Instructables

What To Do With A Really Old Laptop?

So I inherited this Toshiba laptop with Windows 95 on it. It has a ?86 processor and about 16MB RAM and about 800 MB hard drive. It has a laptop PC card that supplies dial-up access and a floppy drive. It runs on AC power.

(Edit: It has 8 Megabytes of RAM and a 750 Megabyte hard drive. More tiny than I thought.)

What are some good ideas to do with this? I am thinking about installing some kind of Linux on it, you know, to beef it up somehow, make every megabyte count. I'm especially interested in the dial-up card, specifically whether I can hack it to access wireless signals... My brain wheels move, but no work gets done! Aggghh!

marshon4 years ago
Take Windows off. Check that the DOS version is up to date as it can be (6.22?).

Then build a telescope and drive system and use crap old software for DOS (still hanging around on the net) to track the stars and even get photographs. Should all keep you busy for a year or so.

Even in that totally out date state it has more processing power than the Apollo missions and the same as the current Hubble processor. Put it to work.
lemonie4 years ago
Build it into a leather briefcase with some brass etc - steampunk laptop.

L
I would say keep all the salvageable parts for further DIY or ible' projects. You never know what you might need :)
Lucidman4 years ago
Take it apart (carefully), and salvage all the working parts, then just keep them safe for any future projects you may indulge in.
xanxor4 years ago
Make it a pimp projector? with pupylinux and a new backlight?

V-Man737 (author)  xanxor4 years ago
ARISE, dead thread! COME FORTH FROM THE GRAVE OF REALLY OLD POSTS!!!1

Actually, I'm wondering how you even found this post, it's so old. XD
Linux, definitely. I don't know what you are thinking, get Windows off it now!! :)
i totally agree ive got a old mac book and and putting Ubuntu on it
Hmm....This topic is a year old,  but you could wipe the drive and install Ubuntu, or Fedora if you like programming.
Seanex4 years ago
make a solar panal out of it
Ethanal4 years ago
You could install Linux on it, install Apache, and use it as a web server.  But it's probably not very power efficient, so that might run up your electricity bill.
sell it
whatsisface5 years ago
Digital Picture Frame.
Still a useful machine -
You could get GEOS here - 16 bit OS and really fast -

I found a Global PC on ebay for cheap and bought it because i like this operating system so much - but you can purchase a CD to load it into your laptop.

Here's the link...

http://www.breadbox.com/ensemble/geocats.asp?category=Ease-of-Use
V-Man737 (author) 4 years ago
UPDATE: Spare parts. Thanks for all the ideas, and may old-school rest in peaces.
junits154 years ago
make an ftp server, put your content on a portable hdd
sell it to some teenager who likes to take things apart
Lol, I think we inherited the same old junky laptop.

I thought of linux too...I tried DSL, and really liked it.

For the wireless, you can get a [http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=179211 wireless card or usb device.]

They've worked well for me.
Windows 95 won't support USB.
it does suport usb but you need the update disk.
Also, your link is weirded out...
*sigh* Me and my links...
Not having much luck are you?
V-Man737 (author)  whatsisface5 years ago
Or just fix it... Belkin USB Wireless
That adapter requires windows 2000 or higher
i got one of those little thumbs it works fine on 98se and NT4 wont work on 95 or 98
Ywah, 98SE was the first Windows version with USB support.
*Yeah
Nope...
V-Man737 (author)  whatsisface5 years ago
Would there be a way to trick Windows 95 into supporting USB? I think I saw a cable that translates USB signals into I/O port, but I'm not sure...
I don't think there is, and if there was it would probably be painfully slow.
How about just putting some old freeware retro game clones on it and using it like a little arcade machine?
haha... double post?
Yeah, lol, I sometimes forget if I've posted my idea yet...
gmjhowe5 years ago
its probably a tiny bit too old for wireless, or hacking. I suggest installing Damn Small Limux on it - its about the only thing that will run on something that old. And if you do get it to run, its going to run very slowly. I suggest making it into a cool clutch bag.
You need 16 mb of ram for DSL. I think you could salvage it into a contoller or something is you are good at programing.
hmm, in which case, i suggest dos.
chuckr445 years ago
Use it as a web server? It should have a good network card in it, about 100mbit. Would this work as a game lan server? You might need more memory, like 512mb. Or simply play old games on it for Win95 or DOS. There are still a few good games I like that I keep around: Stars, Warcraft 1, Doom.
I'm a big stars! fan still and it works great on vista.
V-Man737 (author)  chuckr445 years ago
Actually, yeah, I still play Warcraft II...
Goodhart5 years ago
If they are functional, they make great "controllers" for simple home security systems one may wish to construct for themselves...
Put old freeware retro game clones on it and you have a mini arcade machine!
congratulations! you now have a laptop with less memory and processing power than an iphone.
V-Man737 (author)  AnarchistAsian5 years ago
O.o You're right. That's hard to do.
very nice, very nice. *claps hands*
[http://www.lemosint.com//bluetooth/bluetooth_lm048_adapter_details.php no usb needed]
make it a remote for a server it has everything it needs to do it slap a DBAN server footprint and let it be the eyes and ears for a wireless server
or make it into a cool alarm clock /calendar
Goodhart5 years ago
What To Do With A Really Old Laptop?

You could give it to someone with a really old lap LOL
lol thats sooo bad :P
Pssst, I was thinking of me when I said that LOL
Hahahaha
V-Man737 (author)  =SMART=5 years ago
Saaayyyyyyyy, Goodhart... I don't suppose you were looking for a really, really old laptop to go along with your lap? *cringe*
ouch lol
No, not looking for anything powered by a water wheel or anything ;-)
hehe
My 8088 died years ago.....I doubt any of THEM are still around....I still have a working Co-co II and a Commodore 64 in the back room, not to mention an old PS/2.....the "old" laptop I had, an old 286 model, died on me long ago, too.
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