I have a few old IDE hard drives lying around that still work fine and are relatively large for their age (80 gigs) and was wondering if it is worth it to buy an external enclosure that uses the IDE interface or should I just buy one with a newer SATA drive installed. I'm not cheap I just hate to recycle them if they are still useful for non-essential storage.
80gb is plenty for backup for most people. Assuming you go usb2.0 for the interface, it's a bit slow for direct usage though.
I'd suggest a good usage would be to back up things you can't afford to lose - pics, financial stuff, whatever then take that enclosure someplace else (friend you can trust, lockbox, parents house, work) and keep it there except when you are doing backup.