I'd like a method so I can boot up and view all the system's information...
First, a solution is to boot up a full Live Linux CD (not INSERT or minmal CDs), then look for some control panel app like "system info".
Second, you can view some info "manualy" from any linux.
Just boot some linux that gives you access to command prompt, then type the following commands:
Look at model name and cpu Mhz.
Amount of RAM
dmesg |grep ^Memory
The second number is the amount of RAM expressed in kilobytes.
Note: some linuxes might be limited at boot to use only a fixed amount of RAM, but this is a rare case.
Hard drives and Space
dmesg|grep ^[hs]d |egrep -v request\|flushes
This will give you all storage devices (disks, cdroms, etc). Their model and their size.
No partition info or free space info.
Which network card exists (maybe?)
dmesg |grep ^eth
Another useful command is
Which will list all PCI/AGP devices (video card, network cards, IDE controllers, etc)
PS: There are more apropiate ways to obtain this info, but will require more elaborate scripts to extract the info and format it.
If people are interested, I migth come up with some scripts, which can be integrated in a linux boot floppy that will let you read all this info togheder after booting.