Why are computers useful

Today, hardware is often obsolete after just a few years, and new devices are coming into the house. The old treasures are mothballed or scrapped, and they can often be used in another area. This is also required, for example, by the new European Waste Framework Directive, which for the first time stipulates reuse. "

The further use of electrical and electronic equipment is a contribution to environmental protection, "says the Federal Environment Agency, for example. There are no limits to your imagination.

A few suggestions:

Insert the hard disk into the case: A tip that is very easy to implement. Even if it is only 20 gigabytes (GB), a discarded hard drive is suitable as external storage for data backup. All that is required for this is a USB housing that costs a few euros on the market - either in size 3.5 "for PC hard drives or in size 2.5" for hard drives from notebooks.

Attention with the connections: Older disks have an IDE, newer disks have a SATA connector. Even if there is no USB 3.0 port on your own notebook or PC, it is worth buying a housing that supports the new, fast USB standard.

Use computer as network storage: Both an old PC and a decommissioned notebook or netbook are suitable as network storage for the home. Everything that is unnecessary and consumes electricity should be removed, i.e. graphics, sound or TV cards. Manuel Schreiber from the computer magazine chip recommends an old Windows license together with the freeware FileZilla Server as software for operation.

When installing, "Install as a service, started with Windows" should be selected so that the program starts with Windows. Users who want to access the mini-server need the free FTP client FileZilla.

Turn your PC into a media center: If you don't own a hard disk recorder or network-compatible receiver, you can turn your disused PC into a home cinema center in the living room that plays films, pictures, music or even internet radio. If the computer does not yet have the appropriate TV connections such as HDMI, Schreiber says it is worth buying a cheap graphics card that has such interfaces.

Software that turns the computer into a media center is often free - for example the open source program MediaPortal, which works with various remote controls. There are also numerous user interfaces (skins) and extensions (plug-ins) for the freeware. An extension can, for example, integrate so-called emulators - small programs that simulate old consoles or computers like the Amiga - and the associated games. This also turns the media center into a game console.