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I am doing some consulting work for a client who is trying to replace a very out of date outbound dialing program that was set up on a pair of Pentium-era tall desktops. The requirements for these computers are simple: they need to be very inexpensive, have a case that can fit a full-length ISA card (it's enormous, one website lists the dimensions as 4" x 13"), and has a parallel port that I can plug in the security dongle. The app is considered business critical, so I want to stay away from a used PC.

At first, I thought I would simply slap together my own PC from components I found on the web. But, I can find motherboards that meet my requirements, but I cannot find a case that fits. If I try to find a case that fits, I cannot find a motherboard. I then tried to look for a vendor that could provide an all-in-one solution, but they sell cases that take 16 ISA cards, and they sell for too much money.

I should add that I'm not a hardware guy, I've always purchased my computers pre-assembled from Dell and the like. I was not that familiar with the equipment out there, and now I've oversold the client, and am stumped. Can anyone make any suggestions?

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closed as off topic by Mokubai, studiohack Dec 7 '11 at 17:22

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This may not seem helpful but you might have to purchase old, new stock. I read an article recently about NASA purchasing lots of old CPUs and memory chips, regardless of the source, so that they had replacement components for the Shuttle. Their idea was to have an abundant, overage of replacement parts so that if one failed, they had 1,000 left to fall back on! You may not have a massive budget and warehouse, but if this is critical hardware you could find reasonably size lots of similar, old hardware that you can slap in a newer case and easily replace in the event of a hardware failure. –  RLH Dec 7 '11 at 14:56
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There is some odd specialty hardware out there like a USB to ISA card adapter: arstech.com/item--usb2isa.html –  Brian Dec 7 '11 at 15:20
    
Note that you can get an LPT port PCI card for under 10$, so focus on the ISA port –  horatio Dec 7 '11 at 15:27

2 Answers 2

Searching around I see various ATX form factor motherboards with ISA slots:

ISA-Slots ATX Motherboard, Socket 478 MB-800V Industrial Long Life Motherboard for Pentium IV, 3-ISA Slots, 3-PCI Slots, On-Board Video, LAN & Audio

enter image description here

For a case look for ones with a removable drive cage as that provides extra room for longer cards. An example would be the Cooler Master HAF912 (I have this case so know there is lots of room with the extra drive cage removed). Specs say 15.4". If you look at the picture the cage the longer arrow goes over is removable.

enter image description here

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The photos are a huge help in figuring out what case to buy. +1 for adding them. –  Simon Hova Dec 18 '11 at 16:30

Rockwell- Allen Bradley make industrial PCs and some like the 1450R have ISA slots. Rockwell PCs Not sure on length that the ISA slots will support The systems have good warranty but are a bit limited in specs. Very well built systems.

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I saw the site before, and it looked like it could be a good resource if I were purchasing a large number of PC's, but as I am trying to get two PC's built on the cheap, I am leaning to a more do-it-yourself solution. –  Simon Hova Dec 18 '11 at 16:36

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