|Recycled PC: Old Computers with a New Purpose|
|Articles - Featured Guides|
|Written by Mat Thompson - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 05 June 2009|
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Computers are still valuable commodities and are still useable in many, many other applications. The five suggestions given above are those that would be useable and useful to a large number of people, but that doesn't mean that that's all there is out there.
For instance, most music out there is recorded in a digital medium. While there are some musicians out there that feel that recording on tape gives their music a sound that you can't reproduce in digital form, the vast majority record on computers into a digital medium. A studio computer may be just what the aspiring musician needs, complete with a sound card capable of recording at 96 or 192khz.
3D artists are people who are no strangers to needing more computing power. Fortunately, multiple computer clustering is becoming easier for home users. While clustering is still a relatively complex subject, there are lots of software projects out there that accomplish cluster computing and allow the inclusion of another computer to a pre-existing cluster.
For the gamer, a computer is a great source of video game nostalgia through MAME. MAME is an emulator of arcade hardware and allows the user to play video games on their computer through the software. The legality of the ownership of "roms" (or the games in file form) is frequently dubious, but many companies have released their video games in rom form for use in MAME, free of charge for personal use. Because of this nostalgia, people frequently purchase old arcade cabinets, or construct their own, for the sole purpose of creating their own arcade cabinet built around their computer and MAME.
A spare computer can also be used to control the network and be used as a router for DHCP, NAT, IP routing and a firewall, among other things. Because of the increase in computing power and storage space, far more features can be attached and implemented compared to a stand alone router, such as the Linksys WRT54G series. The computer can also be used to share printers across a network.