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Help me decide what to do with this old PC (Packard Bell)

SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
For the life of me, I can't remember if I've posted this before. If I have, then feel free to lock this.

Anyway, I've got an old PC lying around, a 1995/1996-era Packard Bell. I'm not 100% sure of the specs, but to the best of my recollection, they are:

166mhz
16/32mb ram (can't remember which)
32mb video card... voodoo I think, unless it was harvested since then.
Almost 1gb hard drive, split between two partitions.


Pic:
Spoiler:


Obviously, I haven't done anything with this for a while. I recently rediscovered it (well, a year or two ago) and decided to explore its contents. Not much, other than Microsoft Arcade and Return of the Arcade (badass).


I've considered donating this, but truthfully, I'm not sure how much good that would do. This thing is ancient, though it does have Windows 95 (with no backup disks that I can find), so... at least it's not Windows 3.1.

I've also considered doing something linux-related with it, though I can't think of any graphical OS other than maybe Puppy linux that would run on this thing, let alone apps. That's not even considering the fact that I don't know what I'd do with it anyway, as keeping it around as a server is probably not an option - not enough use would come of it to justify the power consumption.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm not going to destroy it, before anyone suggests that.

Seeks on
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Posts

  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    you could put a folding program on it, to help with that, or just recycle it since it's kinda super old.

    Monster Hunter Tri US: MoSiAc - U46FJF - Katrice | RipTen - Gaming News | Los Comics
  • bombardierbombardier mr. mully Vancouver, BCSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited January 2010
    Running a folding program on something that old and inefficient is not really worth the energy used. You'd be doing more good by not plugging it in in the first place. The only real use I would personally have for something like that would be to install a custom linux router software and two NICs, but even then, routers are so cheap and I'm not that hardcore. The hardware probably doesn't support large drives so a file server is out.

    I'd try and find a proper disposal company for it, really.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Junk the insides and add all new components. Amaze your friends with your cool retro PC.

  • bombardierbombardier mr. mully Vancouver, BCSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited January 2010
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Junk the insides and add all new components. Amaze your friends with your cool retro PC.

    I am going to burst your bubble by pointing out that it's probably an AT form factor case and won't fit new ATX boards.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    oh =(

    hmmmm

    mod it to fit an ATX Board .... maybe?

    I got nuthin'

  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Yeah, don't donate it. It's really no good to anyone who's looking for a useful computer. Just dispose of it or find something fun to do yourself. Maybe leave Win95 on to play some games that are a hassle to get working in WinXP and higher. That really seems like the most useful and enjoyable way to get any use out of it.

    The "put linux on it" suggestion will probably come up since it will, technically, work. It's really even too slow to truly make use of any modern, desktop oriented Linux distro, too. If you decided you were interested enough to do anything with it, though, for desktop or server uses, you'd quickly decide you want something more modern. The Linux router suggestion which was pointed out would work, but as pointed out, is really fairly pointless unless you just want the experience of doing it.

  • SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Hmmmmmmm.

    How much do you guys think it would cost to ship something like this across the country?

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  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Seeks wrote: »
    Hmmmmmmm.

    How much do you guys think it would cost to ship something like this across the country?

    Roughly fifty bucks, most early/mid 90s era PCs are heavy as hell

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Man, I remember an old Packard Bell that had this bizarre OS GUI that looked like the inside of a house.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Yeah, there used to be some application that like... would open up some AOL competitor or games or whatever. It was awesome.

    Also, related to the earlier shipping question, do you guys know if there's a way to just have the recipient pay for the shipping costs, other than them giving me money beforehand? Basically, so that no money has to go from me to UPS/Fedex at all, it's completely on the recipient's end.

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  • underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2010
    Throw Slackware or Gentoo on it and make it a tor router. Wait, mods, can I say that since I'm not advocating it's use for that which we don't speak of on these forums? Just rather that supporting the network would be a good use for this old hardware?

    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Quick, edit your post!

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Shorn Scrotum ManShorn Scrotum Man Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    You could try repurposing it into a print server or something. I came into an old machine (though not nearly as old as yours) and I've got it set up as a print server, file server, backup machine.

    I also use it to run software that is useful but not stuff I want clogging up my main machine, like the IP updating software that OpenDNS uses to help you control your internet access.

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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
  • underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2010
    Quick, edit your post!

    I can't! I'm jailed! Oh noes!

    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
  • TaminTamin Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Man, I remember an old Packard Bell that had this bizarre OS GUI that looked like the inside of a house.

    Microsoft Bob, I'd think.

  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I have a PB P200 that I'm using as an internet gateway/network server. I put ClarkConnect on it and it's worked pretty well for me for the last 8 years or so (god, has it been that long). I'd suggest either something like that, or recycle it.

    Or, you could turn it into a DOS machine for playing old games.

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  • DrswordsDrswords Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Jasconius wrote: »
    Carmageddon

    This

    Seriously. Turn the thing into a Dos running machine.

    Set yourself up with some Doom, System Shock, Descent....

    All the classics.

    You wont regret it.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I have always had a hard time getting Ultima 8 or Daggerfall to run properly under Dosbox... I think you guys have the right idea.

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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I was being facetious.

    The real answer is to junk it. It's way to inefficient to seriously use.

    If you want to play old games just get dosbox and be done with it.

  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Jasconius wrote: »
    I was being facetious.

    The real answer is to junk it. It's way to inefficient to seriously use.

    If you want to play old games just get dosbox and be done with it.

    Yeah, there's no reason to own original hardware if you can use newer hardware. None at all. Why would anyone want a SNES when they could just get a Wii?

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  • underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2010
    Jasconius wrote: »
    I was being facetious.

    The real answer is to junk it. It's way to inefficient to seriously use.

    If you want to play old games just get dosbox and be done with it.

    Yeah, there's no reason to own original hardware if you can use newer hardware. None at all. Why would anyone want a SNES when they could just get a Wii?

    The same reason why having sex with grandmothers is so much better than college chicks. The smell.

    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    underdonk wrote: »
    Jasconius wrote: »
    I was being facetious.

    The real answer is to junk it. It's way to inefficient to seriously use.

    If you want to play old games just get dosbox and be done with it.

    Yeah, there's no reason to own original hardware if you can use newer hardware. None at all. Why would anyone want a SNES when they could just get a Wii?

    The same reason why having sex with grandmothers is so much better than college chicks. The smell.

    Alright, I retract my previous statement. That made me throw up a little.

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  • nuclearalchemistnuclearalchemist Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Put Descent, TIE Fighter, Descent 2, and everything else that is old that won't run on modern computers. I have a 486 somewhere in my parents house that I used for that, as well as an older Pentium2 333MHz that plays some older games as well.

    ~Eigen-fleichen
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