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Give that netbook/ old laptop a boost.

  1. Kedar

    Kedar Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Member

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    Give that old laptop a boost

    Do you have old portable hardware lying around, that you no longer use? Let's resurrect it for good.

    The world has come a long way in the past years when it comes to computers and technology. Intel Co-founder Gordon Moore once said, the number of transistors in a chip will double every 2 years. In simple terms, computing power doubles every 2 years for the same size of a processor.

    Today we get cellular phones that have better specs than laptops or even desktops had a few years ago.

    That doesn't mean you should neglect or stop using it, you can revive it to add better functionality to your place.

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    Almost everybody has loads of CD's and DVD's for movies and music. You can organize that collection and make it available whenever and wherever you want.

    Running Windows and don't want to let go? Try Movie Organizer or Movienizer for Windows. Add an external storage device and you can have all the space you want. If your machine doesn't already have a WiFi receiver, you can buy one cheap. Connect to your home server and enjoy your collection on any device with wireless capabilities.

    But you are not limited to the range of your router. You can setup an FTP Server and have access to your media collection anywhere around the world.

    You can even try XBMC Digital Media Hub for Windows, Linux, OSX; hook up your giant TV to the machine and turn it into an HTPC.

    Stream music and video with Amahi Home Server. There is no dearth of apps for a similar purpose and a simple search will give you a multitude of option.

    It is best to run Linux on old machines to get the best out of them and you have endless possibilties here too.

    Don't want to pay for web-hosting? You can use your own machine to store website content to overcome bandwidth and space restrictions that all web hosting services have. The best part is that everything you once had to pay for can be done absolutely free of cost. Turn your Ubuntu PC into a Web-Server.

    You can even setup a Minecraft server (Windows and Linux) and keep your primary machine free for other use.

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    On the hardware sides, there are a few things you can do to improve performance.

    Swap your spin-based hard drive for an SSD for faster boot up times and faster access to data stored on the SSD. You should still have some external storage(for laptops) or another spin-based hard drive(for desktops) to store data not needed by the Operating System. That will include all media, etc.

    Adding RAM helps, not a huge leap but will certainly improve performance if you are using less than 2GB of it.

    Processor upgrades are expensive and not really worth it. I recommend staying away from it.

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    If you have a lot of old machines, you can setup your own supercomputer running a Linux Cluster Distro. Here's a full fledged tutorial on using the PelicanHPC: PelicanHPC Tutorial

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    This list is by no means complete or definitive, and if you have more ways in which one can put old hardware to use, I'd love to hear them, just post a reply below :)

    [ :computer: ]
    -KD
     
    labelle42, georgeks and Hengis like this.
  2. Kedar

    Kedar Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Member

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    2-12-2011 - Initial Creation
     
  3. AndroidOS

    AndroidOS PCHF SMR Graduate

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    You could turn it into a Wi-Fi bridge.

    Or run an experimental OS like Jolicloud.
     
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