As already mentioned in an earlier post, I have bought a small Wyse thin client.
The picture above shows the Transcend flash card with 40-pin IDE that comes with the Wyse terminal. The card can only store 512MB data and I am not sure how a flash card reacts on a live operating system writing log files to it every now and then. A flash card ages and has a limited number of write / delete operations. Since the Wyse has plenty of room, I decided to mount a normal 10 GB hard drive, recovered from an older PC. I also installed an extra network card, since this device will be used as firewall / router / proxy for my network.
Most Wyse terminals' BIOS are protected with a password. The default password is Fireport (I had to look it up on the internet). You'll need this password and enter the BIOS to change the device's boot order. By default, it searches the network for a boot image ... which will take some time if you don't have a TFTP boot server running.
The picture below shows the added network card and extra hard drive.
The power supply does not have an additional connection to power an additional CD ROM drive, so I connected the CD ROM drive, since this is only temporal, to an external power supply recovered from an old XT computer. You cannot use a normal ATX power supply, since this needs feedback from the ATX motherboard to power on (unless you know how to bypass this).
The picture below shows the CD ROM drive connected to the external XT power supply. This CD ROM was connected to the second IDE channel to be able to install Debian on the Wyse.
Debian installs like a breeze on this device. Just download the Etch net-install, put it in the CD ROM drive, connect the device to the network and power it on. Debian has a ncurses based "next->next->next->finish" installer, so even your grandmother can do this.
Finally, detach the external CD ROM drive, close the case and your done. All other necessary packages for Debian are fetched from the internet.