Best Use of a Bunch of Old P-II 266's?

I have about 10 Pentium II 266 computers.

Is there anything cool I can do with them. I hate to have them sit around.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
LINUX!  

You can create a linux cluster!

You can create a linux router (using one).
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PUNKYCommented:
Donate to schools or goodwill.
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OAC TechnologyProfessional NerdsAuthor Commented:
what could i do with a linux cluster?

I'm thinking something like SETI, but I just don't care to find aliens
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scrathcyboyCommented:
the new trend now is join the environmental modelling program to run predictions on the environment, same principle as SETI, but 1000X more useful.  But you will use more electricity than you will save in the supposed environmental tests.  I have 30 machines here, all modern, cant afford to run them all, so they sit and collect dust.  Not environmentally friendly to run a PC or a computer cluster without a good need !!
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scrathcyboyCommented:
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/09/15_BOINC.shtml

Sounds good, but it is still a waste of energy, sorry to sound so realistically negative.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Realistically, I would suggest finding some organization that brings computers to third world countries or something.  266 MHz Pentiums are REALLY pushing the limits of usability with Windows and generally wouldn't have much of any use in the USA today, beyond novelty stuff like the linux cluster idea.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
you mean "usability with XP", not "windows".  266s make GREAT backup systems running 98, and you can backup all files from XP systems.  Suggest you keep at least one as a backup system running win98.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Windows 98 is pointless.  It's based on OLD technology that is no longer actively supported by Microsoft and wasn't very good to begin with - kinda like saying use the Pinto when the BMW is in the shop.  Linux could run fairly well on them - if appropriately configured.  But otherwise, I wouldn't want my kids working on systems that old in my schools or at camp - so I don't think I'd accept them as a donation if I were a part of the school system.  (They are selling for between $10 and $25 on ebay).
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Darwinian999Commented:
You could set up the boxes as linux routers (http://yolinux.com/TUTORIALS/LinuxTutorialNetworking.html), firewalls (www.smoothwall.org), proxy servers (www.squid-cache.org), web servers (http://httpd.apache.org/), network monitors (www.ntop.org), voip PBX (http://www.asterisk.org), etc. The examples that I've listed are only a fraction of the many Linux based products that could be used effectively on a PII. If you do this though, I suggest that you keep a couple of the boxes as spares for the inevitable hardware failures.

Alternatively, pull the disks apart and send the aluminium cases & disk platters to a recycling depot. Likewise with the steel case of the power supply. Unfortunately everything else is probably landfill. :(
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rindiCommented:
The "landfill" suggestion isn't true. There is gold on the boards and that can be recycled too, actually most parts in a PC can be recycled...
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Darwinian999Commented:
Rindi - how about suggesting somewhere that does this recycling then? :)

I know that recycling of old computer boards for their gold used to be done, but they had alot more gold on them back in the "old days", with gold plated fingers for plugging into backplanes. They also had alot of silver plated leads on components, but that isn't the case any more because silver causes corrosion problems (and is obviously more expensive than a lead/tin compound - solder), and the copper on the tracks was thicker and easier to recover because the boards were only double-sided, not multi-layered.

I hope that it is all recyclable - I hate chucking old computer gear in the bin!
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rindiCommented:
Here in Switzerland we have municipal services that collect old computers and other electronic devices, these then have contractors who take them appart and these then send those parts which aren't easily recycled to other companies who do that, I think some are located in india. The companies selling electronics are required to fund those taking back services.
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kkransCommented:
I think this question is allready answered but I really vote for recycling or donating them to a U-country to schools or something where they won't pollute/waste and be of effective use for some students.
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f-kingIT support technicianCommented:
If you don´t know what to do with them then sell the lot on Ebay and let someone else worry about them.
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
FWIW Switzerland leads the world in precious metals extraction from old computer boards (there used to be *a lot* of gold in mainframes) - last time I checked, boards from Australia are shipped to Switzerland for processing.

There's more to Switzerland than yodelling and banks!

:-)
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