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What To Do With Old Laptops?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the aside-from-warming-old-laps dept.

Portables 620

An anonymous reader writes "I've recently acquired a few old P2/P3 laptops. Most either work properly but are slow, or have various problems with power supplies and/or batteries. Attempting to sell them would probably earn less than the cost of shipping, so that's out of the question. I was hoping the Slashdot crowd could give me some ideas on what to do with these old computers. As somebody who already has ~10 computers lying around the house there is certainly no need for an additional computer to 'experiment' with, so I was hoping for some more creative suggestions."

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620 comments

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Bonfire (4, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433156)

A gallon of gasoline and a match.

Re:Bonfire (4, Funny)

Davemania (580154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433266)

Not with the current gas price

Re:Bonfire (2, Funny)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433378)

Naw, you need Cat D6, 3rd gear forward, rabbit mode and lower the blade.... ^_^

=Smidge=

Digital picture frame? (3, Informative)

littleghoti (637230) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433164)

Seems fairly common, but should be easy enough.

Nah, thin clients. (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433592)

Thin clients. Install a wifi card and mount one to the wall or cabinets in your kitchen. No battery necessary. Install LTSP or similar on a server and bammo! Instant kitchen terminal.

Picture Frame (4, Informative)

NexusTw1n (580394) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433174)

Turn them into picture frames. http://repair4laptop.org/notebook_picture_frame.html [repair4laptop.org]

Re:Picture Frame (2, Interesting)

getto man d (619850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433364)

Agreed. Also, if they can support wireless why not 'network' your music? Setup a media server and allow the laptops access, so you can play whatever music you have wherever you want in the house - assuming you have enough speakers and the soundcards are somewhat bearable.

CURB ALERT (2, Interesting)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433194)

at craigslist.org? Offer the whole lot for a small charge (or not so small charge - I would think you could get at least $50 for a P3 laptop, if not more).

Re:CURB ALERT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433254)

Where do you think this bloke got all those laptops?

Obvious! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433198)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those!

Running GNU/Linux!

I'd taken an old P2 200... (4, Interesting)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433212)

...I'd taken an old P2 200, flipped the screen around, threw a wireless card in it, and made a digital picture frame for my grandmother for Mother's Day two years ago. Been meaning to revisit that project. Another option is just as a heads-up display. I've got an old Compaq Presario hanging off my wall which does nothing but shell outputs of the status of my network, as well as a buffer for the latest SNMP traps. It blinks in big red text if anything goes particularly sideways (fatal trap). Took a fair bit of scripting, but it was fun.

Re:I'd taken an old P2 200... (2, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433546)

What about the 'trons?
Some of that older stuff draws a not-insignificant amount of current, no? Nice gadget, but if it adds $5/month to the electric bill to just turn it on and fuggedaboudit, that adds up.

GIve it away (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433214)

Find poor people and give it away.

Re:GIve it away (4, Informative)

crimsun (4771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433356)

It doesn't need to be "poor people" necessarily. Sanitising and http://www.freecycle.org/ [freecycle.org] are good starts. Granted, I presume the poster didn't get them from CL or FC...

Kids (5, Interesting)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433216)

I bought 5 thinkpads for about $50 and paid about $50 for shipping. Turned all into poor mans xo? laptops. They use less power and space than a desktop, play all my kids Jump Start programs and are easily portable.

Fix em up if you can and give em to a kids. I'm sure you could get at least a couple goin out of the pile, no?

I've put win2k on them and they seem to be fine for this purpose.

Virus Farm (5, Funny)

Davemania (580154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433218)

Create a virtual virus zoo.

Re:Virus Farm (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433622)

Ha! That's awesome. You get my humor seal of approval this morning.

-l

So I understand you correctly . . . . (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433224)

the real question you're asking is Will it blend?

Donate (5, Insightful)

libertynow (1290554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433226)

Donate to a charity - there are many developing 3rd world countries that I am sure would love to get their hands on something like that.

