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Don't throw away that old PC: How to put that old computer to good use

Old Computers ready to retire, or are they?
Old Computers ready to retire, or are they?
oregliv - Wikimedia Commons

When you decide to upgrade to a new computer it can be hard to figure out what to do with your old one. Unfortunately most old computers are stuck in the bedroom cupboard or garage, but there may be a use for it yet. Here are five top tips on how to keep that PC out of garage, and turn it into a solid work horse.

Home Entertainment

That old computer that you just packed into a dark closet is probably still powerful enough to serve as a home media center. It is a piece of cake to hook that old computer up to your home theater system, it would just require a line out cable from the computer to a line in on your receiver or stereo. You could then play your music straight from your computer through your big, powerful speakers. Taking things a step further, you could connect your old computer to your HDTV (depending on connections available) and watch all of your favorite YouTube videos, stream Netflix, or browse the web from your recliner.

Curious about Linux

Many Windows users have wondered about Linux but have been to worried to install it on their Windows based machines. Before that old PC sees your garage you should install Ubuntu, or another variant of Linux on to it so that you can experiment with the free software. Ubuntu is easy to download and install, and it is completely free. You will be surprised how easy Ubuntu is to use, and you will no longer have to worry about missing out on trying a Linux based operating system.

Make a network storage device

If you have a ton of music, lots of video, and pictures that you want to access remotely, then turning your old PC into a network storage device is a great idea. If you have a network device such as a XBOX 360, XBOX One, a PS3, PS4 a Roku, or Apple TV, you can access all of your personal media through those devices as long as that old PC is connected to the same network as those devices. You can even access all of your media while you are traveling away from home if you go as far as setting up a Plex media server. That's right, you could take all of your music, movies, pictures, and everything else on that computer with you, without physically taking any of it with you.

Give it to your kids

In all honesty you probably aren't too keen on the idea of your kids having their own computer simply because of the minefield that is the internet, but there are many programs you can download for free that will protect your kids from the internet nasties. Computers can be a great educational tool, and there are many websites that your kids can visit without you having to worry about them. Simply set up internet blocks so that your children cannot access certain content, and let them learn about the world around them safely through the power of the internet.

Donate to charity

If none of the above solutions sound good to you, you can always donate your old PC to charity. There are many organizations and families out there who do not have computers. Rather than sticking the PC in a garage, help out others by donating your old computer so that others can benefit from it.

These are just a few ideas on how you can put your old PC to good use after you upgrade to a newer model. If your old PC served you well, don't you think it deserves more from retirement than to be stuck next to boxes of old shoes? Refresh, recycle, and reuse that trusty old PC until it bites the dust for good.