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Used Cheap Laptops - Practical Uses for Used Cheap Laptops

1. file server 4. distributed computing

If you have purchased a used, cheap laptop recently, you may have found that it lacks power for anything other than internet browsing, word processing, and email. However, you don’t need to throw that used, cheap laptop out. Instead, you can use your used, cheap laptop in new, practical, and exciting ways. Below are a few projects that you can do at home that are relatively inexpensive to implement.

1. File Server

If you have more than one computer on your home network and want to share multimedia and other files between them, there is no better way than by setting up a home server for file sharing. You can use your used, cheap laptop as a home server by converting it into a network attached storage server (NAS). To get started, you will need to download a server program like FreeNAS, which offers a wide variety of features and costs nothing. All that you have to do is to download the software from their website, install the program on your used, cheap laptop, and then follow the intuitive setup wizard, which will guide you through the complete process. Before long, you’ll have converted your used, cheap laptop into an invaluable component of your home network.

2. Testing New Software and Operating Systems

Another use for your cheap, used laptop is to use it to test out new software and new operating systems. Adding a new operating system to your main computer can be risky and time consuming. You may just want to try the newest version of Linux or perhaps a beta copy of some other operating system, but often installing a new one requires you to format your hard drive, causing you to lose all your data. Instead, use your used, cheap laptop as an experiment to install an operating system that you want to try. There is a high probability that you will lose any data that you have stored on the laptop, so make sure to back up any files that you need before proceeding with installing the new operating system. You can also use the used, cheap laptop to test software. Some software might be buggy, which can lead to crashes on your main computer. Instead, by installing and testing this new software on your used, cheap laptop, you have almost no risk and can find out if the program works.

3. CD and DVD Creation

If you like to make CDs and DVD copies of your favorite music and movies, you know that doing so on your main computer system can be time consuming and can tie up precious system resources that can make your computer slow to a crawl. One way to get around this is to use your used, cheap laptop as a CD and DVD burning station. By doing this, you can keep from bogging down your main computer, letting you be more productive while burning CDs and DVDs. You do not even have to set up the laptop in the same room since the burning process takes minimal effort and requires minimal attention. All that you need to turn your used, cheap laptop into a CD and DVD burning station is a DVD burner for your laptop and CD/DVD creating software.

4. Distributed Computing

Many researchers are turning to distributed computing projects to help with their studies. In distributed computing projects, highly complex mathematical programs and operations are divided up onto different computers throughout the world. Each computer works on a small task, which is then sent back into the scientists, who then compile the data. In essence, thousands of computer across the world function like a giant, supercomputer, but at a fraction of the cost. There are many different kinds of distributed computing projects available for you to try. For instance, you can use your computer to help solve the riddles of cancer. Or, you may want to use it to analyze deep space signals to search for extraterrestrial life. Regardless, these distributed computing projects take a lot of power and resources from your computer. Instead of taking up the time on your main computer to run these programs, you can use your used, cheap laptop for this purpose.

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