If you’re as lucky as I am, you have a whole stash of useless, broken laptops that did not live up to your expectations. Heating up so badly that your fingertips burn when you type, going all black on you because it can – there’s no end to the whims that only laptops know to do so well.
This year, I pledged to be more productive and creative than last year, so what better way is there to start than by finding some uses for my old computers—they can’t be completely useless!
Giving it one last try
After your anger and frustration for it letting you down once more, you decided to just get over it and buy a new computer. But now, a year later and a bit wiser, you’re open to trying these possible solutions to bring your old computer back to life:
- Format, Then Install The Latest Software. If your computer was more than 3 years old, things definitely got a little out of date. Take the computer to tech support and ask them to format it, something that often breathes new life into a system. Don’t forget to ask them to install the latest version of your favorite software. If you’re one of those people who stubbornly refuse new updates, there’s a good chance your computer was so slow because you still had that speed reading software version from 3 years ago!
- Create A Home File Server. Even if you refuse to use your old computer to work on, you can still utilize it as your extra backup space. You can send all your files to the computer through a file sharing network for added security. Other uses you can put your old computer to are downloading torrents, or as your home entertainment storage device, or a media ripping system for turning movies and music into dvds and audio CDs.
Even though your computer might be useless to you, it might have something valuable to someone else. Advertise and prepare to sell your once beloved, late-night buddy cheap. Because, hard as it is to admit, no one is going to pay a lot for outdated parts.
Do the Good Deed
People work hard for you and me to have access to great open source software and apps (think Mozilla Firefox, WordPress, Open Office). Why not give something back? Distributed computing networks are always looking for volunteers willing to share some of their otherwise-unused Internet connection time. Search for a project whose cause you like and give them part of your connection though your outdated computer.
See who’d benefit most of your old laptop. Maybe you have a niece who could use it as an educational gadget for improving her speed reading skills. What about your aunt who’d like to use it for Skyping with her Amsterdam-based son who’s studying Physics?
Be brave and say your goodbyes. You had a good run together, but now your ways need to part. But don’t throw your computer away – recycle it! If you can’t find the location in your neighborhood where they recycle computers and laptops, go to an electronics store to ask for information; they might actually have a recycling program themselves.