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Fun things to do with an old shitty laptop?

IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
So, I have an old xps m1710 that's been on its last breath for two years. Its not really doing much, I use it to stream youtube videos on my tv, and thats pretty much it. The start up time is comical, and just opening chrome makes the whole system cry. It has a fairly fresh install of windows XP on it, and not much software on it.

I've considered trying linux, just to play around with it. In general, I was wondering if anyone had any fun ideas of maybe how to turn it into something more useful within the limits of the system, or even cracking it open and giving it some minor upgrades.

I will probably continue to use it for mostly YouTube, unless there's something devastatingly cool I can do with it, like turn it into a space ship.

Posts

  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    Take it apart and look at all the bits. Does it have a floppy drive? The coils in those are super cool looking.

    I don't have courage but I have something else.
    JusticeforPluto
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    Laptops make decent little headless servers, mostly because you can leave them running without murdering your electricity bill.

    Chuck ubuntu server on it and make yourself a personal wiki, xbmc server, attach a USB hard disk set up as NAS and use it to store automated backups from your main machine, etc.

  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    The specs I'm seeing for an m1710 include a Core Duo at 2GHz or higher, 2-4GB of RAM, and a 512MB mobile 7900 GTX.

    That's not cutting edge by any means, but it's still a fairly powerful system, and is nowhere near "shitty". Running XP is a bad idea, since every consumer level version of XP is a 32bit OS, and running it on a 64bit CPU means you're not even taking full advantage of the hardware. If you are a college student, or know a college student, you can sometimes get a good deal on a copy of Windows 7 for $30 or less.

    An extra pc has a lot of uses, everything from creating your own fileserver to hosting your own website to trying a new OS like Linux.

    Or you could use it as a game server. Do you play Quake III? Minecraft? Team Fortress 2? Etc. You could run your own server and choose which maps or mods to run, and never have to worry about admin abuse. Or you could dedicate it to one of the various distributed computing programs like [email protected] or protein folding. Or you could hook it up to a nice stereo system and use it as an interactive jukebox for all of your music.

    Or grab your favorite classic games and some USB game controllers and use it as a sort of game console for your TV, or use it for the upcoming SteamOS to stream games from your gaming PC to your TV. You should stop by one of the Steam threads in G&T or SE++ and they can give you a rundown on how SteamOS will work.

    gRAhjXV.gif
    Gaslight
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    What SmokeStacks said.

    Put Win7 on there, and I bet it'll be a lot faster after a full wipe and a 64bit OS.

    Jokerman wrote: »
    If sigs were still a thing this would be mine.
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I say shitty with endearment. Its my college computer and I ran it to death, twice, revived it through my warranty. It eventually became to slow and started to overheat under my workload, so I retired it and got a desktop. It just seems to be a waste, hanging out there doing nothing but waiting for a day I want to watch gamegrumps on the TV.

    Ubuntu sounds vastly more appealing than just buying windows 7, I may as well be learning something new. I did consider playing minecraft again, with the new updates.

    I'll have to read more about SteamOS, thanks for the suggestion on that.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Do you have an old copy of Win98 or (heaven forbid) Win95 lying around?

    If so, you might consider making that machine a retro gaming machine (assuming you have a fondness for any old titles that don't run on modern OS's).

    With Love and Courage
    Tofystedeth
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Man, I wish. I want to play the grim fandango but its sort of my white whale.

  • AtaxrxesAtaxrxes Cursed EarthRegistered User regular
    How about a Powerbook G4? I can't even update Firefox on it anymore. It was the last generation before they started using the Intel chips so it has basically hit a wall. Is there anything cool to do with that besides use it as a doorstop? Damn cost 2k now I'd be lucky to get $100.00 for it.

  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    Ataxrxes wrote: »
    How about a Powerbook G4? I can't even update Firefox on it anymore. It was the last generation before they started using the Intel chips so it has basically hit a wall. Is there anything cool to do with that besides use it as a doorstop? Damn cost 2k now I'd be lucky to get $100.00 for it.

    You might want to see which distributed computing programs have clients for PPC, I know [email protected] does.

    Other than that, maybe a seedbox?

    Pack it up while it's still in good condition and in ten years sell it to an Apple collector?

    gRAhjXV.gif
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