What Do You Do with Your Old Devices and Boards?

New and faster processors and products come out regularly, and prices have come down so much that people are likely to discard old devices, or let them collect dust, as new devices can be bought for half the price you bought your now sluggish single or dual core mini PC, remember CX-01?, last year or two. However, people may not like to through perfectly usable product by principle, while others may be concerned by the pollution effects of our consumerism, and craze for the latest gadgets.

There must surely things that can be done instead of simply trashing old devices.


I’ll give some ideas mostly for mini PCs, but since a group of person is smarter than one only, I’m sure I get some interesting input.

  1. Give your old devices to friends of family. Downside: they may never used it themselves either.
  2. Sell your device on Ebay or other websites. You’ll probably only get a few dollars, as these devices are already cheap to start with, but at least the other person has spend some money so they are more likely to use it.
  3. Re-purpose your old hardware. Some potentially useful project for low end hardware include:
    • Download client so that you don’t need to leave your PC on for large download, for example using a uTorrent App.
    • Make a private cloud by connecting the device to a USB drive, and install OwnCloud.
    • Add GPIOs to create an embedded project using a cheap USB adapter, instead of purchasing a Raspberry Pi or Arduino board. This may require a bit more work and skills, since software support is nil on most of these devices
  4. Scavenge devices for parts like connectors, heatsink, etc…

These are just some small ideas I could find. Do you have other ideas, or better, are you still using your old devices? If so, what have you done with them?

Thanks to Simon for raising this issue.

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