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ExperimentingIf you have never played around with Linux, you will see a whole new world of technology, simply by using Linux. In a matter of about one hour, you can have Ubuntu on any old system! You can even test it out with a live CD mode before you install anything to the hard drive. For Linux newbies, Ubuntu is all the rage.
When you boot up Linux, you will notice it's different in appearance from Windows, but has a lot of the same features. For instance, there is still a start menu and icons. Browsing the web and typing documents is simple. An even bigger advantage is access to tons of free applications. As you can see, Linux is a great operating system for tons of devices!
RouterUsing Linux, you can convert your old computer right into a LAN server. You can simply replace your old server and share the internet access. You can connect via a VPN service with other offices and even offer some public access. If you run the project RouterOS or ZeroShell, you can administer it through the internet browser on a computer that is remote. It installs directly onto the hard drive.
LAN File ServerYou may decide that you want to create a NAS enclosure on your old computer by installing the FreeNAS server to your computer. When you do this, you don't have to be concerned about other computers being on, in order to access Windows share. It allows better control with shares and can record user details as well as have the ability to authenticate users. You will also have the recycle bin support with FreeNAS. Unlike deleting a file in a Windows share, it won't be deleted forever and you can recover it from the trash can at a later time.
Make it a HotspotIf you want to have Wi-Fi internet access for both you and the neighbors around you, you should install a Wi-Fi hotspot with that old computer equipment. Linux has a live CD option called ZoneCD that provides filtering to web content and Wi-Fi authentication. All you need is the disk, and it boots right up without changes to your hard drive. All you have to have is the bootable CD-ROM drive, a USB thumb drive or floppy drive for storing the configuration and 128MB of RAM.
There are many other uses for Linux with your old computers as well.
You can host your own website, or use it when you are trying to develop an intranet. You can use it to host an email server or as a database for special projects.
If you’re at that point of tossing out the old computers, don’t do it! Think again and look at all the wonderful things you can do to rejuvenate that computer and bring it back to life!
Will Messing writes about technology and recently took the plunge to open his own computer business. He recommends using www.healtinsurancequotes.org to find great rates for the self-employed.