Re:Donate (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433332)

Probably not. They are old, don't run new software and as the poster said they had some powersupply and battery problems.
My guess is many charities have more junk PCs than they know what to do with.

Re:Donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433352)

You will be saving the world from extra power consumption as they'd be using a PC with a CRT monitor alternatively!

It has to be said... (1, Redundant)

Azaril (1046456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433230)

My karmas gonna take a hit but... How about a beowulf cluster?

Re:It has to be said... (0, Offtopic)

seededfury (699094) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433322)

why not come up with an original joke? that way you won't be so worried about taking a hit...

Re:It has to be said... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433600)

I don't think that was a joke...

Re:It has to be said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433604)

What's funny about this?

Re:It has to be said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433374)

I know this was said in jest, but if you have any interest in distributed computing or data center management it gives you an interesting opportunity to play around with a 10 computer cluster that isn't loud, hot, power intensive or space intensive. I'm sure they can all run Linux :)

Re:It has to be said... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433396)

I was going to say that too... No you won't be getting any supercomputer records but it would be fun. And all combined you may have some apps that run fairly good. Heck if you install it with a beowulf cluster already installed you may get more money from it.

I dare you... (5, Funny)

linuxpyro (680927) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433236)

...To try to get Vista running on one of them.

Then again setting yourself on fire would probably be a much more pleasant experience.

Puppy Linux! (4, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433242)

http://www.puppylinux.org/ [puppylinux.org]

Runs great on older systems. Just the thing to breathe new life into those old lappies.

Re:Puppy Linux! (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433402)

Antix, a low end mepis distro :D

Re:Puppy Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433644)

Quit feeding the trolls.

PS2 and PS3? (0)

CommieSmurf (1059186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433246)

You have multiple PS2s and PS3s? Use them to host your own video game console LAN Party of course.

Re:PS2 and PS3? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433584)

And you can install Linux on them too. Insert Beowulf cluster joke here--->

Office space style (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433256)

I'll deal with it office space style :-)

basic services (5, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433262)

I use old laptops for things like serving up web pages, running an FTP site, portable web-cam host, print server, file server, repeater, router or whatever other services where a power efficient, portable computer can be used. If you have it set up to run a single service or two, then performance is not going to be that big of an issue.

For a web server, for example. I install a low-overhead Linux distro with Apache, ssh and maybe vnc and copy my www directory to it. BAM! Web server! It uses less power than any of my PC's, and it allows me to reboot my "real" machine without taking the web page down.

folding@home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433274)

folding@home

Laptops consume way less power than desktops for the same amount of processing. So it's a very efficient way of doing batch proccesses.

Catholic Priests Love Free Porn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433278)

Do what I do: Load them with porn from places like Tube8 [tube8.com] and donate them to your local Catholic Priest, he'll thank you for it.

Send them to me. (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433280)

Send them to me. I'll find a use for them. Hell, I'll pay your shipping.

Imagine... (-1, Redundant)

sjhs (453964) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433294)

A Beowulf cluster!

If they are Dell laptops (2, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433296)

Then Dell offers a free recyling program.

If not Dell, but they are a major manufacturer then try contacing them to see if they also recycle.

I know this is not a creative use, but whats the point of having old hardware lying around if it they have "various problems with power supplies and/or batteries"

Give 'em away? (4, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433298)

Since OLPC seems to be voiding its own warranty, after a manner of speaking, why not stick an older Linux distro on them, like RH 7 or so, and give 'em away to some local kids who are into sci/tech but maybe don't have a lot of money?

I'm sure that relevant teachers at the local high school or something might be able to hook you up with the right kind of kids, and you maybe could get a tax deduction out of it, even if they required a tad bit of work on the power supplies or batteries I'm sure you'd still come out ahead, even if only morally.

