You might be tempted to follow the easy route of junking your old computer, but don’t. Even if it’s virus-infested and slow, you can still give it extra mileage. We’re talking about giving your old PC useful life, not just limping along.
Wondering how to get started? Here are 10 easy and budget-friendly old PC projects.
1. Home Security System
It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to install a surveillance system. If your old laptop has an inbuilt camera, you only need to install computer-based surveillance software such as SecuritySpy, iSpy, and Yawcam to capture images from your camera. For desktops without inbuilt video cameras, use an old webcam.
Next, arrange the cameras to the locations you want monitor to minimize blind spots and avoid overlapping. For this project, ensure you have internet connectivity and a hard drive with a minimum storage capacity of 40GB.
2. DIY Home Server
If you’re still wondering what to do with your old PC, here is a simple hack of setting up a home server you can use for emailing, playing music around your home, running a website, and storing personal information.
The server doesn’t have to be extremely powerful because you’ll be using it to handle simple tasks. A PC with a 300MHz processor and 64MB of RAM can make a great server. However, you can still upgrade it to more robust specifications and it’ll handle more processor-hungry tasks like gaming.
A home media center provides greater functionality than a television. It allows you to access social media, playback CDs and DVDs, play PC games, and access to streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
With this home station project, it’s important to consider how you want to consume the media. Some of the handy pieces of software to turn your old PC into a media center are Myth TV, GB-PVR, BeyondTV, Media Portal, and Freevo, among others.
To help you with the set up process, we have some material for you. Here are some of the best sites to watch TV on your PC over the internet. In addition, check out these free media players for Windows.
4. Sell It on eBay
Is the processing speed of your old PC slowing you down or are you itching for the recently released iMac? Many computer enthusiasts use eBay to find new gadgets and as a way of funding their next purchases. Selling a PC on eBay is one of the most reliable ways of earning extra money.
One of the best tips for getting the most from your obsolete computer is stripping it down and selling those parts individually. Another tip is to list each item with a low starting bid but with no reserve. The low bid will encourage potential customers to try their luck.
5. Experiment With Viruses
What can I do with an old PC? If you’ve always been struggling to find answers to this question, worry no more. You can use that old computer to experiment with viruses, something you’ve always been scared to try out with your new expensive PC. After all, you’ll not incur significant losses if it crashes.
6. Recycle It
PCs contain hazardous materials such as heavy metals that pollute the environment. The safest way of getting rid of your old PC without increasing electronic waste is recycling. Electronic stores, computer manufacturers, and other non-profit organizations have computer donation or recycling projects. Examples are the Electronics Donation and Recycling page of the Environmental Protection Agency.
7. Modify/Turn It Into Art
Artists now create recycled/upcycled art using old PCs to raise awareness of the level of electronic waste. Still wondering how to repurpose an old PC? With creativity and a bunch of ideas, you’ll create some stunning art that will complement your interior décor. The curves of your computer are too pretty to sit around collecting dust.
What about turning that old PC into a photo frame? You can even create animal sculptures from computer components.
8. Install Linux
In case you’re not familiar with Linux, it’s an operating stem that runs thousands of programs such as OpenOffice and LibreOffice. It can also run browsers like Firefox, Opera, and chrome. When it comes to gaming, you’ll enjoy playing Minecraft and Civilization V, among others. Photoshop diehards also access image editors like GIMP.
If you’re looking to repurpose your old computer, give it a Linux makeover. The main reason Linux runs smoothly on old PCs is because it demands less power.
For beginners, here is how to get started with Ubuntu and Linux.
9. DIY Wall-Mounted PC
One of the coolest trends right now is wall-mounted PCs. PC builders everyone have taken on the challenge of creating a unique and powerful custom wall-mounted computer.
You can buy a case separately and transfer the components from your computer to the new case. The case is open-sided to allow for free airflow. Hanging the case on the wall creates an aesthetically pleasing set up that showcases your old PC.
10. Donate Your Old PC
Many organizations and individuals from local to international will greatly appreciate having your old PC. Some use computers in various fields such as education. The World Computer Exchange is a great example of an organization with partners throughout the Caribbean, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
Repurpose Old Computers, Don’t Junk Them
Just because your old PC is outdated doesn’t mean you can’t use it any more. With the above ideas, there’s no doubt that you will find a project that will give your obsolete computer more life. Most importantly, you’ll be playing a key role in reducing electronic waste.
Looking for a media center? read all about the different hardware components, best places to buy them, software candidates and media extenders, in this ultimate guide!
About The Author