This is an excerpt from a blog about what people do with older computers. I have tried to edit out personal information, so it will seem a bit jumbled… Enjoy.
What do you uise old computers for?

There was a question about what to use old pentium III computers for. I wish I could get them for 20 bucks a piece they usually  go for 50 to 60 bucks. Pentium I/II and amd k6 series compauters still have value also.  For a used system to me a piii is a highend machine. Many distro developers are now also supporting the old machines as never before. Three cheers for them!!! I saw youtube video of beryl running on a 500 mhz pIII. Debian runs great on older machines as do other distros.  Even the nslu2 is a slow machine, but you can do about anything with it. Somewhere around here I have already described what I use my old machines for.  What does everyone else do with theirs?

I put a P333MHz on the network as a Debian file server. Works fine.

I have used them for doorstops, or even bookends.  Grin

i agree on the server, you can use it as a test webserver, music, backup, or just plain file…

or all of the above…  just check the homeserver series and see what you like

While it’s not running Linux (yet Wink), I have an old Apple Macintosh Quadra 650 running as a web server.  It’s using MacHTTP for the web server and Mac OS 8.1 as the OS.  It has a Motorola 68040 @ 33 MHz and I maxxed out the RAM to 136 MB.  I’m also using a program called SimpleBackup that was written for Mac OS 68K and have it backing up the website to my Slackware box using Netatalk.  While it’s not automatic, I can possibly use Applescript to create a schedule.

So far it’s been running pretty stable with its current OS, so it might be longer before I put any *nix on that Mac.

I just got an old g3 imac, I am using it as a disktless thin client under ltsp. k12ltsp supprts bioth intel and ppc cpu’s as clients. Mine only has 64 meg ram. I have some ram to upgrade it.  I probably will put debian on it and give it to my daughter. I am sure her family will love it.

I have an old iMac G3/450 DV+ running debian etch which my children use.
It’s great!! XFCE is light enough for the hardware and featured enough for them to use easily. I could never get DVD playback to work smoothly as I had hoped but other than that I’m pleased with it.

I use them for testing different distros and configurations. I’m thinking of setting up a BSD server, but I’m not yet sure how that is going to work out. I also often use them to work on little personal projects I have. I start sshd and work from my main computer using PuTTY.

you could consider freenas, unless you want to start from scratch.

i ran freenas for a little while and it is pretty easy but i dont think debian is that much more difficult and you get a lot more flexibility out of it. just my thoughts…

I prefer debian on small systems, but there is a new version of freenas that is suppose to be a bit better at being remote friendly.

I use my old PII 350 Mhz w/256 Mb ram as a tester before moving a new OS to my “fast” machine, a 650 Mhz Duron w/256 Mb ram. Currently have Desktop BSD on the Duron, Linux Mint XFCE on the PII. Mint is looking pretty good, it runs well even on the PII and it comes with Flash and codecs for MP3 and DVDs. I think I am going to stick with it for awhile. I also keep a Win98 harddrive in the PII, just in case I have to have Windoze for something.

I have an really old lappie running DSL, it flies like the wind, I use it for surfing and just about everything I do Wink for the times I don’t want to bring my own Tongue

i think i will put gentoo on my old lappy. and it should go fairly fast using distcc

I use older computers for a few things in the last couple years.  I have one as a sandbox for my web development, one as a file server, one as a firewall / web filter, I have 12 original xboxs running Xebian setup as a OpenMosix cluster (when it was setup I used it to learn parallel computing, and loaned it out to others who used it for 3d rendering and parallel processing), I have 3 setup as personal computers for my children to use (each has their own and 1 for vistors), I have two dell 1850 1U servers with unknown use at this point, and the last one is setup as a dual boot windows 2000 and Ubuntu with a removable drive bay which I use to recover data for people.

All my computers currently are disconnected but my laptop, wifes desktop, and fileserver, we just moved and I have not setup my work area…  Cry

Old computers still have life…

Awesome! Did you softmod or use a hardware fix for the xboxes?

I TSOP’ed the Boxes and used the Cromwell Bios…

I have a picture of them on our old website when it was running (Before the GREAT Move)  Grin

I will see if it is still up and get back to you…

I never have done a tsop. My machine may be upgraded too much so that the mech assault may not work for me to do a tsop now. I saw a softmod that even with updates was suppose to work, but I felt uneasy about it. at least witht he nslu2 you knew you could go back to the beginning without a hassle.

When I am at work I can’t get on IRC. I wish I could get a CGI:IRC server statically linked to Linux Reality for all to use from the webpage.

For the last couple of years, I’ve gotten in the habit of buying a few old craigslist PC’s just before my fantasy football draft and throwing exotic distros on them.  That way everyone can come to my house and have their own workstation.  When we’re done, I re-sell them so I do not have to store them.  This ritual is enjoyabel because I get to play with different distros and configure them for specific hardware that I may or may nto be familiar with.

Since getting into Linux, I have bought and sold many a PC.  As a result, I have made enough profit to actually have all of my machines pretty much past the “old hardware” level.  This thread gave me the itch to play with something ancient though.  Maybe I’ll pick up an old Pentium II lappy this weekend.

You guys are awesome! I do have a PIII (no graphics card but at least 256 MB RAM, 733 MHz) and its been lying at home gathering dust for no good reason. I think the idea of a music server is great.  I remember Chess did an episode on this and now thanks to this thread, I’ve been inspired to breathe new life into that PIII (which btw is my first PC). Smiley

Not my video, but I thought it was interesting….

