April 25th 2011

7 easy uses for an old computer

So you’ve decided to buy a new computer.

Good for you!

Chances are, once you’ve made that decision, your old one has bit the dust.

Or has it?

Here are seven great uses for an old computer, instead of tossing it in the trash or selling it. And don’t worry – these are for the regular folk, the ones who don’t need it for anything fancier than a bit of a bonus.

Give it to your kids… or your parents

Perhaps the most obvious choice, the computer might be a little old for your needs, but maybe not for your family members. Your parents or grandparents might just want to send along an email here and there, or your younger children may be able to use it for word processing and a few games.

The only ones who probably won’t benefit are those who need or expect a little more. If the computer is on its last life, the average games and software may not hold up.

No matter what you do, just be sure to completely erase the hard drive and reinstall the things they need.

Use it as a Light-Duty PC

Having an extra computer on hand for light-duty tasks is often handy. If it’s a laptop or a smaller computer, keep it on a small table in the corner of the living room or kitchen. It will be out of the way, but handy for a quick Google or email check

Bring it Back to ’98

Windows 98, that is. Some classic programs and games were golden for Windows 98 and, if you remember, DOS. Resurrect the old ones by dedicating this computer to only run those. Give it a complete revamp with a new operating system, and do what you can to get all of the old programs. Nostalgia at its finest.

Save and Salvage

If you’re keen on building your own system, you may save some money by saving some of your old PC. Keep the optical drive, power supply, and the memory modules, all of which can help with double duty.

Dedicate It

That is, dedicate it to one specific purpose. Although an old computer may not be good for much, it might be good for little. Take a few moments to delete all of the programs you don’t need, and use it for just one that takes up a lot of memory. Perhaps store your photos, use it for design, or keep it for a single game.

Keep it for Media

If you delete your computer of any programs and data, then download the latest OS, you’re good to go. Plus in a router and connect your computer to your old one through the Network and Sharing centre on your connection list.

Create a Shared Files area of your new serve, ideally under the Computer/C:/Users/Public area of your computer. Now your computers are connected, and you can begin to share media files between them.

Make it an Entertainment Centre

Delete anything irrelevant from your computer, save for music, movies and pictures. Take an S cable and attach the TV and the computer. Click on Properties, find your TV and you’re done.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.