In Pictures: 19 Ways To Recycle Old, Unused Hardware

Use A Chassis As A Mailbox

Turning a chassis into a mailbox is both a nifty and dangerous idea. On one hand, it would certainly be original when compared to the other dull and unimaginative mailboxes lining the street. Heck, it might even put a smile on the mail carrier's face. But on the other hand, this physical inbox could alert would-be thieves to a tech-savvy geek who probably has a stockpile of electronics at the designated address. There's also a question of whether a chassis would be able to resist the elements and keep the mail dry. It would certainly give the neighbors something to gossip about.

Make A Grill

Who needs to drive down to Walmart and purchase a new grill when a handy substitute is hanging out in a pile of old hardware? As seen above, someone took an empty chassis, dumped in a pile of coal, and decided to cook several sticks of meat. Based on the image, it seems that the backyard cook didn't bother to close the PCI slots or drive bays--sealing those holes would be ideal, keeping the fiery coals and heat intact. Then again, it might be even better to shove the chassis in the ground, leaving the opening exposed for a PC-themed barbecue pit.

Craft "Fine" Jewelry

It's not hard to find jewelry made from computer components on the Internet. The earrings seen above came from GeekGirl Jewelry, which offers many circuit-based designs. Other creative individuals have used memory chips, keyboard keys, CPUs, power buttons, USB drives, and even miniature circuit boards.

Wearing hardware-based jewelry will likely prevent anyone from landing a hot date unless they're attending CES, Computex, or a Tom's Hardware office party.

Turn It Into A Beer Dispenser

Looking for a way to spice up a party? Why not create a working beer dispenser with a computer chassis. The style doesn't really matter--you can use an old PC case with a rear pull-off shell, an Apple G3 case, or even a Sun Microsystems server box. Taking a different direction, some PC modders have even created unique, beer-themed PCs (which don't involve actual beer) like the Bubbacomp, which is a working rig in the shape of a large beer can, and the Heineken Beer PC, which mimics a case of Heineken. Want to take the simple route? Just install a beer bottle opener on the side of the chassis.

Feed The Birds

This option may be a bit tacky, but using a PC chassis as a bird feeder is definitely an interesting way to repay Mother Nature. As seen above, this person merely secured a chassis to a tree using lots of rope--keyboard included. Can't get the birds to land? Chances are they don't want to be seen coasting anywhere near the geeky resort.

Mimic Works Of Art

Last year, this tribute to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa was seen in the lobby of motherboard manufacturer Asus' headquarters in Taiwan. As you've probably guessed, this "painting" is actually a collage of old motherboards and computer chips, comprised as a tribute to the famous artist as well as the technology that has propelled the company to the forefront of the industry. The collage was reportedly created by actual Asus designers--CEO Jonney Shih said the company encourages its designers to foster "any kind of crazy ideas." This Mona Lisa tribute isn't anything close to crazy--it's downright spectacular.

Decorate Your Car

What better way to make a statement about your PC roots than to sport a ride caked with circuit boards? Granted the image shown above is possibly fake, but there could be a way to demonstrate your dedication through a real crafty paint job or a full-body printed wrap with components cemented onto the surface. Instead of fuzzy dice, throw on a pair of 5.25" floppy disks around the rear-view mirror. On the hood, engrave an Intel Inside logo.

Anger Management

If all else fails, take all the unused hardware out to the back yard and go to town with a handy bat, golf club, machete, or axe. There's no denying it--we've all been there, wanting to rip the rig to shreds because a PCI card isn't behaving with the rest of the hardware, or the installed graphics card just isn't as vigorous as it was in its younger days. Some of the more hateful components thus far have included modems, CD-ROM drives, and printers--all of which eventually need a little "me time," Jason Vorhees-style. Honestly, the bigger the better. Bonus points if you play a little Geto Boys as you abuse your hardware, a la Office Space.

  • KingArcher
    But can the dragonfly fly?
  • zooted
    Some of them were flat out hilarious
  • Randomacts
    #3 I would put that in my house #13 that is a bunch of fermi cards not coal you see. The black balls is just for looks.
  • gamebrigada
    #13 you aren't supposed to close side vents for a kebab cook thingie. You want that for fresh air to the coals so that the temperature goes way up. Hes doing it perfectly right.
  • Ramar
    My town just finished a three year project building a new parking building and some park and office space, and used the extra pipes to build an artistic statue featuring RGB LED's refracting wonderfully off of old smashed CD-R's through holes cut in the pipes.

    Wish I had a picture, but it's pretty neat.
  • dEAne
    I like the first one. When I was a little kid I use to glue things thrown in the garbage.
  • Luscious
    I think you guys forgot #20 - iPad cutting board
  • randomizer
    #8 would use a lot of power if left on.
  • Randomacts
    randomizer#8 would use a lot of power if left on.
    It looks like its gutted CRTS with colored lights.

  • randomizer
    RandomactsIt looks like its gutted CRTS with colored lights.Looking at this photo it may be the case, but she's done other ones where it looks quite likely that the monitors are operational:

    Power lights on the monitors and some computers.