3 Things To Do With An Old Computer

Sometimes you bite the bullet and buy a new computer; the old beige box just wasn't cutting it anymore and you wanted to treat yourself. So, what to do with the old computer? Assuming it's not a complete goner, you can always give the old one away to family member or friend.

Even if it's going to one of your kids, you should reload it with your original Windows disk (if you still have it), or even load a free Linux version on it. You always want to get rid of all your data, but just deleting folders or uninstalling programs won't cut it - and the computer will run better when reloaded anyway! If you decide to try and sell the old computer, then wiping and reloading is an absolute must.

Even if your old computer is NOT working, you should still erase or destroy the hard disk drive before getting rid of it. Don't just put it out in the trash either, there are plenty of recyclable parts in a computer, and most localities have facilities to handle that properly.

Another use might be to use it solely to run one of the "distributed computing" programs on it, such as folding@home, which helps turn a bunch of home computers connected to the Internet into a supercomputer to study protein folding - helping to understand and treat diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Stick it in a corner and forget about it - and let it do some good.

Lastly, donate your old computer to a local school or daycare, or even an elder care facility. Again, you'll want to wipe and reload it, so your personal data is not available for others to see or use. High schools might use it in the computer lab, and let the kids fool with it - a great learning experience.

All of the above are altruistic to some degree, and are better than just tossing the thing out - why not let someone else get some use out of it?

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