Author Topic: What to do with an old computer  (Read 1315 times)

Offline Obviousman

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What to do with an old computer
« on: July 16, 2021, 07:47:05 PM »
I recently upgraded my whole system, and now have an older PC surplus to requirements. I thought I might try to turn it into a VR station but it isn't up to specs (i3 CPU).

I then thought I might bring it into the lounge, hook it up to the big screen smart TV, and run it as a Flight Sim PC. Now I have to make some decisions and seek counsel.

I have MS Flight Sim 2002 discs but I believe that running on Windows 10 is problematic. I have Windows 7 and Windows XP discs, so could roll back the OS to suit what I have. Or should I stay Win 10, and get a later version sim? The latest version of MS Flight Sim has a usual problem: i5 CPU minimum.

So are there later versions of Flight Sim available that can run on Win 10 and be compatible with my system, or should I roll back the PC and go Flight Sim 2002? Or should I give up, throw the whole lot into the bin and go down the pub?

Offline grmcdorman

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2021, 09:52:55 PM »
Another use is to install some variant of Linux and run it as a NAS (or media server, which is a specialized NAS). Before I switched to using COTS NAS hardware - Synology, specifically - I had a lower-spec desktop functioning as both a NAS and as the primary gateway for our internet. The latter is useful as it gives you more detailed control & better security, usually, than the consumer grade routers. (Currently, our gateway device - which is a consumer grade router - is running DD-WRT, an open-source router distribution based on Linux).

On home networks, NAS devices are useful both as media servers and as shared storage for the people at home. EDIT: Oh, and as a first-level backup device for your computers & portable devices; check Reslio Sync, among others, for that usage.

In so far as trying to run Windows on it, I can't say; I don't know enough about the requirements or your CPU.

I think there's also a flight simulator that runs on Linux, but it is quite different than Microsoft's Flight Sim, and probably much more for hardcore folks with a full HOTAS setup and the willingness to tinker with both S/W and hardware.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 09:54:38 PM by grmcdorman »

Offline Obviousman

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2021, 10:26:27 PM »
Yeah, I have a basic joystick but that is it. That's why I thought it would be good for the lounge. If i wanted to start going hard core flight simming, I's buy one of those full cockpit cage setups.

Hmmm - could we rig a three axis motion setup.....? LOL!

Offline Allan F

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2021, 01:36:20 PM »
What motherboard do you have in that PC? Getting a CPU upgrade doesn't have to be expensive. I assume it's not a laptop?
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline Bryanpoprobson

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2021, 08:52:40 AM »
I have a little stock of old gaming computers. I have an original Commodore 64, an Amiga 500, and
An old intellivision system with every game ever released for it.

My wife thinks I’m very sad.
"Wise men speak because they have something to say!" "Fools speak, because they have to say something!" (Plato)

Offline molesworth

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2021, 02:34:34 PM »
I have a little stock of old gaming computers. I have an original Commodore 64, an Amiga 500, and
An old intellivision system with every game ever released for it.

My wife thinks I’m very sad.

I've got quite a collection myself (having spent half my career in the games biz)  :D

If you haven't powered them up for a while this might be of interest.  I'll be digging my Amigas out this weekend to check them :

https://twitter.com/mdf200/status/1417900058096422917

Days spent at sea are not deducted from one's allotted span - Phoenician proverb

Offline Bryanpoprobson

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2021, 03:51:43 PM »
The 500 has been recapped, the 64 is fine, I have a problem finding a way to play the Intellvision new flatscreen TV's don't want to tune to it. The only other problem is my 1584S CBM monitor has bit the dust and I'm no wizz with monitors even though I did the revamp on the Amiga.
"Wise men speak because they have something to say!" "Fools speak, because they have to say something!" (Plato)

Offline Obviousman

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2021, 05:51:43 PM »
What motherboard do you have in that PC? Getting a CPU upgrade doesn't have to be expensive. I assume it's not a laptop?

