Just acquired 5 very old laptops, what to do?


Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Just acquired 5 very old laptops, what to do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    298

    Just acquired 5 very old laptops, what to do?

    I just now, right this minute got 5 old 486 IBM thinkpads with 50MHZ & 12MB Ram running Win 3.1. They have black and white LCD's on them. They all work. Wonder what I could do with them other than paper weights. Seems like a shame to pitch them. They have no opticals, but the do have external floppies. and a port for a bus mouse and parrallel printing, and 1 PCMCIA slot. Not much else though.
    Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed - Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."

    -Deep Thought, Jack Handey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Somewhere, Texas
    Posts
    9,628
    You can always give them to weblowITup.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    8,130

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,610
    Zislack. Is there any kind of modem or eth capability. You could do a network install.

    ZipSlack installs into a directory on your DOS filesystem. It can also be installed to and booted from a Zip disk.
    ...
    * 386 processor
    * 16 megabytes of RAM
    * 100 megabytes of hard disk space on a FAT or FAT32 filesystem

    NOTE: The additional RAM is needed to compensate for the generic kernel included in ZipSlack. There is an addon for ZipSlack which installs an 8 MB swap file in the \LINUX directory. You must have this addon if you want to boot ZipSlack on a system with less than 8 MB of RAM.


    I think at that point, they would be functional, and something you could play with/give away to people.

    hlrguy
    Were you a Windows expert the VERY first time you looked at a computer with Windows, or did it take a little time.....
    My Linux Blog
    Linux Native Replacements for Windows Programs
    Mandriva One on a "Vista Home Barely" T3640 E-Machine runs great.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    539
    Give it to me.
    Linux 2.6.9-gt (4K Stacks) on Arch Linux 0.7

    "I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person."

    http://www.yupadog.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Augusta, GA
    Posts
    5,461
    Find a Boys Club or something like it, donate them for the fellows/girls to play around with and maybe learn some basic computer stuff. And if you get a reciept it can be a tax deduction. Maybe load linux on them and create some more linux users?
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________________
    Bigboogie on boogienights.net:
    Ammo case
    Asus 8N32 SLI MB
    AMD Athlon x2 3800+
    2 GB Patriot Signature 400 DDR
    160 GB Hitachi 7200 IDE
    2 x-250 Seagate SATA2
    EVGA Nvidia 7900GT
    Dell 2007WFP
    Logitech 5.1 speakers
    Logitech MX1000 mouse
    Dell USB keyboard
    NEC 3500 DVD-RW
    Benq 1655 DVD-RW



    (God bless tax refunds)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    298
    I got them home and booted them. 4 actually work pretty well for what they are, the 5th one has a busted LCD. 1 has Win95 and actually runs it fairly decent. I think that I will take Hard Candy's suggestion and see if I can donate to our local boy's club. I will probably not mess around with zipslack on them as they don't have enough HD space to load x.

    Icarus, that was a good suggestion though.

    raz0rblade, these things aren't even worth the money it would take to ship them.
    Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed - Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."

    -Deep Thought, Jack Handey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Scott, Louisiana
    Posts
    206
    It would have been cool to have one next to your main computer running a networked X session displaying gkrellm or another system monitoring program. Maybe let it run netwatch so you can see your connections to the outside world.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    2,171
    If you put linux-router on 1 and close the screen later, you will not need to do anything with the screen at all.
    Come under the reign of the Idiot King...
    Come to me ... I love linux!

    Registered Linux user: Idiot King #350544

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    937
    Good point - use the one with a busted LCD as a server of some kind.

    Also, you could perhaps use them as dumb terminals using something like VNC. I'm sure there's hordes of Linux hobbyists who'd like them just for the challenge of getting Linux to work on such old machines... (me for one, but you can't ship international ).
    Registered Linux User #325947

    Check out Feather Linux, my distro.
    (Yes, it's shameless self promotion, deal with it )

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    2,171
    or maybe make a cheap cluster and devote them to seti@home

    Come under the reign of the Idiot King...
    Come to me ... I love linux!

    Registered Linux user: Idiot King #350544

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Spokane, Washington
    Posts
    580
    Originally posted by XiaoKJ
    or maybe make a cheap cluster and devote them to seti@home

    A cluster was my first idea.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    298
    All very good ideas, I already made arrangements to donate them however.

    I am going to keep the one with the busted LCD and see if I can get any use out of it. Some kind of server, maybe a print server. How would I be able to setup anything on it without an LCD though? Should I swap HD's with one of the ones with a good LCD, get everything installed and then swap back? I told the guy I called that I would drop them off next Friday, so I have a week to figure it out.
    Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed - Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."

    -Deep Thought, Jack Handey

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,610
    Originally posted by Sgood1971
    How would I be able to setup anything on it without an LCD though?
    You can use any monitor as a terminal to install/set it up. You could probably find a vt100 somewhere for 50c too. Once set up, install sshd, and you can simply access it remotely. They aren't so old that there isn't a monitor out plug is there?

    hlrguy
    Were you a Windows expert the VERY first time you looked at a computer with Windows, or did it take a little time.....
    My Linux Blog
    Linux Native Replacements for Windows Programs
    Mandriva One on a "Vista Home Barely" T3640 E-Machine runs great.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •