How to Make Use of an Old Laptop
This hub is dedicated to a discussion of finding uses for old laptops. Maybe you have one laying around or sitting burried in a closet somewhere, but just can't bring yourself to get rid of it. Here are some ideas that may help you make some use of it.
How old is the laptop?
How old the laptop is will pretty much dictate what exactly you will be able to do with it. Check your unit to find out the following:
- Proccessor Type and Speed
- Amount of RAM
- Hard disk size
- Video Memory (sometimes useful to know)
Another thing that is important, is the condition of the unit. If it is broken or having hardware related issues. If this is true, you will be limited as to what you can do with it.
Here are some suggestions for use of your old laptop. I'm sure there is more, just use your imagination!
1.) Learn a new operating system
You might have been wanting to learn to use a distribution of Linux or other operating system, but have been unwilling to reformat your primary computer to do so. Having an old laptop around gives you the perfect opportunity to do this. Make sure that your laptop meets the minimum specs to do so. Linux is very forgiving. You can go to http://www.linux.org for information and downloads.
2.) Use it as the Ultimate Cookbook
I keep a spare latop in my kitchen with Windows XP and wireless connectivity to search for recipes and such. This is very handy since you will have access to cooking videos and numerous cooking sites on the internet. The laptop won't have to be very powerful to do this and you can even run Linux.
3.) Excellent Garage Tool Addition
I use a laptop frequently in my garage. I would rather do a repair myself than pay a garage. Sometimes however, I get a bit stuck on how to perform a particular repair. Having a laptop with internet access on my workbench takes care of this very nicely. Again, no need for a lot of power and Linux is still fine. There are even some diagnostics kits that you can interface between your car and the laptop to check the vehicles onboard computer.
4.) In Car Mod
Having computers in automobiles is gaining popularity as they get smaller. If you are one of those people that just can't be with out a computer, this may be an option for you. You can either leave the laptop as is and get a mount for in the car, or, if you are a daring individual that likes to tinker, you can mod the laptop and integrate it into the car. This would require decent electronics skills. As a plus, you can add a thirty dollar USB GPS reciever and have an onboard NAV system.
5.) Steampunk Mod
This is more of an art than anything else. If you are into something REALLY different, then this might be an option. The laptop would still be usable, but could also sit nicely in a living room or sitting room and look very at home amongst decorative furniture. Steampunking seems to be gaining a large following.
6.) Make a Robot
There are several kits available that let you build a small mobile robot and mount your laptop to it. Some can be controlled by the laptop itself or wirelessly receiving commands. I have seen these at http://www.tigerdirect .com
7.) Use it for a Doner
If your laptop is either too damaged or too old to be used for the above, you may be able to salvage it for parts. Hard drives, memory and sometimes CD Drives can often be salvaged to repair other units. You may also be able to put the LCD screen to good use somewhere.
8.) Give it to someone less fortunate
Give to the less fortunate - If you really aren't interested in using the laptop anymore and don't want to put anymore effort into it, there are many people out there that would jump at the opportunity to have one. Give it away or sell on the cheap. It'll make someones day!
Now, no matter how you look at, there is a lot more life in that old laptop than you previously thought I'd guess. Use your imagination and be creative. If you have a cool use for a laptop that is not listed here, post it in a comment for other readers to see.
Thanks for reading!!!
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