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 Post subject: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:45 pm 
Coppermine
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I have recently built a PC for my dad and my sis has gotten his and now there is a Pentium III box laying around. What could I do with it? Would it be good for streaming or anything or is it more of a nettop? I just want some opinions on what I could do with it. It has a 40GB HD.


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:26 pm 
Million Club
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You could probably toss XP on it or a low-powered Linux variant and if the Processor is at least 700mhz and you have at least 384mb of ram, you could stream H.264 files over your ethernet with relative ease, but when its streaming, you would not be able to do anything else with it at the same time due to the underpowered CPU. I personally use an old Pentium 4 with 512mb of ram and an ancient 300gb Maxtor PATA drive to stream and its fine, even with two streams at the same time, but a Pentium 3, you will find many bandwidth handcuffs. Before I had the P-4 up with XP-PRO SP3, I had a P-3 933mhz with 384mb of ram and it had a little trouble just streaming a DVD-Quality H.264 movie file, let alone multiple data transfers (it was also my file server until I rebuilt the P-4 for the job).

Well, there's a thought for you, I hope it helped!


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:50 am 
Coppermine
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That did help. I was thinking of having it as a streaming box but didn't know if the hardware could handle it. I might just use it as an Ubuntu box and disable all the visual effects. Just toy around with it and stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:24 am 
Million Club
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I'd be more inclined to trow about 512mb of 133mhz SDRAM, a decent 128mb+ graphics card (to handle the Ubuntu GUI), and a speedy barracuda or something to be the host of files. there is a variant of Ubuntu that runs as a server and if I am not mistaken, you can easily disable the GUI goodness in favor of some more mundane Windows 9x-type GUI.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server


What's ironic is that you are a "Coppermine" classified forum poster and the codename for your Pentium 3? Coppermine.

:mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:47 pm 
Java Junkie
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That is the exact opposite of irony.

FYI.


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:11 pm 
Million Club
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Coincidental then, thanks for correcting my lack of dictionary usage. Which, ironically, I have many of but they sit on my shelf and collect dust these days because when I get home all I want to do is chillax when I should really be writing back to a few of my friends. :wink:

But yeah, maniacm0nk3y... Let us know how it works out. Particularly if you find a low-powered Linux distro which will let you use that P-III as a file server or streaming box.

Best of luck! :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:52 pm 
Coppermine
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My dad is going to check the pc out before he hands it over to me and then I'll take a whack at it and update if possible .


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:26 pm 
Coppermine
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What are some programs I can use to stream and everything? XBMC should work, right?


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:43 pm 
Million Club
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XBMC is nice and you can even get a variant which will run off of a Live CD. Personally, I just shared a folder in my file server over my network and then use media players (like XBMC and Boxee) to watch/listen to/play the media I have saved on my file server. This is the cheapest and easiest way to do it and if you map the folder shared as a network drive on the PCs that will be used to play/listen to the media you share, then it will be easier to find the files (the network drive will then show up in "My Computer"). On the other hand, with XBMC and Boxee, both of these programs can access shared folders just as easily as a mapped network drive.

But like I said, this is the cheapest and easiest way to do it and I think that if nobody posts their alternatives to my suggestion here, there are a few threads in these forums that outline more ways to stream.

On another note, I believe that there is a way to install the XBMC Live CD to a hard disk to run as a dedicated media player operating system, but am unsure and unsure how that might work. I have a copy of XBMC Live CD in my CD wallet, but have yet to use it at all because I am too busy alleviating the frustrations of computer illiterate people and posting on here to get around to it.

Incidentally, here are the stable versions for both Live CD and Windows versions:

XBMC v.9.11 Live CD (ISO)
XBMC v.9.11 (Windows Multi-Platform)

And, of corpse, the XBMC Downloads Site.
(There is also a Linux version on this site).

:P


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:36 am 
Coppermine
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Alright. So I could basically get a shared folder on my desktop and stream that to the (old) desktop with XBMC? I think that would be the best bet.


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:41 am 
Million Club
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It's really easy and convenient. you would have to navigate to the folder over the network in XBMC if you do not map the network drive, but once its there and as long as you don't change anything, it will work nicely. Once you get to the point where you want to stream Hi-Def, you will need a faster rig for the fileserver portion of things and gigabit Ethernet as well, but that is likely further into the future.

:mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:43 am 
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I use my older P4 pc as a torrent box/internet only, with MSE and deepfreeze installed to check them for viruses. it has become my main download PC/gateway for downloaded content.

I too, have an old XBOX with XBMC on it, and have it networked to my main PC. XBMC is great software, and bring s life into an old console! and it still plays games! i found the networking of the XBMC very easy, even with a lacking experience in that area.


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:55 am 
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bingojubes wrote:
I use my older P4 pc as a torrent box/internet only, with MSE and deepfreeze installed to check them for viruses. it has become my main download PC/gateway for downloaded content.

I too, have an old XBOX with XBMC on it, and have it networked to my main PC. XBMC is great software, and bring s life into an old console! and it still plays games! i found the networking of the XBMC very easy, even with a lacking experience in that area.


How does one go about setting up XBMC on an XBOX? I have an old XBOX as well and since I play about as much on it as I do on my gaming rig, I figure that both should have it and only my gaming rig has it currently. I am relatively sure that the LiveCD version of XBMC will boot on it, but I doubt that it would perform as well as an installed version on the XBOX's hard disk.

:mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:13 am 
Java Junkie
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I set my old PCs up with a full linux distro and donate them to local schools. High schools especially are happy to receive them and the last 2 have had linux / programming clubs to whom I could donate the PC.


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:29 am 
Thunderbird
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thejake490 wrote:
bingojubes wrote:
I use my older P4 pc as a torrent box/internet only, with MSE and deepfreeze installed to check them for viruses. it has become my main download PC/gateway for downloaded content.

I too, have an old XBOX with XBMC on it, and have it networked to my main PC. XBMC is great software, and bring s life into an old console! and it still plays games! i found the networking of the XBMC very easy, even with a lacking experience in that area.


How does one go about setting up XBMC on an XBOX? I have an old XBOX as well and since I play about as much on it as I do on my gaming rig, I figure that both should have it and only my gaming rig has it currently. I am relatively sure that the LiveCD version of XBMC will boot on it, but I doubt that it would perform as well as an installed version on the XBOX's hard disk.

:mrgreen:


i followed these specific instructions, found here:

http://www.productwiki.com/microsoft-xb ... nutes.html

Very good, and only costs the cheapie game and xbox gamesharky thing. basically, you will load a saved game thru a listed, compatible game, and in loading the save, it actually runs an installer, allowing you to "soft-mod" your xbox. it creates different partitions, and is relatively easy the 2nd or third time. the same software save can be used to revert your software back to original workings, if you ever needed to. Thankfully, i never sold my older games back, cause i had a copy of MechAssault that worked with the modding process.

i also use the controller, as well as the DVD playback kit (remote and IR receiver)


NOTE: as I have followed the previous instructions, i visited the website of XBMC, and found some cool skins. will those newer skins work on the XBOX if i FTP it over?


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 Post subject: Re: What can I do with an old PC
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:38 am 
Million Club
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Jipstyle wrote:
I set my old PCs up with a full linux distro and donate them to local schools. High schools especially are happy to receive them and the last 2 have had linux / programming clubs to whom I could donate the PC.


At the place I work at we have oooodles of old Pentium 3's and slower machines and they get vreformatted to Windows 98 or 2000 Professional with Office 97 and OpenOffice.org and donated to schools, drug-rehab clinics and the like all in mexico. It's nice to see someone else is doing the same type of thing jipstyle!

bingojubes wrote:
i followed these specific instructions, found here:

http://www.productwiki.com/microsoft-xb ... nutes.html

Very good, and only costs the cheapie game and xbox gamesharky thing. basically, you will load a saved game thru a listed, compatible game, and in loading the save, it actually runs an installer, allowing you to "soft-mod" your xbox. it creates different partitions, and is relatively easy the 2nd or third time. the same software save can be used to revert your software back to original workings, if you ever needed to. Thankfully, i never sold my older games back, cause i had a copy of MechAssault that worked with the modding process.

i also use the controller, as well as the DVD playback kit (remote and IR receiver)


NOTE: as I have followed the previous instructions, i visited the website of XBMC, and found some cool skins. will those newer skins work on the XBOX if i FTP it over?


I will have to try this. thanks!

:mrgreen:


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