Its not linux but I found a neat program on instructables.com (one of my favorite websites) for very old computers.http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-digital-clock-with-an-old-BW-laptop/.  I haven’t done it yet but I have a winter break coming and an old Toshiba laptop (It’s running windows 3.1) that is begging to have something done with it.

A Pentium II, 333 with 128Mb RAM works fine as an internal DNS server for some 2000 systems.

While it’s not running Linux (yet Wink), I have an old Apple Macintosh Quadra 650 running as a web server.  It’s using MacHTTP for the web server and Mac OS 8.1 as the OS.  It has a Motorola 68040 @ 33 MHz and I maxxed out the RAM to 136 MB.  I’m also using a program called SimpleBackup that was written for Mac OS 68K and have it backing up the website to my Slackware box using Netatalk.  While it’s not automatic, I can possibly use Applescript to create a schedule.

So far it’s been running pretty stable with its current OS, so it might be longer before I put any *nix on that Mac.

I tried installing Linux on an old world Mac and it was a nightmare.  I had a PowerMac 5500.  I never was able to actually get it to work.

While it’s not running Linux (yet Wink), I have an old Apple Macintosh Quadra 650 running as a web server.  It’s using MacHTTP for the web server and Mac OS 8.1 as the OS.  It has a Motorola 68040 @ 33 MHz and I maxxed out the RAM to 136 MB.  I’m also using a program called SimpleBackup that was written for Mac OS 68K and have it backing up the website to my Slackware box using Netatalk.  While it’s not automatic, I can possibly use Applescript to create a schedule.

So far it’s been running pretty stable with its current OS, so it might be longer before I put any *nix on that Mac.

I tried installing Linux on an old world Mac and it was a nightmare.  I had a PowerMac 5500.  I never was able to actually get it to work.

i’ve installed it successfully on Old World Power Macs such as the Power Mac G3 begie, Power Mac WGS 8550, and the Motorola StarMax 4000.  It does take some extra elbow grease compared to New World Macs.  But the Mac I mentioned above is pre-PPC, which makes installation on Old World Macs seem easy-peasy.

But fear not….over the Christmas vacation, I’m hoping to send Chess some content on installing Linux/ppc on New World Macs as a Part 1 and Old World Macs as a Part 2.  Hopefully I’ll have it done and ready for the new year.

Just playing around with Linux

My Linux computer is a PII233MMX with 256MB RAM and a 13GB HDD. It is running Ubuntu 7.04 for playing around with, and is my web server. It is fairly quick for the hardware, but when I can upgrade this computer (P4 2.2 w/768 MB RAM running XP), it will be my new Linux machine, and the old one will get Xubuntu. I plan on setting that one up for my mother. She doesn’t know Windows from Linux, so I’d be starting her from scratch either way.

I have several older machines I’d like to make useful again, including a couple of P133s and 486s. It was supposed to be last winter’s project, but perhaps this winter I’ll do something with them. The progression of computers I still have went 486SX-25, P133, P4 2.2, with the PII233 and a few others finding me along the way. I like to get 5 to 8 years from each computer, and I don’t really need to change this one yet. An 800MHz with 512k would be a dream Linux machine compared to what I’m used to.

Old is relative…

My Linux computer is a PII233MMX with 256MB RAM and a 13GB HDD. It is running Ubuntu 7.04 for playing around with, and is my web server. It is fairly quick for the hardware, but when I can upgrade this computer (P4 2.2 w/768 MB RAM running XP), it will be my new Linux machine, and the old one will get Xubuntu. I plan on setting that one up for my mother. She doesn’t know Windows from Linux, so I’d be starting her from scratch either way.

I have several older machines I’d like to make useful again, including a couple of P133s and 486s. It was supposed to be last winter’s project, but perhaps this winter I’ll do something with them. The progression of computers I still have went 486SX-25, P133, P4 2.2, with the PII233 and a few others finding me along the way. I like to get 5 to 8 years from each computer, and I don’t really need to change this one yet. An 800MHz with 512k would be a dream Linux machine compared to what I’m used to.

Old is relative…

So true on that last sentence. Smiley

As for running GNU/Linux on a Pentium 4 PC, I’ve run Ubuntu, Slackware, Debian, and now Fedora on my kids’ Celeron D 335 PC with 512 MB RAM and it is very snappy.  So you should be quite pleased with the speed bump especially going from a 233 MHz PII.

I remember one day finding an old Pentium Pro Compaq DeskPro at one of the schools I work for.  It used to run Windows NT but since it wasn’t being used for anything anymore I decided to drop in Ubuntu 6.10 (at the time).  I have to say that for an old system with only 160 MB RAM, that thing was much more responsive than I expected.  Unfortunately, it didn’t support the built-in NIC so I just gave up on it and surveyed it out, but for a freshly installed system it was decent enough (and Ubuntu does have a tendency to demand a lot from the hardware).  I’m sure with Debian or Slack it would have been even faster due to the lower overhead even with X Windows.

Its not linux but I found a neat program on instructables.com (one of my favorite websites) for very old computers.http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-digital-clock-with-an-old-BW-laptop/.  I haven’t done it yet but I have a winter break coming and an old Toshiba laptop (It’s running windows 3.1) that is begging to have something done with it.

That is a neat instructable, I just found an old 486 with 4 meg ram compaq laptop in the junk closet.  That setup actually works. I wish it was in english or italian though. I had almost forgotten all my dos skills, but finally had it working.

I was also about to throw out some old like 1x cdroms and other stuff, then I read an article about using the parts for a usb fan and etc. Ooops, they missed garbage day..

Advertisements