After so many years of successively bigger, faster, hotter, less reliable, power hungry computer hardware, I’m really tickled to see that a lot of manufacturers are testing the waters with something altogether different. There’s the OLPC, the Asus EeePC, and now the Aleutia E1, a little mini desktop that sips 8 watts and is packaged with a flexible solar panel.
200Mhz might hurt a bit for crunching a kernel, but with a lightweight linux distro and window manager, you can still have a really responsive interface for general PC use. The big deal is that it has no moving parts, including a CF card for a hard drive and zero fans due to its low power consumption.
It might be a fun exercise to use these recent devices as a reference model and attempt to source the cheapest configuration for a DIY low-power, small footprint, zero noise, solid storage system. If you add a mirrored raid configuration, you’d have the ideal desktop system for the majority of PC users.
Tiny Linux PC uses just 8 watts of power, can be solar powered – Link