What to do with your old computer or laptop?

Technology gets refreshed in computing world every now and then and as soon as the new innovation arrives, its time to wind up the old one. The same applies to the PC world, where with the release of every new operating system, people go for an entire PC upgrade.

According to a survey conducted by Amazon, on an average, a PC user refreshes his/her system once in every 22 months. And if the period matches with the time of a new OS release, the sales of PCs will double up. Furthermore, as per the survey conducted by the online selling giant, its said analysis proved accurate when Windows 7 and 10 operating systems were released by Microsoft.

Thus, what to do with the old PC/laptop when a new PC arrives? Remember, whether it’s a desktop or laptop, whether or not it’s broken, and no matter how old it is, it can still be useful to you or someone else.

Have no idea on what to do with the old one? You can find some inspiration in this article-

Sell and get credit to buy new- If you have an old PC and want to dispose it as per the EPA laws, you can hand it to a responsible recycler. And if you are from California, then you can hand over the old PC/laptop to DNF Recycling team to get a bit of credit on buying a new one. But the credit will be offered as per the rules and regulations of DNF.

Make money- If your PC is in working condition, then sell the device on platforms such as ebay. You can also sell all those parts and accessories on the said website. For example, hard drives, RAM, AC adapter, motherboards, graphics and audio cards. Note- There’s a lot of demand for used Dell Laptop adapters which are in working condition.

Create a digital photo album- If your PC/laptop screen is OK and if either the hard drive or CD/DVD drives are working, then you can use it to build a cheap digital photo frame. With a working wireless connection you could even make it show your latest Flickr photos. Just do a bit of Google search and you’ll find many articles on “how to proceed” with it.

Use it as an external hard drive- You can use your old laptop or desktop hard drive as an external disc, if in case, the storage media in your old PC is working perfectly. Just buy a USB to SATA cable and connect the HDD to the new PC. You can transfer files and use the HDD as an external PC. Also you can invest in a USB caddy, which can be acquired cheaply through eBay, Amazon or your local hardware dealer. Be sure to get the right format and connector for your hard drive. For a laptop hard drive, you’ll need a 2.5″ IDE or SATA caddy. For a regular hard drive, generally a 3.5″ IDE or SATA caddy is in order.

Use a TV tuner card- I am sure many of you out there might knew this already. If in case you’re desktop monitor is working fine, then get a TV tuner card and use it as a TV screen. If in case, you are using an LED as your display monitor, then most of the screens will have the right connectors to connect your disk TV to the screen.

Turn the PC into a media player- Load your PC with music and videos and if necessary supply it with an external hard drive, set up your favorite media player and listen to last .fm. If you have a party, use the PC and connect it to your subwoofer and just enjoy. You can also record movies, record music from radio stations, download MP3s, stream music throughout the house using wireless speakers etc.

Set up an external firewall or router- If you are concerned about security, then you can separate your firewall from the PC you are using, and run it on a standalone(Old) computer that sits between the internet and your actual operating system. This practice acts as a powerful way to protect your data. Users can use a Linux OS on the old PC and use it as a firewall.

Using it as a print or file server- This practice is already existing in a lot of homes filled with geeks. Just transform your old PC into a workhorse with only the essential software components, including Windows file and Print share. Next, hook up all the external devices to it, such as a printer or an ext HDD, and make them available to all other computers in the house.

Donate your computer’s CPU time- If you have interest and internet, then you can make your old PC participate in many distributing computing projects such as SETI@home or Protiens@home, and run these programs all day and night. These programs require very less computing and bandwidth.

Donate the PC to a school or the needy- You can make a quick research on yahoo and find if any one in the community or vicinity of your home needs a PC. You can use services such as “FreeCycle.org” and “Computers with Causes” in this regard.


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