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What to do with an old PC?


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So I raided my spare parts bin a while back and I was able to cobble together another system. The question is what do I do with it? While I'd prefer not to, I don't mind spending a few bucks to get it up to spec for some cool use.


Here's what it's currently running:

  • AMD Atholon x2
  • 60gb IDE hard drive.
  • 1.5gb of DDR2 RAM.
  • DVD Writer/Reader


So the motherboard I'm using is a hybrid type that can be upgraded with an AM3 CPU and DDR3 RAM as well. I don't need another system as I have my WHS 2011, a desktop, two laptops and an iPad. I've thought of letting my son use it but we feel he's a little too young to have his own machine and he gets along fine using the desktop. I've installed WIndows 7 on this machine but with the 1.5gb of RAM and IDE drive, it was kind of a dog. I've tried Ubuntu and FreeBSD and both worked fine but I'd like to make it into an appliance of some sort. Maybe try FreeNAS etc.


So do you guys have any suggestions I can tinker with?

Edited by texasPI
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But keep the old routers and convert them into WAP's.

good idea. In fact, my living room laptop connects to one of my old Buffalo WBR54Gs that's on a shelf behind my 60" Sony in just that way; i.e. it's no longer a router.

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Probably not the answer you would like to hear, but donate it to a local person in need.  They will appreciate it much more than you probably would imagine.  


Forgive my goody two shoes attitude, I work in the social services field and work with disable children and their families.  I have meet a lot of people in need over the years.  It still surprises me how many of these families don't have a home computer.  I donated a couple old laptops and they are all still in use.  Scares me actually that those things are still going.  Were talking about 1st gen celeron, PIII laptops with 256mb of ram running Windows 98 or 2000.  


If you want to keep it, make it into a internet only appliance your kid could use to play disney.com type games only.  Just set strong web filters or white lists.  It's what we do for some kids who need 100% supervision while using a computer.


Get a cheap 7" touchscreen and mount it in one of your kitchen cabinets and use it for quick easy recipe finder, internet music streamer.....  


Do you own a European car?  Set it up in your garage and make yourself a vag-com / carsoft (fill in brand specific software).  


Get creative, but if you must, go ahead and turn it into a boring old router :(

Edited by jeffla
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