In the summer, my Grandparents brought a new computer to replace their ancient, slow and not-very-good iMac G5 (with iSight). They gave me the old computer, as they didn’t want to go through all the bother of eBaying it, and sending a really really heavy computer.
It’s been sitting on my desk since then, hooked up to my main monitor. I don’t really use it - I have a nice modern computer which is thousands of times newer and better. The old G5 can’t load certain (more modern) webpages, can just about play YouTube videos if you remember to use the right browser (although there are no play/volume control/settings buttons, so you just have to guess and click), and so it’s basically been rendered completely useless.
I don’t really want to get rid of it - I remember it as one of my first memories of my grandparents house (I’m 14) and I too think that it simply wouldn’t be worth the tiny amount of money or benefit of selling it when I have to deal with P&P etc. Besides, who wants to throw an old PC away?! :)
I want to find a use for it however, because I don’t like to have useless clutter lying around, and it’s a shame to keep something which once cost over a grand in a cupboard being unused. It would be fine to use for many things, but the elephant in the room is that it has an old PowerPC processor - so it can’t run many modern apps.
I have however got it to run an old version (1.0.1 or something I think) of the Arduino IDE. This could actually make it useful, as I could have it in my workshop so that I write the code at my desk, and then quickly transfer it to the iMac over a flash drive. At the moment, I have to cart my breadboard-and-crocodile-clip circuits into my bedroom (where my main PC is) from the shop - and they always fall apart. With this newer setup, I could leave them on my workbench and simply drag a USB cable over there. It would also act as a nice 3-USB power supply, and might interface with my RasPis with some persuasion. However, I’m a bit worried about dust - it’s so dusty in my shop from MDF, plastic, cheese puffs, concrete from the floor… you name it, it’s turned to dust in my workshop. I don’t want to ruin the computer by putting it in this environment, and looking around the web I think it’ll be OK.
Do you, the wider electronics community have any other ideas for it’s usage? I wouldn’t mind taking it apart too much, although if it could stay in one piece it would be better. Has anyone else used a PC in their workshop - what precautions did you take?