We’ll get to that in a minute. Here’s what you can do with your old one . . .
If your existing computer is more than 2 years old, it’s probably time to buy a new one. Upgrading a 2 year old computer is like buying new parts for a 1950s washing machine.
More often than not, it’s cheaper to get a new one. Sadly, this is the throw-away society that we have all so dubiously embraced. Coffee pod, anyone?
But don’t throw your old computer away. You might get a few bucks on Ebay for it, but unlike the old washing machine, a mature computer is probably more valuable to keep than sell. I use an old Dell Inspiron (laptop) as a complex mp3 player. While it’s a bit slow compared to my (relatively) new i7 Toshiba P57(A) laptop, it has a 10 hour battery and I can take it to a cafe where I can write and code all day long.
8 things you can do with your old computer
- Turn it into a server (don’t give it too much to do though)
- Donate it to a school, charity or church.
- Give it to a relative.
- Dedicate it to distributed computing (Cure cancer or find aliens)
- Use it as a game server
- Use it to play old games (like Galaxian)
- Set it up as a light-duty living room PC (for surfing / emails)
- Run Linux
You can always give your old laptop to the kids and let them smash it up with a hammer (boys) or pull it apart gently and put flowers in the circuit boards (girls).
New Laptop or Desktop?
The question is whether to buy a laptop or a desktop.
I mainly use a desktop computer. A wonderful, water-cooled i7 which I built with a friend using the latest and best parts.
But to be honest, when I got a laptop I found it nearly twice as useful. I can, literally, take my entire work-life with me.
Doesn’t that sound great?
Desktops are still better value for money. You get a lot of bang for your buck. You can house a whole swag of HDDs (hard disk drives) and media specific cards such as 3 monitor graphics cards using ultra high definition and Wifi dongles etc.
With laptops I usually pay about 20% extra for the same specs as a desktop. But you get portability.
In the case of Apple computers (what the hell’s happening there?) you pay quite a bit extra for build, outer design and software usability.
There’s nothing cooler than sitting under a tree with your Macbook Pro – editing a movie.
Remember . . .
“It all starts with the chip”
So they say . . .
Author: Edwin James Lynch
Edwin wrote his first (Harrier Jump-jet) computer program in 1982. Today he builds websites and guides companies through best practice, future-proof web development. He lectured 15yrs+ at Curtin University where (in 2007) he was voted 5th best tutor out of 2,500+ Open University Australia tutor / lecturers.