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Coming Soon: Dead Computer Contest - UPDATE Answered

What can you make with a dead computer? A meat slicer? A funky endtable? A funny hat? We want to know and we'll be launching a new contest to see what you can make with old computer parts on February 1.

This contest will help promote Randy's new book, so enter something awesome!  Start looking around for some old computer parts and get some ideas started. More details, including the cool prizes, to be announced later.

As with all our contests, entries must be published during the contest. Previously published Instructables are not eligible.

UPDATE (1/27):

First Prize (3 winners) -
ASUS Eee PC 1005HA netbook + copy of 62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer + Instructables Prize Pack

Second Prize (10 winners)
- Copy of 62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer + Instructables Prize Pack

Dead computer = an electronic device that is a computer or has one in it. So if there's a microchip in there, go to town!

Once again, contest starts on Monday, Feb. 1


Contest is live and can be seen here



8 years ago

Hi everybody,

I have two questions:

How many entries can i post?

Am from Jordan can ship the prize to me? in case     :)

No limit on entries, but we can only ship the prizes to US and Canada for this contest. Sorry.

Ok,,,  US and Canada only ....

What if i have a friend in US or Canada?
Can i put his details and ill get him to send the prize 4 me? is that possible?


"On January 24th, gmjhowe will introduce his entry, And you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984"

 dont take that apart

 That is already taken apart and fitted with an LCD screen!

hmmm... i wonder what i could do with 2 computer cases, 5 power supply cases, a couple hard drives,  a couple cd drives, and a hellava lot of fans... maybe a computer mobo too...

i know just what to do...

Give me the fans....Me wants fans! My computers always overheat, and I am NOT going out to buy something out at the pc store that would cost me half as much if I actually lived in a city.

Seriously, $24 for a DVI cable?! I can get them at newegg for 5! (+5 for shipping tho) Why does my pc store only have stupid gold plated cables? I don't want gold plated cables!!!

I am poor, and I got a VGA for it instead (For now)

I think the monitor goes 1600*1200 but VGA only goes 1280 by 1024, so I want to switch sometime...

Do you know of a good source of those old Dell 14" LCDs? that's perfect for my projector, and I'd hate to cut up my current one.

That reminds me. i was looking for a vga cable for an lcd monitor, and the first place i looked at was walmart. $30 for a vga cable. basically it is just two monitor plugs attached to eack other and they want $30 for it. (overpriced, much?)

Give me a DVI and I'll give you my vga...
Wow. At my PC store I can get them for $8, but they're plain old beige things. Not that I care, it is 6 foot long!

Right now I'm trying to get my Comp repair teacher to give me a dvi y splitter, since the PCs all came with one and none are being used. Just one issue: I think they're Male to female. Aren't regular dvis male to male?

im not sure. i have never seen a dvi cable before

A DVI cable has two rectangular plugs that are both capped off white.   Most of the time they have black cords, but not always.

 so what you want to say is:
24$ is to much for a DVI cable
5$ would be more appropriate!
but... i don't have 5$ either.
(i might sound a bit rude but it's not meant like that)


$7.25 - free shipping

Company's are your number 1 source of old screens. Any recycling store (seconds-hands store will do as wel )

It didn't sound rude to me. You nailed it right on the head! thanks for the link!

Did you see the Thumb bluetooth USBs???? $2.00! That's awesome! at newegg I can get one that's 10 times longer for ten times as much!

 I'm currently getting 5 of those.
The website is great any the prices are insanely low. It's because they ship directly from the factory's in china. 

Anyway this is kind of off-topic (they sell replacement/spare parts to! 50$ Playstation 3 blue ray reader module anyone?)

well, I don't have a ps3 but thats still cheap for a blue laser diode!

if you live in saskatoon, saskatchewan you can have one, its big though, lots of airflow, and if you side mounted this thing on your case, it'll be pumping that hot air out like never before! and i agree, computer stores REALLY overprice stuff, at otv, its $40 for a SIDE PANEL with a window and a small fan.

but if your computer overheats, why not add water cooling? i haven't tried it myself, but i hear it works pretty well

Saskatoon, Canada? I live in Utah, so I guess that's not an option really...

Water cooling is pretty pricey, but works great. The whole setup will cost you maybe $150, unless you make the stuff yourself with super fancy tools. The waterblocks cost a ton! Everything else is pretty cheap though...

At least the computer doesn't actually crash anymore. The overheating is because the cpu heatsink mount stinks. plastic tabs broke off years ago, and we had to ziptie it down. Oh how I long for the days of lever-latched heatsinks!

ha. i hear ya. one of my friends used zip ties to attach a amd athlon heatsink to a p4, that I gave him. i feel sorry for the p4, im sure it's days are limited

Yeah, but this one was made for this mobo and cpu! The stupid tabs that stuck in and rotated broke off! The zipties work better than the clamps ever did.

i don't know why they don't make those tabs out of something stronger than plastic, or they could just powder coat a metal duplicate and use that.

They have one reason: making stuff out of more than one material is expensive. Plastic is cheap.

One noisy idea I had was one of those big square fans. Stick it on the side of the computer and it will get rid of the dust too!

 $24!!! the cheapest i found was $30!!!! AAAAAA and its a crappy 1 to :'(

Ouch. I live in a low living cost area though. New york living costs roughly twice as much for the same lifestyle. That's what happens in Utah!


I made a mini hovercraft out of computer fans and circuit boards last year for a school project!

I broke it :(

Hahaha that's what mine's gonna be with a twist!

It was really cool. I programmed it to start, fly 3 metres, then stop.
It worked, I got 97%.

Mine's gonna be RC controller, and be able to go any direction at once.
What did you use for a skirt?

So...has a date been mentioned yet? It would be nice if it was sometime in the far, far future, like at least august so I can work on my science fair project before this.

I've been making stuff out of dead computers since before most of you were born!  ;-)  I had a friend who taught me this skill while reviving a PDP8.
(1960's before there even were PCs)  I probably have parts from over 100 computers in my basement, I use caps (of they aren't swollen or blown), heat sinks, fans for electronic stuff, processor chips, RAM ...  5 1/4" floppies and old printers had great stepper motors. HDDs ahve really cool servos in them

Anybody else ever seen an 8 inch floppy? or a 14" hard disk? How about CORE memory made out of real ferrite cores?
If it's old enough then I give it to people to make jewelery. One time we even made a Monopoly game out of old Amiga parts.

is the netbook the 10.5 hour battery or 4.5 hour battery model?

Can't you just buy a bigger battery if it's not?


8 years ago

if i have 6 dead macintosh computers from 1980's, does that count?

I think it has to be in a project, if that's what you mean.

if i make something out of a computer case, does it count?

Sorry about this n00b question but, how do i participate?

Publish a new Instructable. When you're publishing it you'll see options for entering it in the contests.