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What To Do With An Old Laptop ?


Hello,My previous laptop was kind of old. By old I mean :from 1999, 256mb of RAM, 10gb disk space, one usb port (certainly great for that time), no touchpad but trackball (broken), 13" and twice heavier than my current 15",...One problem is that it doesn't have wireless and ethernet port.I need to plug a card (which I don't have any more and I don't know which one I need) to connect to the web.I was thinking of turning it into a wab server I can access with ssh but I don't really see the use I could have...Do you have better idea ?What do you do usually with your old computer ?thanks


Maybe you can sell it, I bet you could not find a buyer :angel: . What's the point in turning it in a web server??


who would like a computer like this ?old, not really powerful, the trackball and the opening mechanism of the screen are broken,...even if I find someone who want to buy it, it won't be for much...turning into a web server is interesting for the technical aspect. I can store some files (not many) that I can access from everywhere and stuff like thisbut it was just an idea


You got a gold mine! Build a mechanical machine that uses up that power under the hood just for fun. Like you said, there isn't much left to do with it anymore... You might be able to sell it to a collector tho. :angel:


donate it. when i went to africa, they were VERY short on computers. i was told they would take anything thaty worked. didn't matter how old. they were short on everything and computers in some parts of africa are non existent, but needed. so donate it and know it will be put to good use.


Great idea anwiii, I hadn't thought about it.They'll certainly find better use than I could have


As Anwii suggests, you can donate it and it'll be used by folks in India or Africa.I worked with a group of students in India in developing software for computers that were to be donated to centers in rural India. The fact that many computers didn't have wireless or ethernet ports didn't bother us as we would use the serial and parallel ports of the older computers and hook them up to a server that had plenty of serial and parallel ports through another box hooked up to it (something like USB hub but for serial/parallel ports). Sure, it's a slow transfer, but they wouldn't be playing networked Crysis on it :-D


Donating is good idea. But only thing i would like to see is that the donated computers goes to right sources. Many times these people resale or dis-assemble the parts of that computers so in such case it gives me a doubt. So unless you have idea about the source where you are donating the hardware better hold. You can donate to organizations which are into free software, charity or teaching institute who use that. In such cases don't forget to check if they are genuine.


I agree that donating is a good way, I personally give away my old computers for somebody, if it's better, to a neighbor a friend, sometimes for a little fee :DBut be careful, avoid donating or giving your hard drive disks, or if you need to give them too, I suggest to not only format it, but overwrite all your files by connecting it to different format and filling it with quite big files, that all the old files would be overwritten and nobody could undelete your private data, also you can use tools which does this for you, usually it's called Drive Wiper or free space wiping.. By only formating, it's quite easy to restore your old files..I personally suggest this method:1) Format your partitions2) Destroy your partitions, create a different number of partitions, if you were using 2, create 4 partitions (Depends on the hard drive space)3) Format new partitions4) Fill those partitions with movies that it would be 100% full5) Format all partitions6) Wipe free space on them7) Destroy partitionsThis is a killer method :DTo tell the truth, it's enough to just delete all the files and fill the hard drive disk with different files, like movies that it would be 100% full and later just format it.


if you haven't donated it already, i have found an interesting way to destroy an old laptop. i have build a second monitor for myself with it. i bought a tft lcd controller (it costs 30$) and now i have another 15inch monitor which isn't really a bad idea. the only thing to do is to detaching laptop lid and remove the connected socket to the motherboard of your laptop and connect it to lcd controller (mine looks like below one) and then you can use your own built monitor (it has some config buttons for backlight and etc).

actually the board itself may not look nice but i have designed a wooden box for it and placed it under the monitor so it looks like a real monitor now.


If you've still got the laptop with you, you could do a couple of less-destructive things with it too. I'd run a web server on it and have it run my personal website. I run WordPress on my personal website and even an old laptop should be able to handle the load from a small number of concurrent users. WordPress may be CPU intensive, but if you do enable caching, it can run on older hardware too.You can also use old laptops for hooking up webcams and using them instead of CCTV cameras. You can write up a script to record video footage to a file and periodically upload the footage to an FTP server. If you are less concerned about security, you can simply take photographs and send them across periodically instead of a video - you may not catch a burglar in the act, but you would know that something is wrong out there.If you can hook up a couple of extra network cards to the laptop (either PCMCIA expansion cards or USB), you can turn the laptop into a router too.If you've got a computer that you would like multiple users working on together, an old laptop can be used as a terminal for connecting to the other computer. You can hook up the old laptop to the network, run a terminal server, telnet, or SSH server on the other computer and connect to the computer via the laptop. All of the execution would be through the other computer and the old laptop would only be sending input and receiving output. Think of it as a wireless keyboard and monitor. You can also do this with old smartphones. If you have an iMate Jasjar, you can connect to a computer and you have a QWERTY keyboard on the phone to be able to do stuff that you would normally do from the computer.You can also use old computers to share hard disk drives across a network. You can hook up your USB external hard disk to it, plug it into the network, and access the root of the drive as an administrative share or create a shared folder on the USB drive.Using an old laptop with a webcam for security, as a router, or for sharing external hard disk drives may seem like a patchy solution because if you were to get dedicated devices to perform the same function, they would be in a much more compact form and would use much less electricity. However, using an old laptop is a cost-saving measure as buying a network CCTV camera would cost you much more than a simple webcam, a router that provides all of the functionality as the old laptop would cost much much more than a simple network card, and getting a cheap external USB hard disk drive (the large ones with an external AC power supply adapter) can give you more bang for the buck than a passport USB external hard disk drive or even an external hard disk drive with a network interface.


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