Best uses for old laptop?

I dug out my cr48 (single core atom two gigs ram, intel graphics) because my tablet’s charging cable futzed out and I’m trying to seperate internet from the desktop as a courtesy to my family who doesn’t yet need to do things on an actual computer due to phones, but I figure keep a seat open.

Anyway dunno how that’ll pan out, but the thing runs shockingly well when not needing to do internet lifting, though I am worried given broadcom decoder cards are going up in price and while i would like to put a new ssd in both for more drive space and because newer drives are supposed to run faster even on the msata interface this has than what came stock… I’m not sure if it’s worth it given that’s probably $120ish for both.

That said I do have a male/male rca audio cable and a vga cable. Really wish I had a bluetooth remote since hooking this thing up to a big screen dumb tv seems pretty swank (especially if i can get a usb dvd player… far as I know linux and bluray don’t play nice.)

Again. ost. For all that I could get a raspberry pi, case, remote, and such. right?

I really should get back into writing so this and focuswriter. Hell that’s how I wrote my engine heart novel. Best part is the fact wifi zonks out until a system reboot doesn’t affect writing.

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I wouldn’t even bother shelling out for a bluetooth remote. If you’ve got a smartphone (or use your tablet), Unified Remote is what you need. That’s exactly the setup we’ve got: old laptop hidden behind the TV stand, with Unified Remote on our phones to control it. The basic app’s free, and it’s not much for the full one, but personally I wouldn’t bother unless you are desperate to use ctrl, function and alt keys through a phone screen. For controlling the likes of VLC and Netflix et al, the free version is more than good enough.


Pretty much the same things I’d do with a drunken sailor.

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Why would you want to hook it up to your TV? I don’t think it’s going to be able to do much there especially if the WiFi isn’t reliable. Seems like it’s best to turn it in a dedicated writing machine. If you really want to get something on your TV, either a Chromecast (if you just want to make your TV “smart”) or a Chromebit (if you want PC on TV) is probably the way to go.


Recently I have been thinking of using an old laptop as a dedicated hardware firewall. I could buy a nice little off-the-shelf network computer and case and put it all together for the $100-200 range. But I don’t have that much to spend. But I do have an old Inspiron laptop already. So, how about using a mini-PCIe gigabit card in that? Could bring the hardware cost to about $30. I don’t have $30 either but it’s more readily doable. Ethernet ports hanging out of a busted laptop would not be pretty, but it would just be sitting on a shelf somewhere unseen anyway.

How are you going to fit an entire laptop in there?

I don’t have anything to fit the laptop into. It’s already self-contained, minus a display screen. So the dimensions are about 15"x10"x0.75". But if/when I install the mini-PCIe card, the new connectors will dangle off of it somewhere. Since the computer is just junkpile material, I might even simply use a hot glue gun to affix the jacks to the outside somewhere, to reduce wear due to flexing of the cables.

Currently, there are a cable modem and router on the top of a book shelf. If I make this firewall it will reside up there with them.

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