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View Full Version : Old laptop... any ideas ???



Ed Aumiller
04-12-2012, 9:41 PM
Replaced my wife's laptop for Christmas .....

Now have a 2007 Dell Inspiron 1501 Laptop and need a use for it.... It is worth about $100 (if I am lucky!!)....
It runs XP and is wireless... thought I could use it as shop PC... Works great in shop but only thing I use it for is to keep up with the PGA golf scores on Thursday thru Sunday when in shop.... or looking up the price of something, etc....

Since it is really not worth the hassle of selling it and have not found a good use for it in shop, am looking for some ideas on what it would be useful for...
I already have my laptop (normally in the house), wife has hers and daughter also has hers.....

Any ideas for a good use for it ????

Ron Natalie
04-12-2012, 9:50 PM
I keep one in the wine cellar to access cellar tracker.

Randal Stevenson
04-12-2012, 11:35 PM
Learning to run Linux on it? Using it for streaming radio or playing your music in the shop. Worst case, use it as a practice laptop to learn to disassemble and reassemble for repair purposes.
I am surprised though you don't use it for something like cutlist.

Bruce Page
04-13-2012, 1:18 AM
That's easy, buy yourself a 10k CNC router and plug in to it. :p

Or, you could give it to a charity. :)

curtis rosche
04-13-2012, 1:23 AM
find a needy college kid. or a senior citizen who just wants to use email to keep intouch with loved ones

Zach England
04-13-2012, 9:20 AM
The golf is much more interesting on TV. I love having golf on in the shop.

Myk Rian
04-13-2012, 10:53 AM
How about a local senior center? Bet they could put it to use.

Wil Limanen
04-13-2012, 11:08 AM
I use my old one for traveling. I broke the screen one time and bought a used screen for it. It had accidentaly fallen when we checking out of the motel. It's a good spare.

Wil

terry mccammon
04-13-2012, 12:16 PM
I have one in the shop for watching DVD's not sure if that is in line with your interests.

Ed Aumiller
04-13-2012, 1:15 PM
Like the idea of a local senior center.... will check that out.... also will ask at church if any of the seniors want to learn it...

I watch golf on tv in shop, but use computer to show all the scores via the PGA leaderboard....

Don Jarvie
04-13-2012, 2:18 PM
Use it for project plans, notes for projects, cut lists, shop inventories, etc. As long as its not too slow downloading websites use it to order supplies, etc.

Mike Henderson
04-13-2012, 3:21 PM
Whatever you do with it, make SURE you wipe the disk clean. And that means more than just deleting the files, it means to use a wipe program that will eliminate all traces of the files you had on the disk. I may be paranoid but I take the disk out and beat it with a hammer before I give the rest of the computer away.

Mike

Rich Engelhardt
04-13-2012, 3:43 PM
The problem with both a charity and a senior center is that someone will have to set it up and also maintain it.
XP is a legacy system now. While it's still in widespread use, it's near end of support life.
A five year old system may or may not be able to run Windows 7.
Either way, someone is going to have to spend some time with it.
If the center/charity doesn't have an IT staff, then they will have to call in a tech.
Even if they do have an IT staff, the staff may be so over burdened thet don't have the time to work on it.

I know it sounds like a good idea on the surface - but - in all honesty, 99% of all the dontated systems I encountered over the years did little more than create a disposal problem for the outfit they were dontated to.

$100 is a pretty accurate figure as far as it's face value being 5 years old.

W/brand new systems selling for as cheap as they are anymore, it's hard to justify putting a couple of hundred dollars into a hundred dollar machine.

Three years old, maybe. Four would be a toss up depending on the machine and the memory and drive size.
Five years old is where I always advised customers to not bother trying to either repair or "make it fit into their network".

IMHO - as someone that worked IT for over 20 years - it's right where it belongs - in the shop being used for what little it's being used for.
Either that, or wipe the drive and list it on CL for a reasonable amount.
Someone may want it for parts.
If no one bites on it, then see if one of the smaller local PC shops wants it for parts.

