Computers

5 Great Things You Can Do With an Old Computer

5 things to do with an old computer

5 Great Things You Can Do With an Old Computer

Landfill is a huge problem in this disposable age we seem to be living in.  Instead of throwing your old computer away here are 5 great things you can do with it. What can you do with an old computer? This can apply to both PC Desktops as well as laptops.  Let’s get into it.

1. Turn it into a MAME Arcade Emulator

Into retro games? Turn it into an Arcade machine.  If you’re running Windows 10, 8, or 7 you can turn it into a rocking games computer.  You could, of course, run other types of emulators on there as well.  Just make sure you keep it all above board.  Playing retro games is always a hit if you have friends over or if you just want to enjoy something from your childhood.

2 – Turn it into a NAS drive (Network Attached Storage) or Personal Cloud

A NAS drive is a great way to turn an older computer into something useful.  A NAS drive can be used to share files or used as a master backup computer so your data is safe.  If you don’t have a good backup plan turning your old computer into a NAS is a great way to go.  You can get free software like XX to use as well.

Some free NAS solutions are:

  • FreeNAS (My personal favourite)
  • Rockstor
  • Openfilier
  • OpenMediaVault

A personal cloud is your very own secure server similar to how OneDrive or Google Drive works.  You can set this up yourself and not have to worry about companies having access to your data.  I am surprised by how few people actually use their own Personal Cloud.  For best results with a personal cloud it’s always better having a static IP address.  This means the address of your network will never change from the outside world.  If you have a dynamic IP you will need to sign up to a service that relays your IP back to your connecting point.

3 – Try Linux Ubuntu or Another Linux Distribution

Linux has come a long way over the years and one of the popular distributions is Ubuntu.  If you don’t need another desktop computer you can download Ubuntu Server. You can then try your hand at installing and testing your own Apache server or even using the Ubuntu server as a shared computer over the network.  There are so many great distributions of the next out there at this particular point in time did we give them a chance I was pleasantly surprised by few including:

  • Ubuntu Desktop
  • Linux Mint
  • Ubuntu Server
  • Linux Mandriva

The other reason Linux is a great solution is that it generally requires far fewer system resources to run well.  This means even a computer that’s 7 years old should have no problems running the majority of the Linux distros.

4 – Turn it into a TV Streaming Media Centre

If you have lots of movies or TV shows saved on your computer then hook it up to a TV and enjoy them on the big screen.  All you need to make this experience a good one is an HDMI cable and a wireless keyboard and mouse so you don’t have to keep walking back and forth.  This is a great option too because you can load up YouTube or twitch in a browser but watch it on your TV.  This makes it like a more versatile and free Apple TV.

5 – Donate it to someone who would appreciate it

I know this point sounds a little bit different from the rest but hear me out.  I personally know a few people that would benefit from having one of my old computers as opposed to using the poor performing one they use right now. If you know someone who is not looking to something state-of-the-art would appreciate the computer, reach out to them and see if they’re interested.  I’ve donated a couple of computers over the years and they are still using them to this day.

Anything is better than just throwing it in the landfill.  This is too many disposable products in the world today and adding to that state of affairs is not proactive.  If you don’t know anyone who needs a computer, reach out to schools and local non-profits and see if they can use it? There’s always someone who could benefit from having a decent computer and all will take is the format that hard drive and then move it on.  I know a couple of friends were still using Windows Vista which is very very old donating a computer with Windows 7 Windows 10 would make life a lot easier.

Make the old Machine Pur before Donating it

Even old computers can still perform well.  Is a list of a few things I suggest doing if you Wanna make that all the computer perform even better.

  • Install a basic solid-state drive/SSD.  This will make the performance of the computer so much better over the mechanical drives.
  • Format the hard drive/reinstall the operating system.  Well this might seem like extra work it’s definitely worth doing it will only make the computer perform better but will also erase any sensitive data you may have on the hard drive.
  • This last one is just about some maintenance.  Give it a clean with the vacuum cleaner put the thinnest nozzle you have on there and clean out all the dust.  Give the CPU fan decent cleaning and make sure you do the same to the power supply. Dust is a computers enemy just make sure you give it at least once over.  This will also make the computer a lot more presentable to whomever you give it to.

I hope you like this list of 5 Great Things You Can Do With an Old Computer! If you have some suggestions please comment.