New Mach-In-A-Box hardware
With the D945GCLF no longer available, an alternative was needed. None of the recent Intel boards have proven any use for various reasons, but mainly because they only have drivers for WIndows7. While scouting around, the PV530A-ITX board from ASRock was spotted, and has a nice simple configuration, including a real parallel port.
At the same time, the Morex ITX case that I've used for many years has ceased production, and the replacements simply did not support the extra PCI card capacity of these motherboards. However Jetway are providing a very nice box which is just the same footprint as the controller box, with the added plus of a two PCI slot riser and an on board 100W power supply.
The combined package with aan XP license is coming in at the same cost as the earlier kit of parts despite the fact that many prices are rising. The only problem is finding a hard disk that is small enough or at a low enough price. 160Gb is a bit overkill when one only needs 10 or so, and there seems to be a new gerneration of Solid state drives at this smaller size that is a lot more cost effective. Just need to tailor the setup to use a ram disk for the temporary files to cut down on writes to it.
Mach-in-a-box will be updated with all the new pictures and data as soon as time permits ...