Install Linux and give away on freecycle.org (5, Informative)

dajozz (306724) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433304)

There are many folks that would really benefit from a computer with an productivity suite and Internet capabilities. Install linux and open office then give away on freecycle.org. Caveat that there is no support available.

Donate them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433308)

What about trying to get them to work the best you can, install a light Ubuntu and a bunch of apps (Open Office, Gimp, etc) and give them away for district school?
There could be some people that may get good use of them.

Freecycle (2, Informative)

shic (309152) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433310)

http://www.freecycle.org/ [freecycle.org]

PC Load Letter? (0, Redundant)

EmGooser (1170601) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433312)

You could go office space on their synthetic asses. Baseball Bat, throw in a dash of anger issues and you got a party :). PC Load Letter THAT!

Let me get this out of the way (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433320)

No, you can't re-use the screens as monitors for your desktop PC. At least not in an effective way, ie it will cost you far less in time and aggravation to simply buy a new LCD monitor. They are quite reasonably priced.

Re:Let me get this out of the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433448)

No, you can't re-use the screens as monitors for your desktop PC
X server?

Use them (4, Insightful)

masdog (794316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433326)

I realize that you have already have a number of computers to play around with, but why not use these? Even if they are old and slow, they will still run Linux (or Windows 2000/XP/2003 if you prefer, just not as well). It will also save you a little on your monthly power bill.

Or you could ship a good one to me. I'll give it a very good home.

Low-power server? (4, Interesting)

stokes (148512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433340)

I use a Kurobox (266MHz PowerPC w/ 128MB RAM) running TorrentFlux as a Bittorrent server; it functions remarkably well. I'm sure those laptops are at least as powerful as that.

Configure it as a router (1)

Tangamandapiano (1087091) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433354)

Power consumption isn't so high as in a Desktop PC, and you can put some firmware inside it with much more functionality that you would get from those cheap routers around.

Thin clients (1)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433366)

Set one up as an LTSP server, and run the others as thin clients. Not for any reason, just because you can.

Recycle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433368)

I work for a recycling company and we buy this kind of material for about 10-30 cents a pound.

All of this is silly (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433384)

They CAN be useful. My P2/350mhz/256 ram/ runs Debian, everything works, and goes with my while on the road. I have a wireless card, and it browses the internet, plays audio, and Galaga well. What more could you ask for? Who in the world would swipe it out of your hotel room? I leave it at the command prompt login, run no login window manager, the cleaning lady will be baffled beyond belief if she opened it to look. It is a great traveling companion. If it goes missing, no big investment either.

And it was fun to get working! How many people get the IBM Thinkpad 600e sound working? That was a real challenge, but it is working!

Shoot them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433394)

Shooting them is fun. Remove the battery first..

Check your facts (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433400)

I would check ebay prices (final selling prices, not mid-auction bids) because I'm surprised you don't think they'd be worth the price of shipping. My experience is that used working laptops have surprisingly high prices because many people know they just need something simple for doing schoolwork etc. I mean, look at this [yahoo.net] (then again maybe those guys are just crazy - $930!!??). Linux should run great on those laptops. P3's in particular really are not bad computers and might even have a DVD reader.

Land Fill (2, Funny)

bushboy (112290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433408)

Dig a big hole in your yard, throw them in and cover it over again.

It works for big business, so it should work for you too.

Re:Land Fill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433472)

You don't do it on your own yard you fool. You do it on some nice local park or sandbox and let the kids deal with the fallout.

Give it to someone less lucky than you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433410)

Maybe someone may find a usage of this computer, think about just giving it away
(and don t listen to morons suggesting to pollute a little more our planet by wasting gasoline and melted plastic all around...)

Consoles or terminals (3, Interesting)

pyrr (1170465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433414)

Most laptops fit easily in racks, and can be used either as consoles or VNC terminals. They can basically function as the poor man's rack KVM and display & I/O tray. Another thing more relevant to the first use is that OLD laptops still mostly have real serial ports and all, whereas those are getting harder and harder to find on new laptops.

