There has been much talk recently of NAS devices which I have followed with interest. The idea of a small low-power fileserver and BitTorrent client appeals to me as it uses less electricity and also can be shut in a cupboard where noise is not an issue. The Kurobox [reviewed here] seems ideal for the job, however its high price and lack of availability in the UK means that, for me at least, it is not an option.
A Mac mini could also work, but again it is too expensive, and can only handle 2.5" hard drives. Linksys' NSLU2 [reviewed here] might be a reasonable choice, but is lacking in both RAM and processing power.
Which brings us to Microsoft's Xbox. The Xbox is basically a PC with 64MB RAM, a Celeron 733Mhz CPU, 100Mb Ethernet, a 10Gb Hard drive and DVD Drive. What's more, they are dirt cheap (mine cost €75, about $88 USD) and soon to be two-a-penny with the release of the Xbox 360. There is also active development on Xbox-Linux, so it is easy to install and configure like any other Linux device.
So the aim of this project is to turn an Xbox into a dedicated fileserver / NAS by replacing the DVD drive with a large hard drive, installing Linux, and setting up Samba and BitTorrent. The resulting box will no longer be able to be used for gaming, but makes a full-featured and relatively inexpensive NAS.