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Interesting Uses for an Old Laptop

If you happen to have an older laptop lying around, there are plenty of productive uses for it.  Besides donating it, recycling it, or selling it; there are many productive uses for your old machine, assuming it still powers up.

Home Server or Home Theatre PC.  Depending on if the hard drive in your laptop is any good, you may still be able to use it for its hard drive.  Stream content from the internet to your TV, store movies and music, and check your email.  If you want to be able to stream HD content to your computer, you might want to consider purchasing a low-end graphics card for your old computer with HDMI output.  These cards can be surprisingly inexpensive, and are usually quite affordable.  Older computers can still usually play a HD movie, and virtually all of them can play music.  If the hard drive on your old laptop is too small, considering using a portable hard drive.  You can buy a 1TB external hard drive nowadays for under $100.

Print Server.  If you have an older printer that is not Wi-Fi ready, considering keeping an older laptop nearby.  Assuming the laptop has Wi-Fi, this will give you the capability to print from anywhere in your house.  As an added bonus you can set up a home server just for printing, scanning, emailing or faxing documents with the laptop right nearby to make changes.

Guest computer.  Most laptops, no matter how old can still browse the internet, check email, do word processing, and display pictures.  Consider setting up your old laptop in a common area in your house for anyone to use.

Music.  Nowadays with satellite radio and most radio stations on the web anyhow, consider setting up a music laptop in a common area.  This laptop can play content all day long when hooked up to a speaker.  Stream your favorite radio station, favorite playlists, or pull up YouTube to play a random song that you can’t get out of your head.

Torrent Server.  If you are into torrents, consider setting an always connected torrent server.  This server can stay continuously connected to seed and download torrents; just ensure you connect an external hard drive if you have a small one on your laptop.

Picture Frame.  Set up a slide loop of pictures for your laptop constantly display.  Any computer procured for any of the above reasons can also do double duty as an electronic picture frame; just set it up as a screen saver.