Distributed Torrent-net (2, Interesting)

netsavior (627338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433432)

Autoconfig, extended range wireless adaptors, bittorrent 24x7 from every network you can get connected to; you know, for the children.

on a more serious note, I used to work at a place where we were required to take "retired" laptops to the dumpster, somehow they ended up in the trunk of my car more often than not...
NaNoWriMo [nanowrimo.org] (national novel writing month) runs a laptop loaner program, where people without regular access to a computer can borrow one for a month for free in order to write a novel. It isn't exactly charity, but self-motivated intellectual persuits need all the support they can muster in our society. Most of the laptop loaners work fine but the batteries are shot (aka most used laptops).

I have "fixed up" (clean install with no bricking garbage on it) several and given them to family members at various times.

I have installed one with win2k+remote desktop client and NOTHING else so I could VPN + Remote in to our wintel machines at work without having to worry about work's big brother software locking me out because I have skype installed...

Finally, you could work on some decorative case mods, such as a Steampunk Laptop [wired.com]

Sell on Ebay for parts (2, Informative)

sricetx (806767) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433436)

Just sell them on Ebay as spare parts. The buyer can cover your shipping costs, so that's a non-issue. Depending on the model, the LCD itself is probably worth at least $50 so you will probably get plenty of bids.

The answer is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433440)

A beowulf cluster!!!!

Myth Frontend (4, Insightful)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433442)

Front end for a myth box... most laptops have one or more video outputs, are quiet, small, and energy efficient!

Skeet Shooting (5, Funny)

hbean (144582) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433450)

PULL!

mythtv-guest (1)

sabatorg (1279426) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433454)

I have a mythtv server at the house with one guest in the master bedroom. The server stores all of the content, and the guests can stream video and decode on the fly. Older laptops make perfect guests because most of them already have svideo/composite out and they are extreamly small. I have a p3 800 SFF with 512 megs of memory and a crappy video card and it plays h264 over the wire flawlessly, FF/RR no problem either.

Recycling Ideas (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433466)

1. Take the hard drives out and stick them in a USB Shell [fonerbooks.com] . Voila, instant backup/portable storage solution!

2. Take the memory chips and sell them on ebay as upgrades.

3. Rip the screens out and use them to create a Head Mounted Display in your home Virtual Reality project. (Yay for 90's thinking! ;-))

4. Unsolder the parts and use them for home hardware projects.

5. I'm running out of ideas. Maybe use the shell to stuff something geeky inside? Like a Commodore 64 Laptop [proboards19.com] ?

6. Last but not least, cobble the best and/or compatible parts together to create one or two functional laptops. Load an OS in development (e.g. JNode [jnode.org] ) and use it for portable Operating System development. Alternatively, use it for an educational experience by building Linux from Scratch [linuxfromscratch.org] .

Take them to U.S. Customs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433478)

Take them to the airport and give them to customs. The court did say that customs has to right to take them.

Shoot them all! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433484)

Now's your chance to break out your favorite shotgun or rifle. Line them up and blast away. But make a video of the whole thing and post it on youtube so we can see it. Everyone likes watching things blow up.

Mutiple monitor wall kinda like at BestBuy (1)

UberHoser (868520) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433492)

Strip the monitors out, and hang em up on the wall. Volia !

Send them overseas! (1)

frohro (1151353) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433494)

Find a friend who is going overseas, and send them to someone in Africa or Asia whose income is so low that they will be a real blessing. This works especially well with students overseas, as they are willing to learn something new like a computer. Laptops are light relatively and so make prime candidates for this. If you don't have contacts who do this kind of thing, a good place to start is your local church, especially ones that are mission oriented. Kudos for seeking to find a way to recycle those old computers.

