Have you got an old computer lying around that you don’t want to discard simply because it is still working in one way or another? With some adjustments and tweaks, you can make a good use of it, whether for yourself, or for someone else. First of all you have to understand that no matter how old a computer there is, it can always be useful to someone. Not everybody is looking for a quad core processor and a supercharged graphic card and not everybody requires a 21 or 32 inch flat monitor. Even if you are not the “old computer giving” types, you can use the computer for yourself, or someone in your family can make better use of it, for instance, your mom, or even your granny.
Listed below are a few things you can do to make good use of your old computer:
Install a less resource-hungry operating system
Ubuntu, for instance. It is one of the most widely used open source operating systems based on Linux, but completely GUI. Provided you are not fully dependent upon Windows environment, you won’t even notice the difference in many cases. The greatest advantage of installing Ubuntu, or one of its greatest versions is that you can also use it on computers with older configurations. This blog post explains how you can install LXDE, one of the lightest Linux distros available, on a very old computer. You may also like to read How to choose the best Linux distro for you.
Convert your old computer into a server
You may think, now why would you require a server? Suppose there are multiple computers and laptops in your household and sometimes people need to access common files. Instead of investing money in something like Dropbox or even Google Drive, why not just create your own server where you can put all the commonly accessed files, such as music and video files and then connect every device to it? It is not as difficult or geeky as it may sound initially. Here is a nice blog post that explains how to convert your old computer into a server.
Use it for running old games
Remember those Windows 98 and even DOS games? If you are still crazy about those games, you can format your disk if it contains a higher version of the operating system and then you can install one of those antiquated operating systems. There are many websites on the Internet from where you can install computer games of the yore.
Use it as a storage system
It is similar to the above point that talks about converting your old computer into a server, but in this case you don’t necessarily have to connect all your devices to this computer. You can simply use it to store files that you require but you don’t use them often such as old movies and MP3 songs. With a little bit of investment in cables and docks, you can even hook your old computer to your TV and output all the video files to it.
Make your old computer available to distributed computing
There are many distributed computing projects you can get involved in. These are basically megaprojects that require to connect to multiple computers through a network (for example, SETI). It doesn’t matter what operating system you are using.