Shiny new things tend to take the spotlight, leaving your favourite old tech in a corner collecting dust. If you don't want to (or can't) sell them, it's time to repurpose and upgrade. Here are some of our favourite ideas.
Photo by Adam Jenkins
If your aging tech is a computer and it isn't quite on its last legs, you might just need to do a little upgrading. Here are some suggestions:
- Are you using a laptop? We have several recommendations for speeding up your aging laptop.
- Upgrade to a solid-state drive (SSD) - If you're only going to do one upgrade to your old tech, you should make it an SSD. SSDs are amazing (if you buy a good one) and I never want another computer with an internal hard drive again. I've underscored why I think the limitations of SSDs are actually beneficial, Whitson will tell you that SSDs are worth the money in many cases, and also how to install an SSD in your MacBook.
- Upgrade your hard drive - If somehow you're restistant to the magic of SSDs, you can always upgrade your hard drive. (We've got ten really good recommendations.) When you do, just be sure to check out our guide on upgrading your drive and keeping your data intact.
- Upgrade to the latest operating system, or just "upgrade" to the current one - Sometimes it's not about the speed of the hardware but how you're using it. If you've neglected to keep your operating system up-to-date, that's a good place to start. If you have the latest version installed, however, you can essentially "upgrade" your machine by just performing a fresh install of the operating system. Often times clearing out all your crap is the best way to get your machine performing at its best.
If a standard upgrade isn't going to cut it, here are some options for repurposing your technology for a new, clever use.
- DIY USB Drive Inside a Floppy - Got an old USB flash drive and a floppy disk? Combine them for some awesome retro tech.
- Convert an Old Projector into a Camera-Based Document Scanner -
- Make Your Own Touchscreen Heads Up Display Out of an Old Netbook - We even made the software for you.
- Turn a MacBook into a Tablet
- Modify an Old Telephoto Lens to Fit Your DSLR Camera -
- Turn Old PC Fans into Battery-Recharging Wind Turbines -
- Turn an Army Surplus Box into a Rugged iPod Amp -
- What can you do with a dead hard drive? Here are some options.
- Got an old iPhone? Here are seven ways to breathe new life into it.
- Turn An Old TV Set into a Lighted Retro Picture Frame - This makes for a really cool household decoration and is pretty easy to make.
- Repurpose an Old Computer for Any Room in the House - Finally, if you have an old computer and aren't sure where to put it, here are suggestions for giving it new life in any room of your house.
Got any great upgrades or repurposing ideas of your own? Let's hear 'em in the comments!