Unlike antique furniture that keeps getting better and better, old computers don’t.
Are you facing a situation where you’re surrounded by piles of computers that were cutting edge a few short years ago but now look more like a pile of junk?
The question of what to do with an old computer is easy if it’s an Apple 1 or another rare vintage – sell it for $900 grand! But if your old computer is more Pentium 1 than Apple 1, there are still many better options than trashing it.
Read on for our guide to what to do with your old computer.
Make a Home Security System
Assuming your computer still functions, you can still repurpose it quite easily and cheaply as a home security system.
If your old computer is a laptop with a reasonable built-in webcam then you’re part way there. Old webcams and other cheap USB compatible ones you buy online will do.
You can set up a system with about 40 GB hard drive space upwards – and you can even get kits that will allow you to connect multiple cameras. That can take your system from a one-room show to security for the whole house!
Clear your PC of any redundant software and perform some basic system maintenance. That’ll get it functioning as fast as it can. Then download one of the many cheap or free pieces of home surveillance software available.
Set Up an Entertainment Center
An old computer can make an awesome entertainment center, allowing you to effortlessly stream content to your TV. An old PC is particularly suited to this, due to the range of media streaming software out there for Windows.
To make it ultra user-friendly, pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, allowing you to control it from wherever you are in the room. You can run a range of streaming services without getting locked into a single provider like you would be with Apple TV for example.
You can also use it to play music streaming through your TV or to display your photos in a slideshow when not in use, turning your TV into a digital photo frame.
The Ultimate Digital Photo Frame
OK, we accept, this one may require a small outlay – you’ll probably need a decent looking wall-mountable monitor to make this work.
Once you’ve got that, as long as you can store the PC or laptop so that it’s not too visible, you’ve got an awesome digital photo frame to display all your treasured family photos!
To get the look you want, make sure that you can conceal the cables, preferably in the stud wall behind. This will give you a sleek appearance, and you can enjoy your photos without distraction.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
There are plenty of community websites that will allow you to pass on your unwanted tech to people who will be able to make good use of it.
This can benefit people who are out of work, kids going through school or college and even older people looking to get to grips with the net.
Sometimes libraries and other community facilities are also able to make use of them. You could also donate them to a local school or college so kids can learn to strip and reassemble computers.
You can also think closer to home. Maybe there’s a family member who could make use of it. Wipe the hard drive and it’ll be ready to roll.
The kitchen is a place where it’s super useful to have access to a computer – whether to look up recipes, play music or keep yourself entertained while cooking.
The problem is that it’s not the right environment for that expensive new laptop or tablet.
Enter your old computer.
It’s hardy – it can take a few spills and thrills and ultimately, no-one’s going to be too bothered. Even if the worst happens and a pan of spaghetti sauce lands on it, well, it was old anyway.
Once you’ve had a kitchen PC you’ll never go back, and it’s a great way to save your old computer from the garbage dump.
Build a Gaming Center
As long as it’s still got the memory, your old computer could make an awesome dedicated gaming center.
You don’t have to worry about leaving space for any mundane activities. You can dedicate it to that purpose, even permanently hooked up to a TV.
You might need to go a little old-school in the titles available to you, but you can still have a lot of fun and get a few more good years out of your PC.
Give Your Guests a PC!
If you do a lot of entertaining, then a guest computer could be greatly appreciated by your overnight guests.
It gives them a place to check their email, use Skype, and keep up to date while they’re away. Particularly if they’re not traveling with tablet computers, your guests may well appreciate a basic but functional computer that allows them to stay connected while they’re visiting.
The Bottom Line: What to Do With an Old Computer
The bottom line is… don’t throw it!
There are so many great uses for an old computer that putting it out with the trash should be the last thing on your mind.
Whether you go the charitable route and give it away to someone in need, or repurpose it for entertainment, there are many reasons why you should hang onto the old PC a little while longer!
At Computer Revival, we believe there’s usually plenty of life in the old PC yet.
Click here to learn more about how we can keep your computer going strong, or set you up with a great refurbished model.