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tezer
November 1st, 2008, 05:45 PM
Hello.

I've got a desktop (Mint) and a laptop (Xubuntu), my wife uses a laptop with Vista. All computers are connected to internet via a router.
But I also have another desktop (Intel Xeon 2.4, 2 G memory, 80 G hdd), which I don't use now. Could you suggest some nice ways of using it?
I'd appreciate if not just name a solution, but also explain why you think it's a good way to use the machine.

Thanks in advance.

lukjad007
November 1st, 2008, 06:06 PM
Well, it depends on what you want. If you want, you can make it a server. Or, you could make it your multimedia Computer and watch movies and play games on it. Or, it could work as a firewall. Do you have a preference?

tezer
November 1st, 2008, 06:23 PM
Well, it depends on what you want. If you want, you can make it a server. Or, you could make it your multimedia Computer and watch movies and play games on it. Or, it could work as a firewall. Do you have a preference?

Well, a good question. It's not for gaming - the video card is rather slow (an old AGP ATI) and I am not a big gamer. Also I can't see the reason in turning a whole computer into a multimedia station: I can see films either on my laptop or on my desktop (and I don't do it too often)...
As for firewall, I am also a little bit confused - Linux has firewall, doesn't it? Why should I have another one?

Any other ways to use a desktop?

chucky chuckaluck
November 1st, 2008, 06:28 PM
i'm using an old monitor to block an attic door, to keep my cats out of there. sounds like you don't really have a need for it. you could always donate it to someone who needs a computer, or use it for trying out other distros, bsds, whatever.

Grant A.
November 1st, 2008, 06:29 PM
IMHO you should load Ubuntu Server Edition on it.

blackened
November 1st, 2008, 06:36 PM
Add some large HDs and make it into a fileserver. That way you can avoid storing large multimedia files on your local drives. You could also store data backups from your other pcs to it.

tezer
November 1st, 2008, 06:40 PM
IMHO you should load Ubuntu Server Edition on it.

What for?

cdtech
November 1st, 2008, 06:43 PM
As for firewall, I am also a little bit confused - Linux has firewall, doesn't it? Why should I have another one?

Any other ways to use a desktop?

The Netfilter organization created a product called iptables which is used for packet inspection, MAC filtering, NAT ect..ect...

There are many front ends to configure "iptables" on your linux box. Using a box specifically set up for a firewall gives you the ability to configure all the above for every computer on the entire intrenet.

I use my spare computer as a router/gateway, file server, firewall and as well a web server. If you want to play around with Linux then this is a great opportunity for you (having the spare computer).

Hope this helps ya.....

GOOD LUCK!!

tezer
November 1st, 2008, 06:44 PM
sounds like you don't really have a need for it.

It may sound this way just because I simply don't know how I can use it. To find out if I really need / don't need it I should first have a clear idea how it can be used.

Joeb454
November 1st, 2008, 06:45 PM
Maybe sell it if you don't need it?

kernelhaxor
November 1st, 2008, 06:48 PM
Looksl like you really don't have a need for it. If I were you, I would just sell it. That way you would be saving a lot of electricity too, those Xeons do need a lot of power.
Just having spare computers around with no purpose doesn't make sense to me, but thats just me.

tezer
November 1st, 2008, 06:55 PM
I know I can sell/donate/destroy my spare computer or keep cats away by blocking a door with it. But my question is if there are other ways of using it which I don't know or don't understand properly (thus don't consider).

FuturePilot
November 1st, 2008, 07:15 PM
IMHO you should load Ubuntu Server Edition on it.


What for?

There's a lot of things you can do with a server. You could set up NFS and/or Samba and share files between your other computers. Although you don't necessarily need a dedicated server for that it's nice to have one. You can play around with Apache and other web stuff. You can use it for backups. The possibilities are endless. There's a ton of stuff you can do with a server.

artir
November 1st, 2008, 07:22 PM
You can set up your private dropbox with custom scripts and some php voodoo

cdtech
November 1st, 2008, 07:31 PM
I know I can sell/donate/destroy my spare computer or keep cats away by blocking a door with it. But my question is if there are other ways of using it which I don't know or don't understand properly (thus don't consider).

A server is just that:
a computer dedicated to providing one or more services over a computer network
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_server

Servers have many uses, such as providing a central point to share files, videos or pictures. This is what "Samba" is used for and can be accessed from a Windows or a Linux box.

You could use it as a firewall: allowing access from only known MAC or IP addresses. This is where "IPTables" is used (block unwanted sites and filter).

You could use it as a "Web Server" by setting up Apache and using your IP provided ip address to access it from outside your intrenet (use as a central point for family and friends to share photos).

You could use the spare computer for backing up valued data from all of your computers in your home.

lukjad007
November 1st, 2008, 07:52 PM
Also, if your hobby is security, you can use that as your test box. Secure it, then try to break into it. Then learn from your mistakes and start again. Then again, maybe this is a little high level for you.

Along the same lines, you could do as someone mentioned and use it as your test box. Try out a bunch of Distros on it and see how you like them.

Break the system then fix it.

Take it apart and put it back together.

Just a few ideas. ;)

oldsoundguy
November 1st, 2008, 08:00 PM
Get a KVM switch (so you can use the same keboard/video/mouse)(not expensive on eBay) and set it up next to one of your other machines .. use it as a crash test dummy. Load stuff on it and see if it works before you make up your mind to put the items on a working .. and needed .. machine. I have one such set up! Mint Elyssa is on it right now, but that will change as I test some builds.

ankursethi
November 1st, 2008, 08:17 PM
Install Gentoo on it. If you don't manage to kill yourself while doing so, try building Linux From Scratch on it. If you survive even that, buy yourself a shirt which says "GOD" and start a cult.

Or you could buy 4 USB game pads and turn it into a MAME cabinet.

elmer_42
November 1st, 2008, 08:30 PM
I second the vote for MAME cabinet. An IPTV show I watch made (and documented making) one. You can see the episode where they finished it up here (http://www.hak5.org/episodes/hak5-episode-5-released).

kerry_s
November 1st, 2008, 08:43 PM
well since your asking you most likely need practice, why not turn it into a test rig?
you can try different distro's on it.
learn to compile programs.
practice building a custom kernel.
do a base up build, aka: custom linux install.
you got good enough specs, you can put a os you like and virtualbox, then use virtualbox to mess around.

cdtech
November 2nd, 2008, 01:45 AM
install gentoo on it. If you don't manage to kill yourself while doing so, try building linux from scratch on it. If you survive even that, buy yourself a shirt which says "god" and start a cult.

Or you could buy 4 usb game pads and turn it into a mame cabinet.

lol!

steveneddy
November 2nd, 2008, 01:58 AM
add some large hds and make it into a fileserver. That way you can avoid storing large multimedia files on your local drives. You could also store data backups from your other pcs to it.

+1