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Thread: Ideas for an old PC

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Ideas for an old PC

    Hi, I've got an old PC laying around just waiting for new life to be breathed into it, and I'm looking for some ideas as to what to do with it.

    I've got a TV card which I can put in it and I think I'll install Mythbuntu so I can have it humming away as a back end. I was also thinking about making a home server to make my files accessible from anywhere. Also maybe a firewall between the internet and my other PC's.

    So yeah, those are a few, any more ideas would be great

    Oh, and it's a reasonable spec - something like 1.8 Ghz with 512 mb of RAM.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Ideas for an old PC

    Uh, that could easily be a normal home use computer with those specs...
    I have computers with 192MB of RAM and 400MHz processors that function fine for family and home use.
    2010 IBM Thinkpad 510, 4GB RAM, i5-540M, NVS 3100M

    Running Ubuntu 11.04

  3. #3
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    Re: Ideas for an old PC

    When I read the thread title, I thought you were looking for alternative uses (other than as a functioning computer)... something like this:


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    London
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    Xubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Re: Ideas for an old PC

    With a spec like that It seems a bit of a waste of the potential to use it as just a firewall.

    Since you've got a TV card how about commandeering it as an AV workstation to capture broadcasts and turn them into Avi's, MPEG2 etc?
    "Freedom means the right to choose" - Spartacus

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    My Room, Australia
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    Re: Ideas for an old PC

    Turn it into a Snes, N64? Both! If you like any old school games you could just install a few emulators.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Ideas for an old PC

    Make a MAME cabinet.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAME

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    334

    Re: Ideas for an old PC

    First, find some cheap VGA to TV box/card (box prefered). If you have some .avi (or whatever) movies from one computer, you could set up a network to stream the movie from computer A to computer-displayed-on-tv-B.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ideas for an old PC

    Thanks for the suggestions guys!

    I'll admit it is a pretty good spec machine just to go to waste but I've just built a new machine with a ridiculously higher spec

    Yeah, about the capturing movies stuff, that was where i wanted MythTV to come in. I've never used it (and correct me if I'm wrong) but if I set it up as a back end connected to the TV aerial in the lounge I'll be able to record programs/stream the TV live over the network? Ideally I'd like to be able to watch TV in my room but the signal just isn't good enough with an aerial there.

    Thanks for the emulator idea, Jim! I may well connect it up to my TV, grab an old controller and go mad. Oh and Chili Bob a MAME cabinet it a pretty big project! I'm a college student so I don't have alot of time on my hands at the moment - let alone money.

    What I think I'll do is, install Ubuntu, strip it down (no office suite, etc), then install a MythTV backend, get it up and running on the network, set up a few emulators, then look into making it into a server so I can share my files anywhere.

    Thanks guys! Any more suggestions are very welcome

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

    Re: Ideas for an old PC

    use mythbuntu instead of ubuntu might make your life easier.

    http://www.mythbuntu.org/
    Totally shifted to ubuntu. Making my girl friend to do the same.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    my path for an engagement ring.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Ideas for an old PC

    If you're going to use MythTV, Mythbuntu is probably your best bet. I couldn't get it to work in UbuntuStudio

    Here's a few things I'm working on:

    Jukebox PC: I keep this in my garage. It's an old P133 with 3 DVD Rom drives, USB2.0 and it's running DSL. I'm currently re-compiling the DVDs which will total over 2000 songs, and I've got some flash drives to fill up and plug in. In the future, I may connect it to my network and listen to music off other PCs in the house or stream from the internet. But I prefer choosing my own music

    I've also got a server (PII) which has 8 bays for drives and I want to turn it into a CD duplicator. I'm currently collecting the burners from thrift stores and garbage PCs. Doing up the software will be the hard part.

    I also have a laptop which I want as an all-DOS machine. I'm trying to get the USB to work so I can play music on it, but it's a bit of a goofy computer that's a bit tough to find support for. Unfortunately, I blew up my old 386 laptop which would have been a better machine to play with.
    What do tone deaf singers, floppy drive music, and an old woman dreaming about mashed rodents have in common? They're all on my blog! CHECK IT OUT

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