Friday, August 15, 2008

New Used Laptop

As it turns out, I'm going to be inheriting someone's laptop this weekend. This makes three computers for a household of two. The question is: what do I do with it? I'm thinking that I'll format the hard disk and turn it into a Linux machine. I'll then dedicate it purely to internet and minor word processing. Hopefully, the newly uncluttered hard disk will keep the computer fast.

I was previously thinking about doing the same to one of the two laptops that we already have, but I was too lazy to sort through and back up the data on the hard disk. Now I can completely bypass that potential hassle by working on computer #3.

Before going through with any of this, does anyone have any other suggestions of what I can do with a potentially creaky computer? Am I getting the most out of the computer with a format/Linux install?


hcduvall said...

Some folks like to set up a dvr device with their extra computers, though that's probably not the best option for a laptop. If you're set on keeping it, buy some RAM and install either Linux or just a plain clean install of the old OS should be enough to make it a workstation.

Myself, I'm buying a new desktop in a couple of days and need to decide on what to do with a 7-year-old desktop that still runs well enough It's getting a clean install, no matter what.

Chengora said... you have a wireless router? We currently have 3 computers as well, and my desktop is our de facto server. You could do that with the laptop, although it might be a little clunky. With a wireless connection, there are some new technologies out there for beaming pictures, songs between rooms.

I was going to suggest DVR, but then you'd need to have a TV tuner/recorder, which most laptops don't have.

But there's always a niche for a re-jiggered netbook, so you can't really go wrong.

hcduvall said...

Ha, how about this..want to trade old computers?


Jonny America said...

Seriously? Maybe you should see it first. I'd probably take the desktop if you are serious.

Chengora said...

If you're looking to add yet another computer to your collection, I've got a shell of one stored in my parent's house. It needs a new hard drive and DVD player, but other than that, it's good to go.

Jonny America said...

Thanks for the offer chengora. We actually don't need a computer right now-- we have two already-- I was just randomly offered this third one and I jumped at the change to experiment with it. I just burned a copy of Puppy Linux and I'll install it tonight. I'll tell you how it goes.

Also, I discovered that the original owner completely wiped out the hard drive. No OS, no nothing. Kind of weird, huh? I guess there was some really private stuff on it.

HoBs said...

heh. i have the rotting carcasses of 3 laptops somewhere. (i used to have a couple desktops but I think I finally recycled them before moving across country). these laptops range in age from 5 to 10 years old. the first two (ancient thinkpad and ancient dell latitude), I did the linux install thing, but never really used them for anything. the 3rd (nice 3 lb dell but with dead battery, and only occasionally working ac adapter), i didn't even bother.

so yeah, if you guys come up with any good ideas, i'd be interested.