That Dusty Old Computer

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thepeacemaker7
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That Dusty Old Computer

Postby thepeacemaker7 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:30 pm

Hey Guys,
When do you finally determine that an old computer needs to hit the dump heap? I have 4 Pentium 4 computers, and I am using one of them as a PFSense router right now. However, I have to admit, I am getting this sinking feeling that it is time to let these computers go. Why? Mainly because I could build a PFSense router for less than $200 dollars that uses less electricity and has more features.

Are there any distributed computing projects that use 15 year old computers in a meaningful way? :icon_rolleyes: If not, when do you guys take your old computer behind the barn and put it out of its misery? lol

Your pack-ratting friend thepeacemaker7 :icon_cheesygrin:

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Re: That Dusty Old Computer

Postby USAFA82 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:55 pm

I have a customer that still has some Pentium 4 computers. lol The decision to retire a computer is based when when it's outlived it's usefulness. My personal opinion is that Pentium 4's aren't going to be as useful, productive or efficient as a newer computer. On the other hand, if you want a badge that shows time spent in a particular project, a very slow computer can help you achieve that goal better than a new computer.

I have a first-generation Core i7 that I built in 2009. I have the original specs somewhere on this board. Since then, I've added memory, replaced the hard drives a couple of times, upgraded the video card, and just in the past week I upgraded the drive to a SSD. It's still faster than most of the computers I work on for customers. I may try to build a 7th gen Core i7 next year but I also have to be a good steward. If my current machine keeps plugging along, I may wait.

It may be time to donate them to your local Goodwill :)

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Re: That Dusty Old Computer

Postby littlepeaks » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:57 pm

Hmmm -- I have an old Pentium PC down stairs. It was pretty beefy at the time, and has a separate video card from the motherboard. It still works pretty well, but haven't started it up in about a year. It has a large CRT monitor that' starting to lose its focus (it can run an HD monitor). It has Doom II, which runs real well on it. I uninstalled the Norton antivirus on it, since it is no longer connected to the internet. Think it has MS Office Professional 2003 on it. Also has Norton Ghost -- not sure if I got rid of that or not. Probably ought to dispose of it, unless someone wants it.
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Re: That Dusty Old Computer

Postby thepeacemaker7 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:34 am

littlepeaks wrote:Hmmm -- I have an old Pentium PC down stairs. It was pretty beefy at the time, and has a separate video card from the motherboard. It still works pretty well, but haven't started it up in about a year. It has a large CRT monitor that' starting to lose its focus (it can run an HD monitor). It has Doom II, which runs real well on it. I uninstalled the Norton antivirus on it, since it is no longer connected to the internet. Think it has MS Office Professional 2003 on it. Also has Norton Ghost -- not sure if I got rid of that or not. Probably ought to dispose of it, unless someone wants it.


Does that computer have DOS or Windows on it?

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Re: That Dusty Old Computer

Postby littlepeaks » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:38 pm

It has Windows XP, but I haven't done updates since I mothballed it. Don't know if the XP updates are still available or not. I used to run WCG on it, but only one WU at a time.
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Re: That Dusty Old Computer

Postby littlepeaks » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:56 am

Hi all. Well, I'm thinking about making that old PC a dual-boot, and installing Linux as the other OS -- just to play around with it. I told my daughter I wanted a wifi dongle for Christmas, to connect it to the internet. I haven't turned it on in about a year, so I hope it still works. Late in its active life, I had to replace the power supply, so it should be good to go. It also needs replacement monitor -- it has a CRT monitor which is "losing it", but a friend of mine has a bunch of HD monitors for the asking (nothing fancy). And it does support digital monitors. The best part about this endeavor is that I can screw up the PC completely, and won't losing anything.
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Re: That Dusty Old Computer

Postby USAFA82 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:19 pm

That'll be an interesting project. Keep us updated on how it's going!

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Re: That Dusty Old Computer

Postby thepeacemaker7 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:30 pm

Very Interesting!

What type of wifi dongle are you getting? Wasn't the Pentium before USB?

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Re: That Dusty Old Computer

Postby littlepeaks » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:16 am

Well, that didn't work. I didn't even try using it. I looked at the specs for the device, and it said it only worked on Windows 7 and 10. So I called tech support and asked them about XP and Linux, and they said "fat chance" (my paraphrase). The sales person my daughter bought it (at Best Buy) from swore up and down that it worked XP and Linux, even though it wasn't listed. So I returned the device. My XP PC has 6 USB ports on it. It should be in pretty good condition -- I replaced the HD on it because it was getting noisy and replaced the power supply because the old PS went kaput, but it's just been laying downstairs for over a year. When I returned it, they told me what I really need is a "internal NIC card PCIe 1.0" which they only sell on line, but I didn't see anything like that on thier web site. My wifi here is dual band (from Xfinity). So any suggestions? Think I'll go down to the local computer stores on Tuesday and ask them for advice. BTW, the PC has lots of open expansion slots.
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Re: That Dusty Old Computer

Postby USAFA82 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:15 pm

I used to pull NIC cards from old computers and had a stack of them. I got rid of them a couple of months ago, otherwise I would have given you as many as you needed.

I would search on eBay or Amazon. Newegg.com is another resource I've used. You can also check MicroCenter.com. They have a store in Denver. A local computer store might have it but I'm doubtful since it's very old technology and motherboards have come standard with built-in Ethernet ports for years.


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