loading

Step 1: Before you crack it open...

Updated 31/01/2012
Thanks to MrJentis for some more ideas.

Before you go ripping it open remember that you can reuse the whole computer and not just some of the components.

1.-Install Linux
Linux is an open source OS that you can install on your old computer and use it as a everyday computer, for those of you out there that are not geeks that just basically means its a OS like windows XP that people give away free that you can use. You could do endless things with linux and there is a distribution to suit every computer.

Ubuntu-
This is for some of the better spec computers out there. Its is the most like proper a OS and it is the most user friendly. It can easily do everyday tasks like Surfing and sending email's. I needs:
1 GHz x86 processor
1 Gb of system memory (RAM)
15 GB of hard-drive space
Graphics card and monitor capable of 1024 by 768
Either a Cd/Dvd-drive or a Usb socket (or both)
Internet access is helpful

Ubuntu's system requirements have escalated over the last few released but there is a alternative version based on Ubuntu called Xbuntu

500Mhz x86 Processor (At the very least!)
 256 MiB of system memory (RAM)
 2 GB of disk space
Graphics card and monitor capable of 800x600 resolution


Puppy Linux-
This is a slightly less user friendly version of linux. Is is for those less functional PC's with not as good a spec. It needs:

CPU : Pentium 166MMX
RAM : 64MB
CDROM : 20x and up

Damn Small Linux
OK if none of the above options have worked for you, you must really have a scrappy computer. It is very basic and is not user friendly. It requires
486dx or 100% compatible processor
16mb ram (24mb recommended)
dual-speed CDROM (quad-speed or better recommended) (thats 2x or 4x)
1.44mb floppy drive (for boot floppy, if needed)

There are loads more distrabutions try http://www.linux.org/

Now I have never done the following options before so I can't go into detail on how to do them but you can google them:

Turn it into a server (web, printer, file etc.)
Put a big hard driver in it and make it a jukebox
Put a TV tuner into it and a big hard drive and make it a PVR
Use it as a firewall
Use it as a stress reliever
Automate Your Home
Use it as a answering machine
Make the monitor into a aquarium
Make it into a rendering farm
Trade It in
Put it in your car
Give it away/Donate
There are some more in the comments!

