacity… i.e. 300 Mbps), and space (duh!).
It occurred to me that if I spent $100 for a 500 GB internal UATA/100 drive and $15-30 for a 32-bit PCI gigabit NIC, I could potentially have myself as much space as, same accessibility as, and MUCH faster ethernet speeds than the MBWE. Throw the old dinosaur PC in a closet and be done with it (of course after returning the MBWE to the store).
1. All else being equal (I have a new Linksys SD2008 gigabit switch and a mixture of CAT-6 and CAT-5e cabling), will I AT LEAST reach 300+ Mbps network throughput (assuming no slower than 7200 rpm drive and no network traffic besides me)?
2. I am a technical guy, but have never installed Linux. More importantly, I don't have the time or inclination to fight for hours to get a bare Linux install going (I just need enough for a file server… comparable to MBWE). Is this unrealistic or has Linux become friendly enough that I could download an ISO, install it, make a few "quick" adjustments if necessary, then slap it in a closet?
You want even more details about my old PC hardware? Ok, you asked for it…
Abit KT7A motherboard
Athlon 1 Ghz with 266 Mhz front side bus
ATI Rage 128 Pro/Ultra AGP 4x (or I also have an even older Diamond Viper V330 AGP)
640 MB RAM
other old hardware available, but irrelevant for a file server.
I appreciate helpful feedback about this.