Green uses for older Macs
With a garage full (about 50) old macs, from CIs & CXs to LCs and Beige G3s, there just has to be some uses for all these old computers. Things like house monitoring, watering the lawn, security, temperature control. I know a lot of this would be dependent on software, but what's available? There's nothing wrong with my Mac+ 4MB, I just need to be able to put all these wonderfully built machines to use. What do you do with yours? Desktops and laptops?
Hi Richard--What I usually do is refurbish them and find appropiate OS and browsers for them and one of the free word processors. I then download the users manual and give them to kids who can't afford them. I used to do this with windows machines but it got to expensive buying the OS's from Microsoft and I find the older Mac OS's very reasonable. I don't want to start kids out as pirates so every computer go with the software that's loaded on it. I'll be passing on a nice Pismo with 512 MB memory and a 40 GB drive with Panther this week to an 8 yr old. On occasion I pass on some old crt iMacs to a local home for unwed mothers to be used in training them for employment. I find the biggest problem just now with the older machines is finding usable browsers.
As a hobby I feel its a useful way to spend my time a give back a little. Sorry to be so long winded but this is a subject that's important to me--anyway its an answer to your question. Ralph
+ on the question. Ralph
95% of what most people use a computer for hasn't changed since the TRS-80 first hit the market. Folks want word processing, spreadsheets, and a fun game or two. Your older machines can still do all of this.
Additionally, you can give them to high school science clubs, electronics classes, or even art classes. Those machines make great teaching tools when kids are allowed to do tear-downs and such. As a kid I used to tear apart anything and everything I could get my hands on. Doing so gave me a real passion for tinkering.
Hope this helps,
I work with a friend in his project, which is called "The More Than Tomorrow Project" and what we do is we fix old broken computers, usually install Windows XP, or Ubuntu onto the machines, and send them off to india where computers are scarse there. I think the best usage of old computers that we no longer have use for is to fix anything broken inside of it, and give it to people who need it. Also my friend gives to the local community by giving computers to some people who need it, teaching classes (which I helped to teach) to kids and adults on how to take apart and diagnose computers (and their problems).
So in the end, if I were you, I would see if there was an organization near you that does the same, or if you are in the NYC area, you can donate it to him.
We sometimes refurbish windows boxes (linux too) and give to a school for autistic kids. Mostly we get the machines from a local company that uses them to render animations. When they frie a graphic card or a power supply they don't bother repairing them so they give them to us.
OK, slightly off topic, but there are a lot of uses for older computers.
What you can do is keep them around for good spare computers. I've been known to do this with Core 2 Duo machines myself. Another thing you can try to do is donate them to people who can use them, or even schools. Some schools can't afford Intel Macs, so they use old PPC Macs. Maybe even repair guides, since nobody will source these out and you have some. Or better yet, use them to gain experience. Not many people know older equipment well, and they could give you a marketing advantage. Refurbishing them may be a good use, too.
What I'd do is keep them for spares and for old OS X apps. Nobody really wants PPC gear anymore, so they're hard to sell.
Definitely Puppy Linux, Bruno 2
The operating system AND apps all fit in under 512Mb.
Obviously that means they run fast (lean coding)
It can be run from CDROM(can load entirely into RAM for super speed), HD, or USB drive.
This Bruno version seems to find everything i've thrown at it. I use the USB Puppy Linux Bruno 2 stick as a Rescue tool to retrieve data from botched Winblows systems for friends. Awesome.
For up to date FireFox and most office functions with full codecs for music, cameras, phones, video etc, ready to run in such a small download, Ya gotta try it. ;-)
The newer Puppy Lucid is Ubuntu based for compatibility.
Ubuntu has done WONDERS for making Linux GUI accessible.
And the Mint project has made Ubuntu EASY!!- Great Job Folks!