Ancient laptops and desktops might seem ready for the scrap heap, but there’s life in them yet.

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In 2010, smartphones outsold PCs for the first time, and that downward trend continues. According to recent data data from IDC, Q1 was the third consecutive quarter where traditional PC shipment volume was basically flat year on year.

That means you might own a currently or soon-to-be over-the-hill personal computer. Maybe you want to junk it, because it’s slow and frustrating and has made you want to pitch it out a window for months, maybe years.

We’re here to tell you: no. Don’t do that.

If that laptop or desktop was created anytime in the last decade, you’d be surprised by how much life you can get out of it. Not just limping along like you were in the last few years of its pathetic attempts to run Windows 7, 8, or even 10—we’re talking about ways to bring an old PC back to useful life.

You may need to do some light upgrades here and there; more RAM and a big new hard drive may benefit some (okay, probably all) of these projects. In most cases the PC will require separate access to the internet and/or the ability to get software written to a USB flash drive to install on that old junker.

Take a gander at the options. You’ll be glad you kept that old PC around.



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