What to do with old crappy computer?

  • northjersey78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think I am actually going to get a new computer soon. Best Buy has 12 month no interest financing so I think I am going to get an HP package soon.

I have a Gateway that is about 6 years old.

Pentium III 480mghz
256 RAM
20GB Hard Drive

OK, yeah so it's slow and old. Can't I still make use of this somehow? I am going to dump the old monitor and printer, but can't I network the drive so it reads as sort of a server for my new machine? A friend of mine did something similar and had a monitor switch so he could flip back and forth - he basically used the 2nd drive strictly for downloads and his main PC to run all aplications.
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is pretty much how I am set up. I have an old headless 400mhzish machine in my closet that is my print server/webserver/FTP server/file server. It is running Windows 2000, and I have all the drives mapped to my main machine. This way I can download movies, songs, etc from my laptop, dump them on the file server, and play them back in the living room on my NES.
  • northjersey78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I set up the network sharing on my PC and tested it with my roommates computer and it works fine. SO at least I know I can find my old PC on my home network once I set up the new PC.

I will probably get a KVM switch so that I can alternate between the new and old PC. The old PC will probably be used mainly for downloading files so I don't need to clog up my new PC's resources.


So I went to Best Buy and settled on this model - I don't have the exact model # but here are the specs:

HP Pavillion

Pentium 4 3.0ghz w/ Hyper Threading Technology
1GB RAM
200GB Hard Drive
128MB Video Memory
Intel Graphics Media Excelleraotr 9000
Double Layer DVD-RW 16x4x16 & CD-RW 40x24x40 Drive w/ Light Scribe (it prints directly to blank CDs or DVD discs instead of writing on them)
2nd CD Drive
3 PCi Expansion Slots
7 USB 2.0 Ports (3 front/ 4 back)
Inetgrated 10/100 Ethernet
Windows XP Home Edition
No MS Office installed - But I am downloading Office XP as we speak.

17 Inch HP Flat Panel Monitor

Some semi crappy HP printer that will do the job.

$1069 after rebates and they offer 12 month no interest payments.

Thoughts?
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What are the upgrade & expansion possabilities like ?
  • sky
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Post 3+ Months Ago

man, ur computer is very usefull u can buy a nic card and setup in LAN use the PC as a Firewall their are some free firewalls sofware that are free.

or

u can install Linux and see the power of really controlling OS.
  • northjersey78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Someone else suggested installing Linix as well. What will this do?
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Linux is another type of Operating System. It won't really do anything, performs a similar function to Windows.

I would suggest you use it as a server of sort, perhaps as extra storage for your music etc.

Before you buy the HP system, look into what its expansion possabilities are like.
  • northjersey78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Enigma wrote:
Linux is another type of Operating System. It won't really do anything, performs a similar function to Windows.

I would suggest you use it as a server of sort, perhaps as extra storage for your music etc.

Before you buy the HP system, look into what its expansion possabilities are like.


Available Expansion Bays: External 1 (3.5")
Total Expansion Slots: 3 PCI
Available Expansion Slots: 2 PCI
  • grimshit
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Make sure you get a PC with a grapfics card slot either AGP or PCIE.

*plum*
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

*plum* wrote:
Make sure you get a PC with a grapfics card slot either AGP or PCIE.

*plum*


*plum* is correct [ as usual, what it must be like to be perfect :P ].

The reason I was asking about expansion possibilities is because ALOT of pre built systems have very little oppotunity for expansion for two reasons:

1. To get you to buy a new PC when yours is out dated
2. Plenty of people have no idea how to upgrade a PC [ which links back to point 1 ]

You deffinatly want either an AGP Slot or PCI-E if you want some decent graphics.

What is the RAM expansion like ? [ That said, will you ever use more than 1 GB or RAM ? ]

Other than those two points it appears a nifty little system.
  • northjersey78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The memory is expandable up to 4.0GB.

I don't see anything on the spec sheet as far as AGP or PCI-E Slot.
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I would see if you can get a mobo upgrade with an AGP or PCI-E slot added to that bundle.

You don't have to, its only a suggestion, but would be of great benefit to you.

As for the RAM issue, 4Gb should be more than enough.
  • northjersey78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Is there any other advantage to keeping the old PC other than the extra space? Can I make better use of it somehow?
  • Skirge
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hmm welll lets see...... u could send it to me! id be happy lol u wouldnt do it but id appreciate it lol but i would keep it for storage or use it to run a server for a game or a mail server
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You can turn it into a dedicated firewall and have a collection of massive storage HDDs in your new PC that only contain games/music/other stuff.

