When it comes to re-purposing old laptops, it seems like the only option people really talk about is to turn it into a picture frame. There's got to be more that an
old iBook can do... right?
My girlfriend has a 5-year old iBook G4 running OS 10.3 (Panther) which has simply outlived its usefulness as an every day, primary computer. It's got 256mb RAM and a small-ish hard drive but can't handle Office, iTunes, or Firefox (let alone any 2 of those at once) without breaking out the color-wheel-of-death.
I bought her a new MacBook last month which she loves but she is refusing to get rid of her old iBook. I have a slightly newer (about 4-years old) iBook of my own that I am selling on eBay but she is not interested in parting with her "old friend." I don't understand her need to hold onto this old laptop, nor do I seek to dissuade her of the notion. I asked her if we could possibly try to figure out some way to re-purpose it rather than let it sit on a shelf gathering dust and she agreed, now the question is, what to do with it?
I've seen threads about this in a number of places (including here
and on lifehacker
) but it always seems to come down to file server or picture frame. Our house has a server (Ubuntu 8.04, reasonably speedy) and we have no need for a digital picture frame. I was thinking about using it as a firewall (but it only has one NIC) or as a thin client but I'm not sure where to start. I used to run Ubuntu PPC on my
old iBook but kept running into issues due to the x86 vs PPC architecture. The other idea I had was as a "kitchen" computer for recipes and watching TV/streaming radio while cooking, but we already use her new MacBook to do this and that seems to work fine.
In the end, I think we've got enough computers in our house, but she wants to keep this one. So... I turn to you, dear readers. What possible use can we squeeze out of my girlfriend's "old friend"??