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Uses for old Computer

I have an old computer and I am not sure of what to do with it.

Specs:
Intel Pentium4 @2.4Ghz (dual core)
Nvidia GeForce4 MX 420
256MB RAM
120GB HDD

i was thinking of running xubuntu, will it work well?
what are some other uses?
additional thoughts:
media computer
network computer (that holds shared files on the network)
selling?

if you need any more info just ask
37 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about uses computer
  1. Difficult to say for sure, but there's an easy way to find out. Try it and see - you have the hardware and only you can decide what is acceptable performance for your needs.

    Personally, I would put a 1 or 2 TB hard disk in it, install FreeBSD, and use it as network storage. (FreeNAS will do this for you.)
  2. i was also wondering if it could serve as a netflix (or other movie) computer and conect it to my TV. how would 720/1080p movies work on here?
  3. Ijack said:
    Difficult to say for sure, but there's an easy way to find out. Try it and see - you have the hardware and only you can decide what is acceptable performance for your needs.

    Personally, I would put a 1 or 2 TB hard disk in it, install FreeBSD, and use it as network storage. (FreeNAS will do this for you.)


    and will the computer be speedy enough to do this?
    how difficult is this to setup?
  4. The only way to know if the computer is speedy enough is to try it and see. FreeBSD is not very demanding and I believe that FreeNAS is pretty simple to install. All these things are free, so have a play and see which works best for you.
  5. well i just installed xubuntu, not done yet, but i read that it makes a old computer useable, is there a way to do this on xubuntu?
  6. Pentium 4 1.4Ghz? (dual-core)?

    No such CPU exisists.
  7. amdfangirl said:
    Pentium 4 1.4Ghz? (dual-core)?

    No such CPU exisists.


    2.4Ghz.... sorry about that
  8. Personally I prefer LXDE over XFCE, but that's just preference. Either should run just fine on a rig with those specs.

    I would also do what iJacks suggested if it were up to me.
  9. Xubuntu is a pretty solid choice. Might be a better OS to learn the Linux from.
  10. o well i was just about done with the installation, and then i got an error (i think it was error 5 {thats probably wrong}) and it froze and nothing could be done, it said it was a disk error (it was not clean) but i did a disk check before..... any help?
  11. Burn the CD at a really slow speed and check the MD5 checksum?
  12. amdfangirl said:
    Burn the CD at a really slow speed and check the MD5 checksum?


    so set it to like 4x?
    (it was at 24x)
    wats md5 checksum?
  13. Pyroflea said:
    Personally I prefer LXDE over XFCE, but that's just preference. Either should run just fine on a rig with those specs.

    I would also do what iJacks suggested if it were up to me.


    k i have no idea wat you are talking about

    theproblem with ijack's suggestion is that i dont want to spend the $60 on a terrible computer.
  14. nnaatthhaannx2 said:
    so set it to like 4x?
    (it was at 24x)
    wats md5 checksum?


    It's a code avalible on the download website to make sure that the download is not corrupted.

    If you wish you could make a LiveUSB.
  15. amdfangirl said:
    It's a code avalible on the download website to make sure that the download is not corrupted.

    If you wish you could make a LiveUSB.


    can i just try again by deleting all the files on my hard drive, or is it more complicated than that?
  16. $60 may sound a lot to spend on an old computer; on the other hand, it's pretty cheap for a 1TB NAS device. But you don't have to spend anything, just use the original disk for less storage.
  17. Best answer
    My observations:

    1. It will not like HD video and no HDMI out.
    2. It has limited ram
    3. As a file server the P4 chip will eat electricity. (it's just gone up 15% per kWh here!)

    Suggestions:

    1. Run Puppy, Slax or DSL and it's a perfectly workable desktop
    2. For any of the Ubuntu derivatives try and find at least another 256mb of ram.
    3. It could make an audio PC using to play your MP3's etc. Disk is big enough and you're not likely to worry about an old PC if you have a party or friends want to play DJ. Old sound blaster card would improve over the on-board efforts.

    For what it's worth I'm picking up a similar box this week as payment for helping a friend move house. It's going to get 2Gb of old ram I have and a DVD RW drive and replace my brothers somewhat sick EeePC 701. The extra core and 1.5Ghz speed boost will see him right for another year or so.
  18. Yeh, I have a P4 box running Fedora 15 LXDE which works quite well doing the inventory for the sewing machines we fix.
  19. amdfangirl said:
    Yeh, I have a P4 box running Fedora 15 LXDE which works quite well doing the inventory for the sewing machines we fix.


    Would this be the appropriate time to make a sexist joke? :D
  20. Pyroflea said:
    Would this be the appropriate time to make a sexist joke? :D


    no
  21. amdfangirl said:
    Yeh, I have a P4 box running Fedora 15 LXDE which works quite well doing the inventory for the sewing machines we fix.


    with how much ram?
  22. audiovoodoo said:
    My observations:

    1. It will not like HD video and no HDMI out.
    2. It has limited ram
    3. As a file server the P4 chip will eat electricity. (it's just gone up 15% per kWh here!)