Or you could use it for medical research ...
http://www.stanford.edu/group/pandegroup/folding/
  • grimshit
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Get a T1 connection and start hosting websites off it. Thats one way to "make money", and get a T1 connection at the same time :P

*plum*
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

northjersey78 wrote:
Is there any other advantage to keeping the old PC other than the extra space? Can I make better use of it somehow?


If nothing else, having a backup. :wink:
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You could also turn it into a cheap (and highly configurable) router.
  • northjersey78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

*plum* wrote:
Get a T1 connection and start hosting websites off it. Thats one way to "make money", and get a T1 connection at the same time :P

*plum*


Hmmm.....so what would be involved in setting this up? The computer is old though, who would want it hosted on a PC tht sucks?
  • keemosabi
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You'll be amzed what you can host on that pc, doesn't take much to host, you can get quite a few sites before it lags. Linux isn't much for taking up resources like windows.

Router is a good choice also though.
  • Skirge
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yeah my friend has a

pentium 3 1ghz with 512mb of ram and a 10 gig hard drive

and runs a 12 slot Counterstrike Source server with it

and a website server, a pentium 3 933 mhz with 256mb of ram and a 20 gig hard drive
  • northjersey78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

keemosabi wrote:
You'll be amzed what you can host on that pc, doesn't take much to host, you can get quite a few sites before it lags. Linux isn't much for taking up resources like windows.

Router is a good choice also though.


So basically, after I transfer my old files to the new pc, installing Linux will wipe the old drive clean and install the new OS?

And then I can use the new Linux drive to host sies? I own and run http://www.nysportsboard.com and was thinking of creating some similar sites which are basically just php message boards and don' require much space. So I can host them on my old machine for free?
  • grimshit
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Try and get a 2Mb SDSL connection, this would be excellent for hosting websites as it provides lots of upstream bandwidth. This starts at around £200 a month and requires a seperate phoneline. This connection should be able to host 2 or 3 websites quite well, with low to medium usage. You could also use the connection to host a file server maybe? http://www.btbroadbandoffice.com/broadband/btq3/bt8?campaignid=bthomepage

*plum*
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

*plum* wrote:
Try and get a 2Mb SDSL connection, this would be excellent for hosting websites as it provides lots of upstream bandwidth. This starts at around £200 a month and requires a seperate phoneline. This connection should be able to host 2 or 3 websites quite well, with low to medium usage. You could also use the connection to host a file server maybe? http://www.btbroadbandoffice.com/broadband/btq3/bt8?campaignid=bthomepage

*plum*


I was wondering when you were going to drop the bomb shell that is the cost. :roll:
  • northjersey78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

So any suggestions which version of Linux I should install? Will installing Linux wipe all Windows file off the computer?

Basically this is what I want to be able to do:

Download music, movies, whatever without using the resources of my main PC. I have a KVM switch to alternate between which unit I am looking at. I download on the old pc and when I see it is OK - I add it to the shared network folder and bring it over to my new PC.

It's only about 35GB total on both hard drives but I may use it for some kind of storage. This should be an issue for a while - my new unit has a 200GB hard drive.

If possible, it would be great to host my own websites on there. I was going to start a few new boards similar to http://www.nysportsboard.com which shouldn't require much space because they will only be php bulletin boards. So does this mean I can register a domain name, then host the site on my old PC instead of paying a monthly hosting fee to someone?
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

northjersey78 wrote:
So any suggestions which version of Linux I should install? Will installing Linux wipe all Windows file off the computer?

Basically this is what I want to be able to do:

Download music, movies, whatever without using the resources of my main PC. I have a KVM switch to alternate between which unit I am looking at. I download on the old pc and when I see it is OK - I add it to the shared network folder and bring it over to my new PC.

It's only about 35GB total on both hard drives but I may use it for some kind of storage. This should be an issue for a while - my new unit has a 200GB hard drive.


First point on this is why bother installing an OS if all you are going to use the HDD for is storage and not actually boot off it ?

I have a couple of HDD's I use soley for storage and have not botherd to install an OS on either therefore increasing the capacity. Maybe not by alot mind, but seeing as I`m never going to boot from either, I didnt see the point in installing the OS.