Chuck Wintle
04-13-2012, 6:28 PM
Replaced my wife's laptop for Christmas .....

Now have a 2007 Dell Inspiron 1501 Laptop and need a use for it.... It is worth about $100 (if I am lucky!!)....
It runs XP and is wireless... thought I could use it as shop PC... Works great in shop but only thing I use it for is to keep up with the PGA golf scores on Thursday thru Sunday when in shop.... or looking up the price of something, etc....

Since it is really not worth the hassle of selling it and have not found a good use for it in shop, am looking for some ideas on what it would be useful for...
I already have my laptop (normally in the house), wife has hers and daughter also has hers.....

Any ideas for a good use for it ????
Keep it as a practice computer to learn Linux....my vote is for Linus mint.

Ed Aumiller
04-13-2012, 6:52 PM
Mike, I took the disk out and removed any trace of original use, then started from scratch with original disks... took about a week to get it totally updated...
I am paranoid also on stuff like that... worked on computers for over 30 years so made sure no info left on it...
It is too old for any real use, agree with Rich...

Chuck, never liked Unix and too lazy to learn any more about computers... only router I like now is Porter Cable...

Thanks all...

Steve Meliza
04-13-2012, 7:10 PM
My 6 year old Insprion E1505 that should be fairly similar to what you have. It has WinXP on it but that is nearly useless as it runs extremely slow. What does run really well on it is Linux/Ubuntu. My main tasks with it these days are email, forums, and other light internet use, but I can still watch videos and listen to music from it if that is what I want. At some point I could see putting it in the garage workshop area to allows me to listen to music (without commercials and DJs) and look stuff up on the internet as needed.

Using Ubuntu is really quite easy, just click on the firefox icon and up comes the web browser.

Curt Harms
04-14-2012, 9:23 AM
My 6 year old Insprion E1505 that should be fairly similar to what you have. It has WinXP on it but that is nearly useless as it runs extremely slow. What does run really well on it is Linux/Ubuntu. My main tasks with it these days are email, forums, and other light internet use, but I can still watch videos and listen to music from it if that is what I want. At some point I could see putting it in the garage workshop area to allows me to listen to music (without commercials and DJs) and look stuff up on the internet as needed.

Using Ubuntu is really quite easy, just click on the firefox icon and up comes the web browser.

That depends. I seem to recall that Dell had a fondness for Broadcom wifi chips. Some Broadcom chipsets are easy, others are a REAL PITA. Notebooks that are pure Intel are about as easy to set up & use as Apple, install & use. Throw in hybrid graphics and certain WiFi chipsets (wired internet usually works out of the box) and Linux, even an easy one like Ubuntu or Mint can become a real project. For anyone who's curious, you can download the entire operating system and most used apps for free. You can then, using Windows and a free app called unetbootin create what's called a live install. This can be either a CD/DVD or USB drive. Boot off the CD or USB drive and you have a functioning PC (not fully functioning though) without touching the existing setup. Try that with Windows:p. If the little icon in the corner says that wireless networks are available and the screen looks good, your machine will likely work with Linux. It's a good way to check if a specific machine is worth the effort to install to hard disk and do the updates or get data off a trashed Windows install.

Chuck Wintle
04-14-2012, 9:32 AM
yes the "Ubuntu live" feature saved my friend a lot of money when his computer, running Windows XP, crashed due to a virus. A quote from the geek squad was $300 to recover files and reinstall XP. Using Ubuntu live he was able to get all of his photos from the hard drive saved to a backup file at which point he reinstalled XP. lesson learned was to ALWAYS back up important files.

glenn bradley
04-14-2012, 11:42 AM
One of my old laptops served as my internet radio in the shop. Toss all the stuff you don't need to load and it will boot faster. I just ran XP and used the browser with a home page setup as my favorite internet radio station. Threw a towel over it to keep most of the dust off.