Sunday, April 26, 2009

Recycling old computers

I have an old PIII at home with 256Mb Ram and a 20Gb hard disk. Graphics is nothing to write home about and it will not support Vista or KDE 4.2.

I know there are many, many blog posts on the internet that discuss this so I will simply add to the general wash.

Ubuntu Server:
  • File server with samba
  • Apache webserver with ( free dynamic IP to Domain Name resolution ) - This can be useful if you are a freelance website designer / programmer and you need to publish draft websites for your clients prior to going live.
Xbuntu Desktop:
  • Install Childsplay - a very basic suite of games that are designed to develop mouse and keyboard familiarisation in a fun and easy to understand environment. - In fedora this was just as simple as, "yum install childsplay"
  • Install the Mame Emulator and download roms for some of those neat and safe for kids arcade games that you played in the 80's at your local cornershop or arcade.
  • If you have an XBOX controller - install the drivers for the XBOX and purchase an adaptor for the controller to plug into your USB. Then those mame arcade games start to look more appealing.
Windows XP ( If you have it ):
  • Childsplay is available for both Windows and Linux so get the windows version up and running.
  • Get Mame32 installed and the XBox controller drivers. My XBOX Gamepad to USB adapter came with a disk with drivers to install for XP.
  • Head down to noel leeming and buy some kids games. They don't need anything more than a 75mhz PC and 64mb ram. They are still fun to play and will keep your kids occupied.
  • Windows XP can also be used for accounting software if you have a small business - Cashbook Complete for example.

I am sure there are folks around who have loads of other suggestions but these are the ones I have tried / thought about.

I know this has always been a linux related blog, and this small bit on Windows does seem out of charicter. The reality of it is that even though I use linux exclusively at home, my family do not...

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