    Suggestions:

    1. Run Puppy, Slax or DSL and it's a perfectly workable desktop
    2. For any of the Ubuntu derivatives try and find at least another 256mb of ram.
    3. It could make an audio PC using to play your MP3's etc. Disk is big enough and you're not likely to worry about an old PC if you have a party or friends want to play DJ. Old sound blaster card would improve over the on-board efforts.

    For what it's worth I'm picking up a similar box this week as payment for helping a friend move house. It's going to get 2Gb of old ram I have and a DVD RW drive and replace my brothers somewhat sick EeePC 701. The extra core and 1.5Ghz speed boost will see him right for another year or so.


    for puppy os, do i have to have a clean new disk (CD), or can i use an old one with deleted data?
  23. nnaatthhaannx2 said:
    with how much ram?


    I use 1GiB but the min requirement is 640MiB because of a glitch in the system requirements. It only uses 100MiB idle and 200-300MiB in use.

    Lubuntu does not have this problem, needing only 384MiB, idling at 70MiB.
  24. I know a guy that has a computer with similar specs. He uses his as a
    astericks server / DHCP server / PPPoE conection.

    He uses Cent OS with X-windows not running so it is just terminal. I forget which version though.
  25. I'd suggest upping the RAM to 512MB, keep wxisting hdd, install antiX-M55-i686; partition
    / ext4 8GB, /home ext4 100+ GB, swap 1GB.

    Run smxi and install liquorix kernel

    have fun!http://www.smxi.org
  26. chamaecyparis said:
    I'd suggest upping the RAM to 512MB, keep wxisting hdd, install antiX-M55-i686; partition
    / ext4 8GB, /home ext4 100+ GB, swap 1GB.

    Run smxi and install liquorix kernel

    have fun!http://www.smxi.org


    whats your best suggestion for current RAM?
  27. Q:
    nnaatthhaannx2 said:
    whats your best suggestion for current RAM?


    A: . . . to create a swap file

    After install of the distro (BTW, I must have been thinking of the Toyo tires on my 4WD when I said 'M55' as it should have been M11), I'd suggest downloading and installing your favorite text editor if you do not like to use vi -- for ex.
    Midnight Commander [cpp]sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install mc[/cpp] before having to append the /etc/fstab with [cpp]/swapfile1 swap swap defaults 0 0[/cpp] [see e) referred to in link above].

    Then all that needs be done is to enter the command [cpp]sudo mcedit /etc/fstab[/cpp] then append.

    A 512MB swap file should be plenty, so just follow the example in link.

    Best wishes!
  28. nnaatthhaannx2 said:
    for puppy os, do i have to have a clean new disk (CD), or can i use an old one with deleted data?


    Puppy can save to a file on an existing file system or you can install it as a full OS (disc wiped) so the answer is either way is fine.
  29. Oh, forgot to ask if you are in the UK? I might have 2x 128Mb DDR2 DIMM's I could post you if that would help.

    [off topic]
    Just in case anybody knows... I got given an old HP SFF box but the BIOS is locked down and even after doing the battery trick it's still asking me for a BIOS password (I can boot OK but I want to tweak a few things). Is there a clear switch on the old HP hardware at all or do people think flashing the BIOS is my best option?[/off topic]
  30. audiovoodoo said:

    [off topic]
    Just in case anybody knows... I got given an old HP SFF box but the BIOS is locked down and even after doing the battery trick it's still asking me for a BIOS password (I can boot OK but I want to tweak a few things). Is there a clear switch on the old HP hardware at all or do people think flashing the BIOS is my best option?[/off topic]


    Have you tried those BIOS PW defaults you can find on the internet?
  31. amdfangirl said:
    Have you tried those BIOS PW defaults you can find on the internet?


    Like here, do you mean?
  32. chamaecyparis said:
    Like here, do you mean?


    Psk, you are supposed to make people Google, not do it for them ;).
  33. Best answer selected by nnaatthhaannx2.
  34. amdfangirl said:
    Psk, you are supposed to make people Google, not do it for them ;).


    Errr... What's google and how can I get IDM to work?? :P
  35. audiovoodoo said:
    Errr... What's google and how can I get IDM to work?? :P


    LOL -- luv ur srcasm!

    BTW -- set up a friend, who has a similar SFF IBM, with Swift Linux -- check it out, audiovoodoo!
  36. I'll have a look (see my rant in another thread about Fedora!) along with Mint. It looks like the field has changed a bit since I last played with Linux in any depth.
  37. audiovoodoo said:
    Errr... What's google and how can I get IDM to work?? :P


    It is now a sticky.

    Anyone caught posting another one of those threads will have their thread removed.

    audiovoodoo said:
    I'll have a look (see my rant in another thread about Fedora!) along with Mint. It looks like the field has changed a bit since I last played with Linux in any depth.


    Mint is really the best direction for beginner Linux.
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