Null modem cables? Any ideas how to start? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433498)

My employer just dumped several ancient laptops, ranging from a Pentium 75 to a Pentium III. I have no troubles finding uses for them, but I am having problems trying to network the ones that do not have network cards. Most only have a floppy drive or CD drive, but not both, making it difficult to do much.

Anyway to the point, I have tried using Windows 95's Direct Cable Connection to transfer files, but I am not sure if I have the right cables to do the job. I have tons of null modem adapters for serial and parallel ports, but I just need the right cables, I think.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

I also want to transfer Windows 98 or 2000 to another laptop via these null modem cables as well, since one laptop is more than powerful enough to run either, but lacks a current OS and lacks a CD-ROM drive.

Thanks to anyone who can help out, or even provide a good URL online.

Part them out... (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433500)

If you don't think that selling them outright would be worth your money, than tear them down to their most significant brand/model specific parts, and sell those through your favorite auction site. I've seen parts for my 5 year-old P4 laptop going for non-trivial prices.

Take them outside for a change. (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433504)

I'd treat them to a nice day at the rifle range.

Re:Take them outside for a change. (2, Funny)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433612)

I'd treat them to a nice day at the rifle range.
But laptops don't have fingers. I don't get it.

Replace the batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433510)

Depends on the model of laptop. Some makers have good support for replacement batteries - others don't.

Generally speaking, the Thinkpad line of laptops have replacement batteries available, if you know where to look.

Here in Japan, I can order aftermarket batteries from an online retailer, and I recently got a new one for a Thinkpad X31, threw Ubuntu on it, updated the memory and drive - it's a fresh machine again!

Donate: School or senior citizens (1)

Ztyx (604412) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433516)

I'd either give it to a school, my grandparents who are far away or to some other senoir citizen. Installed with Linux of course.

Donate to ACCRC (2, Informative)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433522)

We have an excellent organization in the San Francisco Bay Area http://www.accrc.org/ [accrc.org] run by a bunch of Linux geeks that takes anything you can plug in and finds the best use for it. I've always donated in person as I live just a few miles away, but their web site has info for out-of-state donations.

Schools (1)

maino82 (851720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433526)

My company gives me old computers like that every now and again and I try and rehab them and donate them to schools. Most school districts will jump at the chance to get free computers and it's a good way to keep them out of the dump and put them to good use. Some of them are very responsive to putting something like Edubuntu on them, but it's extremely dependent on the IT department you're dealing with.

Why acquire old junk? (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433530)

I don't understand the point of "acquiring" them in the first place, let alone having 10 other computers lying around. Let old, useless junk lie.

coasters (3, Funny)

easyEmu (977903) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433532)

Use them as coasters.

Air Force (4, Funny)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433552)

I hear the air force is looking for some computers for a Bot Net

Free Cycle (2, Informative)

lazy-ninja (1061312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433560)

www.freecycle.org Give them to those that want. If you are feeling nice install a nice clean XP image (if they have a sticker for it) or install Ubuntu and tweak it to run well on old hardware for them.

Give them away! (1)

consonant (896763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433570)

What do you want them for? Give them away no strings attached to your nearest youth center, or even public school. Let them know what the assorted problems are, and let them deal with it.

If you have the time, you could even help in refurbishing these laptops with a decent baseline Slackware (or some such) install. If not, put them in touch with someone who has the necessary werewithal.

This is a win-win - you get rid of unused hardware cluttering up your living space, and the recipients gain access to potentially valuable learning tools. The Linux gospel spreads, people learn, and everybody is better off on the whole. There, now doesn't that give you a warm, fuzzy feeling?? :D

Give them to seniors in Abbeyfield Houses (1)

dixonpete (1267776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433574)

Abbeyfield is big in the UK and Canada. I'd say put Linux on them and contact a local board and see if you can get them into the hands of residents. I suggest Abbeyfield because generally their residents are clear-headed and independent. I'm sure many would be grateful for an Internet-able laptop, no matter how lowly.

