Wired: An I-Opening Hack: $200 PC

“…Las Vegas electronics engineer Ken Segler… tweaked a
simple connector cable and turned what was meant to be a closed
Internet access ‘appliance’ — the $99 Netpliance i-opener — into
a fully functional, Pentium I-class PC. He published news of his
discovery online and soon others were replicating his work.”

“Four days later, Segler had taken orders for 200 of his
modified cables he’d offered for sale at $35 a piece. The cables’
connectors are modified to allow the connection of a basic hard
disk to the i-opener, which can then be booted using the user’s
operating system of choice — Windows, Linux, even the BeOS.”

” ‘The company also did a very good design job,’ Segler said in
explaining the appeal of the device. A small, but decent LCD
screen, capable hardware, and the ability to run Linux — combined
with the bargain-basement price — sparked the domino effect

started by his hack, Segler said.”