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!

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marshon6 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.

I realize you posted this many years ago but I was really intrigued by your post. My grandfather passed away a year ago and I inherited his old laptop. It's an Inspiron 1200 and after some substantial repairs (new keyboard, new trackpad, new wireless card, new battery, more RAM, etc) it is now able to run Windows 7 at least respectably. It's got 1.3 GB of RAM and a CPU capable of around 1.4 ghz clockspeed. How would I go about learning how to put this machine to work in the way you described? As far as building a telescope and "drive system" and using software to track stars and get photographs. That sounds so interesting and I was really blown away to read that these old laptops have more processing power than the Apollo missions and the Hubble processor. .

lemonie6 years ago
Build it into a leather briefcase with some brass etc - steampunk laptop.

I would say keep all the salvageable parts for further DIY or ible' projects. You never know what you might need :)
Lucidman6 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.
xanxor6 years ago
Make it a pimp projector? with pupylinux and a new backlight?

V-Man737 (author)  xanxor6 years ago

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
aeromancy7 years ago
Hmm....This topic is a year old,  but you could wipe the drive and install Ubuntu, or Fedora if you like programming.
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