This Old PC: 10 New uses for an older Computer
Computers have changed the way we live our lives in oh so many ways, but unfortunately technological improvements have also created a neverending garbage pile of yesterday’s outdated hardware.
This constant cycle of innovation begs the question: what do you do with your old PC now that you have (or are contemplating getting) a new one?
1. Keep your old PC and network it with your new one. Why not make your own Local Access Network (LAN)? All versions of Windows since ‘95′ come with built-in networking capability. All that you need is a cheap Ethernet card for your older machine (your newer one most likely already has one built in), as well as a network cable or hub (switch) with standard CAT5 networking cables. But before you decide to proceed be sure to learn the basics of networking. Not only will it save you a lot of headaches, it will also make the most of the following suggestions.
2. Sure, your old computer may be slower but it just may make a terrific weblog server. If you think you have what it takes to host your own blog then put that old PC to good use and blog on.
3. Turn your old computer into a digital jukebox. If your old computer has a sound card (which it probably does), install music software such as iTunes, or Rhapsody, hook it up to some speakers (connect your sound card’s 1/8-inch stereo plug to a pair of RCA female plugs with a Y cable) and you’ve got yourself a dedicated music machine for your living room, bedroom, office or your den…
4. Want some visuals to go with your sound? Get a video card for your computer (with a Video Out connector) and hook your PC to your television. You can also buy a wireless keyboard and mouse combo to control the action from your favorite sofa.
5. Are you a Musician or the next up and coming Disk Jockey? Then why not turn that old PC into a dedicated podcast server and share with the world. The Beatles and Howard Stern never had it so good.
6. You could set up a network server by connecting your printer to your old PC making it into dedicated printer server. Or you could consolidate files that your household shares and make it your home’s file server (just think: only one directory to back up :).
7. If you want to beat ‘em, then join them. If you’re into PC games, network your computers to a LAN and play multiplayer tournaments at home.
8. Got kids in the house? Then load your old PC with fun, educational software and nothing else. This way your kids can enjoy technology without you having to worry about the appropriateness of what they’re viewing, not to mention the kids messing with your files or applications.
9. Trade up or sell it on eBay. An obvious choice but it could possibly knock-off another $100 or more off the cost of that new dream machine you’re drooling over. Something else to consider is sometimes the parts may be worth more than the whole computer.
10. Don’t want any of the above? Then why not donate your old PC to a local school, a church, or to a charitable organization that helps elderly shut-ins or disabled people connect to the world. Whatever you do, chances are someone could make good use of your old PC so don’t just toss it and junk up our already overcapacity landfills.
Got any more ideas for recycling that old PC? Then why not share it with the rest of us!