Advertisement

Voltage will sting, but it is the amps that will kill you. You can get a nasty burn from high voltage, but what it takes to kill you is a quarter of an amp across your heart. A twelve volt car battery could give you a lethal jolt, if you got careless.
<p>WanderingAuthor is correct about the 12V car battery. 60 milliamps is the magic number. The human body's resistance can be as low as approximately 200 ohms if they are tired, sweaty, ill, and/or several other things. That's 60ma at 12V. A long time ago the U.S. Navy considered anything above 30V as high voltage because it was possibly lethal. Before I joined the Navy in 1970 the official voltage had changed to ANY voltage. I know of a CPO that was electrocuted while installing a stereo in his car, by 12VDC! This info was in an official Navy message. Just because it only zapped you and you survived does not mean it's not deadly. Also AC is more dangerous than DC because DC will stop your heart while AC will cause it to fibrillate (vibrate instead of beat). It's easier for someone to start a stopped heart than to get a fibrillating heart to beat correctly. 120VAC is more dangerous than 400VAC because 120 will cause you muscles to contract and keep them that way, if it's your hand (palm or inside part of fingers) it will lock your hand onto the wire or whatever (if it is small enough to grip). 400 volts will simply knock you across the room.</p><p>If you're messing with electricity you should be smart enough to look up the correct information! You even have the internet to make it easier. I had to learn this from instructors and books.</p><p>So, please quit spouting BS! It's dangerous to the people that believe you.</p>
<p>I took my advice and looked it up--the internet is wonderful that way. It seems my memory is faulty or the information has changed since I last checked. It is 10ma of AC that is the &quot;let-go threshold&quot; (can't let go) for a 150 lb (68 kg) human. The skin is where the most impedance is (I erroneously said resistance before) the the impedance of the skin varies and can be lowered to almost nothing under the conditions I previously mentioned. Domestic power supply, 120 or 240VAC, 50 or 60 Hz through the chest for a fraction of a second can cause currents of as low as 30ma, and can cause ventricular fibrillation (heart attack). More than 200ma causes the <br>heart to contract (lock up), no fibrillation, 300-500ma DC.</p><p>So, .5 amps DC can kill but if anything lowers the impedance of your skin it takes a lot less voltage to cause that .3 to .5 amps.</p>
You need the voltage to get the amps! The resistance of the human body is way to high to get a zap from 12 or even 24 volts.
I think the magic number, is 42.. (no, no reference to Scott Adams). 42V, is where you begin to feel it.. Though, I got a healthy shock when I accidentally bridged a 12V truck battery to GND, but only from the plasma from the arc. (trying to un-bolt a circuitbreaker from an F930 firetruck chassis. Wrench finally loosened the bolt, but it slapped the frame.. BIG spark, and right across the back of my hand.).. the danger, is going in one hand, and through to the other. Hence, why the old Electricians idea, when working with high voltages, Always keep one hand in your pocket! <br>
&quot;Scott Adams&quot;? I seriously think you mean Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 42 is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. Scott Adams is the creator of the comic strip Dilbert - and, yes, sure, there is a Dilbert strip 42. :]
24 volts is very hazardous. 120 volts will zap you and jerk you around, while 24 volts will zap you and hold you.
24 volts is not hazardous.. you won't even feel it.. unless you touch the power source with your tounge.. the tounge is sensitive, and you can feel 9 volts..
only if it has a high amperage.
AR eyou refering to AC or DC power.
up to 24 V - DC over 24 V - AC
That's right. You need volts to carry the amps across.
I wonder if there's such a thing as an electrical capacitance bracelet or something. Or something you could wear that would absorb some or most of the electricity from a zap, provided you don't touch electric poles and such.
I'm at work, this made me LoL, people looked at me funny...
maybe a layden jar that you could wear?
thats right folks, 90kar09 is spot on. I did the tests and found that around 70 volts is the highest potential a person could sustain with dry hands before the current was too much to hold. 12 Volts simply doesn't have the potential for passing enough current through you (Even if you have wet hands). Only way you have any concern is when you have a inductive load on 12 volts is turned off passing current through you when the magnetic poles collapse.
to be presise its 60 milliamps
But it doesn't usually reach your heart in time to kill you...
right, I've been zapped by the car battery when I was really young. It through me a little ways, but I'm still here!
Yeah...
120Ah,about 200A cold crank.
ummm, a car battery can deliver about 500 amps on average... so yeah.
<p>I used to scavenge and rebuild all kinds of computers from the discards of others. My present main machine is an AMD64 X2 someone tossed, in the case of a dead Dual-code-quad, with 6 internal drives (2x1T, 2x500GB, 1x 160GB &amp; a 80GB main drive.) 8GB of RAM, a Gigbyte Invidia 1GB graphics card, with a few extra cards. ALL scavenged! Alas, the town I used to live in, began a 'Mandatory E-Waste Recycling' program several years ago, and, I can no-longer obtain the parts I used to.. (All devices, once placed in the bin, become property of the town, which then sells it off to a E-Waste recycling/recovery company. After all of the precious metals they salt out, I can only imagine the amount of caustic and contaminated waste they still need to dispose of? So-far, UBUNTU, and a few varients (Ultimate Edition, KUBUNTU, etc..) run right out of the box (as long as you run the x64 of x86 version to match.) I've been running Ubuntu for about 2 years now, main machine running 16.04 x64, I totally agree! Unless there is actually something physically broken (burned out, over-cooked, (Too-clocked)), too many people toss out, wanting the latest, greatest, fastest gaming machines.. My main machine would've qualified as one of those 6-8 years ago, but it runs just fine! (and it runs OpenArena 0.8.8)</p>
<p>Motherboards: You can make a growing city out of that! Just unsolder everything, then just go randomly plotting resistors, capacitors and etc...every day you plot something... *also, just to give it a cool look, paint the components in one or two colors*</p>
<p>Its nice idea.Is their any opportunity to sale old computer to other country??</p><p>I am just thinking about this.</p><p>___________</p><p>Classy@ </p><p>[url=http://www.classystylez.com/make-premium-quality-tissue-paper-flowers/]Quality tissue paper flowers[/url],</p>
<p>Its nice idea.Is their any opportunity to sale old computer to other country??</p><p>I am just thinking about this.</p><p>___________</p><p>Classy@ </p><p>[url=http://www.classystylez.com/make-premium-quality-tissue-paper-flowers/]Quality tissue paper flowers[/url],</p>
<p>Its nice idea.Is their any opportunity to sale old computer to other country??</p><p>I am just thinking about this.</p><p>___________</p><p>Classy@ </p><p>[url=http://www.classystylez.com/make-premium-quality-tissue-paper-flowers/]Quality tissue paper flowers[/url],</p>
<p>Hi, I've added your project to the &quot;<strong style="">A Collection of New Uses for Your Old Computer</strong>&quot; Collection</p><p>This is the link If you are interested:</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/A-Collection-of-New-Uses-for-Your-Old-Computer/">http://www.instructables.com/id/A-Collection-of-Ne...</a></p>
<p>make a linux server!</p>
<p>Do you mean as a file server? Ideally you would need a lot of RAM and storage for it to function properly, and a direct Ethernet connection which isn't always convenient unless you are right next to your router (routing wires through walls especially where I live is NOT fun).</p>
a file server is FTP
you could run ubuntu or debian server
hey hope ur BBQ dont gets virus or BSOD XD XD XD XD XD <br />
<p>Erm...</p><p>Image: http://i1.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/010/692/19789999.jpg</p>
<p>LOL!</p>
:D lol (:
<p>I just hung the mother board on my wall. The PC specs were a DUAL FREAKING CORE with 1/2 GB RAM (not sure what type). And the hard drive weighed 5 lbs. and had 60GB storage on it (Now-a-days it's that on a portable drive!)</p><p>I'm taking the CD and DVD drive and converting them into an X-Y plotter (or something useful), maybe some purely decorative/non-functional device.</p>
<p>I don't want to offend you, but please use spellcheck or proofread before you post, I had a hard time reading this. Other than that, nice article. I love recycling or finding new uses for old tech. </p>
You can make a ruler out of the ram! Fit perfectly in my pencil case !
<p> <br> <br>Wonderful article, <br> thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks <br> for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here.</p><p>&lt;a href='http://bestlaptopadvisor.com/best-laptops-under-400/'&gt;laptop advisor&lt;/a&gt;</p>
<p>Of course, there is that illegal thing people use them for. </p>
why can you even find computers to do this with. I've been looking but cant seem to find anything.
There are a Couple of Other things To do with a PC Box, Make a Biltong Case, A Drying Case for Drying Salted Meat, and a CD Rack <br> <br>I Love The Instructables.com 3R's reuse Reduse Recycle Look of things
You could actually hang an old or dead motherboard on the wall as geeky art too.

About This Instructable

492,941views

1,191favorites

License:

More by prodlad:Things to do with a old computer Convert A Computer Power supply to a Variable Bench Top Lab Power Supply 
Add instructable to: