What can a 20 year old computer do?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

A 20-year-old computer may not be able to handle the latest software and applications, but it can still be put to good use in various ways. Here are some ideas for what you can do with an old computer:

1. Convert it to a NAS or Home Server: If your old computer still has decent storage capacity, you can repurpose it as a Network Attached Storage (NAS) or a home server. This allows you to store and access files, media, and backups from other devices on your network.

2. Donate it to a local school: Many schools and educational institutions can benefit from having extra computers, even if they are older. Donating your old computer can provide students with access to technology they may not have otherwise.

3. Turn it into an experimental box: If you enjoy tinkering with technology or learning new skills, you can turn your old computer into an experimental box. Install different operating systems, experiment with different software, or use it for coding projects without worrying about damaging your primary computer.

4. Give it to a relative: If you have a family member who needs a basic computer for tasks like internet browsing, email, or word processing, your old computer can be a great gift. It may not be powerful enough for demanding tasks, but it can still serve as a functional tool for everyday use.

5. Dedicate it to ‘Distributed Computing’: There are various distributed computing projects that utilize the spare processing power of computers worldwide to contribute to scientific research. By dedicating your old computer to such projects, you can help scientists analyze complex data and solve important problems.

6. Use it as a dedicated game server: If you enjoy multiplayer gaming, you can repurpose your old computer as a dedicated game server. This allows you to host games for your friends or even create your own gaming community.

7. Use it for old-school gaming: Older computers are often well-suited for running retro games and emulators. You can set up your old computer with classic games from the past, reliving nostalgia or introducing a new generation to the joys of retro gaming.

8. Make it a Secondary Computing Server: If you have multiple devices and need a central hub for file sharing, media streaming, or remote access, your old computer can serve as a secondary computing server. This can help streamline your digital workflow and make tasks more efficient.

9. Convert it into a media center: With the right software, your old computer can become a dedicated media center for streaming movies, TV shows, and music. Connect it to your TV or sound system, and you’ll have a versatile entertainment system.

10. Set it up as a backup server: Backing up your important files is crucial, and your old computer can be repurposed as a backup server. With appropriate software and storage devices, you can schedule automatic backups and ensure the safety of your data.

11. Transform it into a digital photo frame: If you have a collection of digital photos, you can turn your old computer into a digital photo frame. Install a photo slideshow program, connect it to a monitor or TV, and enjoy a rotating display of your favorite memories.

12. Recycle or repurpose its components: If the computer is beyond repair or no longer useful, you can consider recycling or repurposing its components. Salvage parts like the hard drive, RAM, or graphics card for use in other projects or donate them to organizations that refurbish computers.

Remember to wipe your personal data from the old computer before repurposing or recycling it to protect your privacy.