Suggestions Needed: How to use a second/extra computer system

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by InfinityAz, Feb 1, 2007.

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  1. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

    Jul 23, 2005
    Later this year I will be building a new system. This leaves me with my existing system and what use I can put it to.

    I'm trying to think of what I can use a second desktop computer for; if i can't come up with a good use, I'll donate the computer (along with a CRT and laser printer) to charity. Actually, I'm going to donate the CRT and printer to charity no matter what I do with the computer.

    Here are the system specs:

    Tower case, ample power supply, fans, etc.
    AMD Athlon XP 2800+
    1GB RAM
    Dual-layer DVD+/-RW drive
    80GB EIDE hard disk
    200GB EIDE hard disk
    Audigy 2 ZS sound card
    ATI X800XL 256MB AGP graphics card (if I donate the system to charity, I'll remove this and replace it with a GeForce 4400TI)

    Do you have any suggestions or advice on possible uses of this soon to be secondary computer system? This can include worthy charities or organizations to donate it to.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Pinga

    Pinga Registered Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    TechSoup is a technology portal for the non-profit community. Its mission is to provide technology information and advice to non-profit organisations and to provide access to low-cost technology tools, assistance and training. They have compiled a comprehensive body of information to promote computer recycling and reuse:
  3. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

    Mar 28, 2006
    Donating to charity is very admirable.:thumb: A school or club would be appreciative for equipment as well for needy kids.
    As for a good use for you how about turning the PC into a firewall with intrusion detection, see below. Or a server, web or file so not to clutter the new PC...a home network would be a good idea.
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Sep 20, 2003
    Depends on what you are doing with the primary computer. I have two computers here. Some times I have someone working so we are doing different things. That would not be totally necessary. Also the two computers serve as a backup to each other as each can do all the business functions(requires duplicating software).

  5. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

    Apr 10, 2005
    It's a good idea to have a second computer in case the main computer goes belly up, at least for getting on teInternet to seek help and recieve/send email.

    Also, if you network the computers, you can keep your less used/older files on the older computer.
  6. screamer

    screamer Registered Member

    Apr 14, 2006
    Big Apple USA
    I ran into this same issue last year. Although I have a 4 box network, I would wind up w/ 5 boxes after my new purchase. I turned the "old" main box into a NAS. It also now runs 24/7 to internet D/L'ng movies via Shareaza to an external hdd. The internal hdd still acts as NAS. This way there's no major internet slowdown on any of the other boxes. All D/L'd files are on the external hdd ready for virus scan / defrag.

    It's honorable that you would consider donating, but think about what you can do w/ this unit "prior" to giving it up.
  7. nei1

    nei1 Registered Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    Me too. When I got the message on my monitor "Can't find NTLDR," after the BIOS bootup but before the operating system started (which it never did, ever again), I could really have used a 2nd computer to get onto the internet and figure out what to do.

    A 2nd computer is also a good opportunity to add a router to your system. You'll learn a little bit about networking, which you can put on your resume. Since adding a router to your system moves your web-wide IP address to the router, and the computer gets an inaccessible local-IP address (accessible only by the router), the router also acts as a hardware firewall. Therefore, nefarious port-probes to your web-wide IP address will stop at your router instead of hitting up your computer.

    Finally, a 2.8 GHz computer is a heck of a gift. (Where do you upgrade from there?) Here's how you can give it and keep it, too: Use it for a Distributed Computing Project. "Boinc" has a choice of projects you may sign up with, including plus a bunch of medical-research projects. There are more distributed-computing projects that aren't attached to Boinc. Written in "low-priority-CPU-usage-mode," they just sit there and use any clock cycles that the user doesn't use. My killer 1.4 GHz Celeron keeps humming along at 100%, although the program's preferences can be set for lower usage; I never tried that. When my computer runs slow, I've tried snoozing the project, but it doesn't help -- a peek at the Task Manager (TaskInfo v.7) shows that the project is already down to 0% cpu usage. Now, I'm off topic, but my point is that it doesn't hurt to run 'em.

    Involvement in distributed computing projects was my inroads to learning about computer innards. Since you get more "credit" for more work, there's an inclination to learn about how to get "work units" done faster. Networking a 2nd computer is certainly one option.

    My semi-annual Wilder visit. Thanks.

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