It's a Gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H. To be honest, I haven't looked at upgrading all that much; the board will take up to an i7 CPU LGA 1150 but IIRC I have only about 4 or 8 GB of DDR3 RAM. I'm sure DDR3 is still available so it is an option.

Problem is cost. About AU$300-400 for a CPU, about AU$150 for an additonal 4 or 8 GB of RAM.... and then there will be the cost of the flight sim software.

Remaining with what I have, rolling back to Win XP, and using FS2002 may be a better option when everything is considered.

Still, worth writing down and considering.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 06:22:47 PM by Obviousman »

Offline Obviousman

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2021, 05:53:19 PM »
I have a little stock of old gaming computers. I have an original Commodore 64, an Amiga 500, and
An old intellivision system with every game ever released for it.

My wife thinks I’m very sad.

I think you are sentimental, and appreciate that just because something has been superceded or is obsolete, if it is still functional it doesn't mean it has to be thrown out.

Offline Obviousman

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2021, 05:55:08 PM »
The 500 has been recapped, the 64 is fine, I have a problem finding a way to play the Intellvision new flatscreen TV's don't want to tune to it. The only other problem is my 1584S CBM monitor has bit the dust and I'm no wizz with monitors even though I did the revamp on the Amiga.

CRT monitor? I only know one thing about them: unless you are properly qualified do NOT attempt any type of repair on them. Likely you will kill yourself with an electric shock.

Offline molesworth

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2021, 05:08:25 AM »
The 500 has been recapped, the 64 is fine, I have a problem finding a way to play the Intellvision new flatscreen TV's don't want to tune to it. The only other problem is my 1584S CBM monitor has bit the dust and I'm no wizz with monitors even though I did the revamp on the Amiga.
I'll have to see what state my old systems are in, but I might have to at least recap them.  They haven't been turned on in a long time!

Re the Intellivision, it's ages since I saw one, but from a quick google, if your has RCA connectors you can get an RCA to HDMI converter for a few quid which should do the job.  And as mentioned, I wouldn't go messing with the monitor as there's a lot of high voltage stuff in there, and I'm pretty experienced with electronic tinkering.
Days spent at sea are not deducted from one's allotted span - Phoenician proverb

Offline smartcooky

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2021, 08:43:26 AM »
The 500 has been recapped, the 64 is fine, I have a problem finding a way to play the Intellvision new flatscreen TV's don't want to tune to it. The only other problem is my 1584S CBM monitor has bit the dust and I'm no wizz with monitors even though I did the revamp on the Amiga.
I'll have to see what state my old systems are in, but I might have to at least recap them.  They haven't been turned on in a long time!

Re the Intellivision, it's ages since I saw one, but from a quick google, if your has RCA connectors you can get an RCA to HDMI converter for a few quid which should do the job.  And as mentioned, I wouldn't go messing with the monitor as there's a lot of high voltage stuff in there, and I'm pretty experienced with electronic tinkering.


Yup. The LOPT (Line output transformer) of a colour TV/monitor can stick out 25KV. With that sort of voltage, you don't even have to touch it; it will jump out and get you  ... and it will do a lot more than just make your eyes water. 
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Offline Bryanpoprobson

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2021, 04:56:08 AM »
My Amiga 500 repairs..









"Wise men speak because they have something to say!" "Fools speak, because they have to say something!" (Plato)

Offline Obviousman

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2021, 04:17:26 PM »
Nice work!

RS232? Wow - haven't heard that for a while....

Offline smartcooky

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Re: What to do with an old computer
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2021, 01:05:03 AM »
My Amiga 500 repairs..



Sadly, I can tell you the values of those resistors without really thinking about it. That's what 20 years of cct board and HRHS microcct repair will do for you... and that 20 years ended 28 years ago!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2021, 01:40:24 AM by smartcooky »
► What you can assert without evidence, I can dismiss without evidence
► When you argue with idiots you risk being dragged down to their level and beaten with experience.
► Conspiracism is a shortcut to the illusion of erudition