I have an old 486 100Mhz, 4 Meg RAM, computer sitting
in my closet. I
know it is basically obsolete, but it is fully functional,
except I don't
have a hard drive installed right now. Is there anything
use for this computer? Specifically, could I use it by connecting
it to my
new computer in some fashion? I'm not afraid of "tinkering"
machine, I'm just curious if there is some option other
than throwing the
box away or selling it for $10.
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You can use it to browse net and email. I have friends that
use them. Also 386 there are floppy disk programs to get on
the net. Also some are using them with linux as a server.
Yup, now would be a good time to try out Linux. Linux loves
old boxes. :-D
Possible uses (anything using little CPU):
-fire-wall (a friend of mine installed Windows NT on a 486
100MHz and it works just fine!) You should use 2 network cards
to connect the computers
-a web server (if you have a permanent connection to the internet,
-a print server (although this is probable more fun than useful)
-a downward-compatibility-checking machine (if you are programming,
(e.g. creating homepages) it is always good to see the result
on a low resolution screen and on a slow computer, and with
older drivers/software (e.g. older versions of internet explorer).
It sounds like a great Linux machine to me. A perfect opportunity
to learn about it's insides, as well as learning about the
Linux OS. I bought an old 486 for 25 bucks for that exact
purpose. In my free time, I am learning about Linux/Unix,
so I can eventually install it on my newer computer.
You could network it or laplink it and use it as a cheap backup
device. You will need a hard drive of course. You may be better
off using the laplink (serial or parallel cable) method as
this requires no tinkering.
Spend a few bucks on more memory and put in a reasonably large
hard drive and use it as a test bench for new software before
installing it on your regular system. You’ll also need a CDROM.
All this stuff can probably be found for nothing - ask around...
Use it as an isolated Internet machine when you intend to
visit "dangerous & dubious" places.... If you get hit
by a virus, format and reinstall.
Diddle with the Registry and test "hot tips" you would not
normally dare test on your regular system.
In short: lots of uses for an old obsolete system! Have one
myself, an IBM Aptiva. Just upgraded it with 12 MB RAM to
16 and put in a 468 DX 66 CPU in place of the original 486
SX 33. Also installed an old 800 MB HD as slave to the original
drive (always wise to have two HD!) All gifts from friends.
Have you thought about donating it to a children's center
or something similar.