Thursday, April 30, 2009

some things to do with an old computer

some interesting things to do with your old computer

1. Converting the old computer into a useful multimedia player :

first of al check if your old computer runs winamp or any other audio playback software. It is usually better to use older versions of winamp which can usually be found at ( at ( . For better quality playback , the soundcard of the computer can be connected to the aux input of stereo players.Using a tv-tuner card, the old computer can also be used for watching tv .

2.Using the computer as a firewall,proxy server etc :

You can change your old computer into a firewall by using software like smoothwall ( You can also use it to share a single internet connection with more than one computer by using proxy server software like wingate ( , freeproxy ( etc on the old computer. If you are interested in helping people circumvent censorship and have a static ip address you can also use the old computer for running censorship circumventing software ( ) on the old computer (but you have to be careful of spammers and other legal problems that may arise).

3. experiment by installing win95/98, linux or dos on the old computer .

The old computer can be used to run old software, games which might not run on new operating systems. If you wanted to experiment by installing linux or other such operating systems, the old computer will be a nice tool for that.

4. changing the old computer into a file server or printer server.

you can use the old computer as a server to store commonly used documents and mp3s. This makes it easier to backup those files. Instead of many printers connected with different computers, you can set up a network so that printing takes place on printers connected to the centralised old computer. This is useful especially if you routinely print hundreds of pages. Some of the older dot matrix printers can be connected only to serial ports.(some older accounting software write only to such dot matrix printers). The old computer (usually will have serial ports) can be used to connect such old printers .

5. Study hardware of computers

Most people will be curious about the internals of a computer, but may not be courageous to open up a new branded pc. The old computer is a nice tool to practice assembling a computer by yourself. Very good free tutorials are available on the internet.

If you are not interested in such things, you could think of donating the old computer to the needy or you could recycle the old computer. Do not throw it out as trash since the computer usually contains a lot of toxic material like lead, antimony, arsenic, selenium, mercury etc. ( ( . Be careful and try to permanently erase the contents of the old hard disk using software like eraser ( , if you are giving away /donating your old computer . An article about the dangers of improper erasure of data is available here.

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