The point of this page is to contribute basic and achievable ideas to reduce the waste we create daily. I dont like throwing things away from an environmental perspective and as a muslim. I seriously have no idea about the recycling programs here in qatar but its on my to do list. So this page is just a few hints on how to reuse things hopefully to further the geek within. I will set up an email dedicated to recieving your comments on this issue and will post it for anyone with some hints of their own, until then feel free to use the comments. Offcoarse some ideas maybe wacky/dangerous depending on implementation, bottom line be careful and i cant be held responsible.
These arent guides per se just ideas with the occasional link to help get things rolling.
I wont list sell ,donate ,take to recycle centre or try every mod under the sun as options since im sure you pretty much figured that out where relevant.
Being tidy and organized and planning helps alot with figurin out what to do and how to do it. Unconstructive or totally useless comments might be deleted after a few days or so (in the intrest of keeping things tidy) and i might add any usefull info from comments into the actual body of the article.
What to do with old vga monitors?
1.Use it as a tv using a convertor like this one or make your own (this link http://www.myhometheater.homestead.com/vgacable.html you can probably do it with normal a/v cables as well as cat5, this should work as a vga to component and in some cases vica versa, no guaranties).
You can also repaint it to make it fit in better. If you dont want to open up your monitor you can always just msk all the vents and paint the front.
Check out –> http://case-mods.linear1.org/monitor-makeover
Its a great site, check it out.
What to do with dead/old cds/dvds?
1.Decorate or be artistic:
A-maybe a case mod. How about crushing the plastic and sandwiching in between plexi for a cool affect.
B-Or if you have cds of historic or sentimental value or good artwork why not frame/hang them (maybe i do that with my macworld cds and disks)
2.Use as frisbees
4.Maybe as ammunition for a homemade launcher.
What to do my old smelly slow but otherwise operative computer?
1-Make it a specialist task oriented computer like:
A- a fileserver/backup server, you can use pci cards for old scsi hds or new sata and depending on use you really might not need a monitor. Great if your in a houshold with many people (i have 2 sisters and four brothers) and want to share pictures or music or movies.
B-Make a gaming machine (emulation for legally owned consoles, casual old gaming, free games like wesnoth or maybe some full blown pc gaming if you can/know how to update the setup the way you need or if its good enough and just replaced)
C-Use it as a firewall
D-Run a server
E-Using as a testing ground, maybe for dubious programs that you dont trust or for running trials/demos. Maybe try open source software alternatives before you put them on your main machine.
F-Leave it in the living room/guest room/den and set it up for guest/kids/family general use.
3-Leave it to do non time critical grunt work (like encoding all your video to one format, ripping dvds). Can be a real time saver even doing things sloowwwly overnight if you don want to tax or need to use your other machine.
6-Media centre pc/HTPC,if the case is ugly, noisy or awkwardly designed just conceal it (be creative).
Hints & advice If you have firewire use it as opposed to usb since it doesnt tax the processor as much/at all. If you have the imacs (g3 rev B and G4 not sure about others) I think they use a standard 15 pin vga so your not limited to the built in display, Be carefull with the crt macs though (electricity, remember to unplug and follow some professional instructions).
Depending on the computer/scenario it doesnt have to be limited to only one of the above. You can alway change the case of an ugly computer or cleverly conceal/stealth mod. If you plan on using the computer in any way it might mean its worth a final upgrade for it to better serve its purpose.
What to do with my computer components?
For all of these modding (mwahahaha) and decorative use (think plexi frameless picture frames).
1.Ram-If you dont have a mobo/machine that will support it give it to someone i suppose or sell it. You can always hold on to it for a future project, you can experiment with adding heatsinks just for fun/practice. If you have many you can always make a frame (with room to grow offcoarse)
2.Hard drives– Most interfaces can be supported by pci cards or external cases.
A-Can always try setting up a raid
B-or use them for archiving specific data like second backup to your pics or text documents since they dont take up much space and you might want them someday,like i have a 6gb drive which could store those corel art cds and stock photography that i never use but who knows when they would be usefull, or you can just backup your old diskettes for historical purposes and you deffinately dont need oodles of space for that.
In a nutshell maybe usefull for backups or archiving (general specific)
C.an also be usefull as an emergency/fun boot drive.
D-Try making a windowed drive or a hdd speaker?
My favorite hdd case is a coolmax cd-311 cause it accepts sata and ide drives (including laptop drives, laptop ide needs a cheap adaptor like this one) and outputs USB2 fw400 and sata (sata only if the hdd is sata not ide) and costs about 70$ or less, you should buy a esata to sata cable since most host cards use esata but the cable provided is sata to sata, they are technichaly the same just the physical connection is a bit different . Its pretty cool, i have one and i bought one as a gift for a friend.
3-ODDs (optical disk drives): They have their own section.
4-Floppy disk drives: HURK…., well you might need one for some older hardware for firmware updates or for archiving, keep one lying around just in case… Macs dont use floppies since 1998 (8 years at time of writing), maybe usefull for legacy hardware emulation and modding.
5-The whole flippin computer? (look above)
What to do with my old perfectly fine but now totally useless and replaced twice over cd drives?
This one is a toughie. All i found was :
Which shows how to build it into your car stereo, usefull info for other projects go.
They also have anatomyof ODDs which i havent fully read through but might be usefull for your own projects.