Some ideas (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433576)

  • Turn it into a cluster.
  • Disconnect the screens, place them in a new sort of case (so they don't have that much border) and turn it into a wall display.
  • Give them away to a school

Use around the house? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433594)

Install Ubuntu, and install them around the house, you as picture frames, weather reporters, etc. Perhaps have one in the kitchen to view recipes online? Media centers?

There are a TON of things to do.

Space heaters (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433602)

Oh, wait. You said P2/P3s. Oh well, you could have had a real nice heater if they were P4s.
I'd say either try to recycle them (at a cost to you), donate them (at a small or no cost to you), use them to run some sort of distributed computing program (some sort of @home thing), for the ones that do run. Or just pull an office space and take out some aggression on them. Good luck.

Damn Small Linux (1)

emotionus (657937) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433608)

use a small distro like Damn Small Linux, which has open office, and find someone to donate it too. Ask your local high school technology teacher.

what i would do (5, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433610)

i would take old laptops, install Linux on it with a bittorrent client, load it with lots of mp3 & mpeg files that make the MPAA & RIAA really angry and find a good wifi hotspot and plug the AC adapter to a spare outlet and abandon it, (be sure to wipe any fingerprints off beforehand)...

naughty niggers need love too (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433624)

Forget about laptops, I need a gay nigger to fuck my ass till I can't use it anymore, I want to cum so hard I see gay niggers floating in space...

fuck my shit up..

fuck my ass till its useless

fuck me i need nigger cock

Home-brew Integrated house controls (3, Interesting)

bamwham (1211702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433626)

Use them as control terminals (one for each room, maybe in the wall somewhere) and servers for your houses living controls: thermostat, phone, tv, music, lighting, and maybe some web-cams and other security features, to name the big ones I'd want.

Donating Old Machines and Laptops (1)

file_reaper (1290016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433634)

There is a non profit organization named reBoot in Canada that takes old machines, cleans them and donates them to various community centers and other non-profit organizations that are in need of computers. This is their website, they have a few locations across the country. It's a nice place, I did my volunteer hours there. If you have old machines that you need to get rid of, perhaps try here before igniting them or going "Office Space" on them. :P Last I checked they like it if you have a many systems of the same model, it makes it easier for them to give support for them. If you're a company that needs to get rid of a whole set of machines, I think reBoot can help. Best to call them before though. cheers, file_reaper

Distributed Computing (1)

Artuir (1226648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433638)

Sure, they're not fast machines but if you can get some form of Linux on those things and install BOINC, you're in business. I'd be running Seti@home on all of them just to piss off all the self-righteous, hypocritical folding@home think-of-the-children wankers.

More avenues for putting them to good use (Philly) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433646)

Here in Philly, we've got Nonprofit Technology Resources that will gladly take them off your hands, fix 'em up, and give 'em for really cheap to folks who could use them.

http://ntronline.org/

Yet another donation idea... (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433648)

Cheap laptops are a dime a dozen, but use them to make a statement.

Install Ubuntu or some other Linux system on them. Make sure they are configured and work. Try them out in several wifi sites like Starbucks or what ever.

Make SURE THEY WORK!!! Make sure they surf, can get email, word process, etc.

Make a small booklet of your configuration options and user passwords, etc. Make sure they have no personal data on them. Leave them, booklet, power supply, etc. in a public library with a note that says "Free and enjoy."

how about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23433654)

the wall-o-flat screens... be tons of fun to play team fortress 2 on that...

Freenet nodes! (4, Interesting)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433662)

Install Freenet 0.7 [freenetproject.org] , give it a small bandwidth allotment and a huge datastore, hook it up to your router, and keep it running. You'll be helping people all over the world to communicate securely and anonymously.

How about Craigslist? (1)

mr_resident (222932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23433688)

I had a similar situation - years of accumulated "experimental" gear and not enough space. I posted on Craigslist, a couple of locals came, paid me and hauled it all away. No shipping costs.
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