Second, why download from one pc, just to move it accross to the second ? Wouldn't this defeat the point of having a storage PC ? It's up to you at the end of the day, but it seems silly to me.


northjersey78 wrote:
If possible, it would be great to host my own websites on there. I was going to start a few new boards similar to http://www.nysportsboard.com which shouldn't require much space because they will only be php bulletin boards. So does this mean I can register a domain name, then host the site on my old PC instead of paying a monthly hosting fee to someone?


You can host a home website from any PC as long as you set it up correctly.

Things you would need to look into further regarding this might be:
Server software [ I.E Windows 2000 etc ]
PC Configuration
DNS
IP [ Static - Unless you are going to leave you pc on continuously ]
Line rental cost
Overall cost

Not trying to put you off there, just giving you a few things to look into before you make up your mind.

How much do you currently pay for hosting because you might want to ask yourself if its going to be cheaper and less hassle to let someone else look after that side of things.
  • grimshit
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Post 3+ Months Ago

All SDSL lines have static IP adresses. 1Mb SDSL is £200 a month which is quite reasonable. If you want 2Mb then thats about £350, that sort of connection should provide enough to run a small file server or several websites. Fedora linux should be a good enough OS, its also free unlike most other Distro's. Apache comes installed as well by default which is an excellent hosting program.

*plum*
  • northjersey78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Enigma wrote:

First point on this is why bother installing an OS if all you are going to use the HDD for is storage and not actually boot off it ?

I have a couple of HDD's I use soley for storage and have not botherd to install an OS on either therefore increasing the capacity. Maybe not by alot mind, but seeing as I`m never going to boot from either, I didnt see the point in installing the OS.

Second, why download from one pc, just to move it accross to the second ? Wouldn't this defeat the point of having a storage PC ? It's up to you at the end of the day, but it seems silly to me.



I was wonderng the same thing. But I have heard that Linux is more stable than Windows and takes up less resources and space so I can basically leave the unit running 24 hours day for a long time without worrying about it. But maybe it will be more trouble than it is worth to worry about installing Linux.

The reason I download on the old unit is because the mjaority of the files are bit torrented, and I generally like to scan the file and make sure everything is OK on the old unit before bringing on to my new PC.

Enigma wrote:

You can host a home website from any PC as long as you set it up correctly.

Things you would need to look into further regarding this might be:
Server software [ I.E Windows 2000 etc ]
PC Configuration
DNS
IP [ Static - Unless you are going to leave you pc on continuously ]
Line rental cost
Overall cost

Not trying to put you off there, just giving you a few things to look into before you make up your mind.

How much do you currently pay for hosting because you might want to ask yourself if its going to be cheaper and less hassle to let someone else look after that side of things.


I host through iPowerweb for (I think) $8 a month. But if I can do it for free on my own unit, I probably be more apt to runa several websites at once instead of concentrating on the single site I have running now.

It was just an idea, though. ANy other suggestions on what might be the best way to utilize the old unit?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

northJersey78 wrote:
I was wonderng the same thing. But I have heard that Linux is more stable than Windows and takes up less resources and space so I can basically leave the unit running 24 hours day for a long time without worrying about it. But maybe it will be more trouble than it is worth to worry about installing Linux.


If all your going to use your other PC is for storage, then there is no point istalling any OS, even Linux. If at some point you are going to want to boot from that HDD, then yes, install Linux if you want.

northjersey78 wrote:
The reason I download on the old unit is because the mjaority of the files are bit torrented, and I generally like to scan the file and make sure everything is OK on the old unit before bringing on to my new PC.


I thought you were going to turn it into a storage facility for your music ? I can understand your thinking behind downloading to a seperate PC, but why bother to waste space on your newer PC when you could store/play/modify everything via a network card to your storage PC ?


northjersey78 wrote:
I host through iPowerweb for (I think) $8 a month. But if I can do it for free on my own unit, I probably be more apt to runa several websites at once instead of concentrating on the single site I have running now.


You might find its cheaper to stay the way you are with your current host as sometimes having a permenant iNet connection and static IP can be costly.

In my personal opinion, I would wipe your old HDD's and leave them in the old unit, get a baisc network set up and use it as storage for music etc. That way you can work from your new PC, but still access everything on your old PC. Basicaly, use it as a seperate PC.

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