Ideas for old computer?

I was not talking about specifically for the OP, I agree (s)he seems well capable :grinning:
It was more in general. I come from the MacOS world (20+years) and switched definitely more or less a year ago. I learned a lot but I’m an enthusiast. You can’t expect everyone to put as much time as I did in this. And network set up is still foggy to me :upside_down_face:
Hence my point of view : Synology is not that bad of a solution and can help people start hosting their files. I agree a step further would be better but in the meantime…

About the linux preinstalled NAS, I couldn’t find any affordable back when I bought the Synology two years ago. Maybe now ?

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YES to both.

system76 mini can be setup with PopOS or debain with two HDDs (price depends on model).

company based in Israel CompuLabs worldwide shipping, sells Mint Boxed with Linux Mint or Linux Mint server version can be pre setup as NAS, since 2012. fit IoT – Fanless IoT Technology by Compulab ARMs went 200-300$. I don’t remember the German company they sell Manjaro Linux laptops they also sell Intel Mini boxes with ARM cpu for about 200-300EURO can be setup with two HDDs even back then.
Probably cheapest NAS is one I got for my GF, NVIDIA Jetson Nano devkit for $129 (cheaper model was 99$ but the 129$ was the middle price range and all she needed) + 2 TB hard drives, she is a Jewish and economist so price / performance was and is always important to her. that was in 2019.
Or get a raspberry Pi4 and connect external USB thunderbolt or USB3 HDD case.
Pine64 has wonderful PCs on a budget even for 99$ PINEBOOK | PINE64

If you want to find company that sells Linux, visit Linux Mint stuff and parters page, go to manjaro visit store or partenrs page, same for almost all Linux distro, from the Linux distor website you can find companies that sell them.

its 2020 I can probably find 10 companies that sells that, but its after 23:00 Hours in Europe and I got other plans, hence we can brainstorm if you like another day. I am 10y+ Linux user from routers OpenWRT to firewalls endian, cameras IoTs sensors, Tablet / Phone. I use Linux at home and for work and I am very sure that Linux works on anything.

Regards, Alex.

Yes on Both.
cheapest synology drive is 160$ for that you can get pine64 99$ or VIDIA Jetson Nano devkit for $129 (cheaper model was 99$ but the 129$ or rasberry pi4 for 90$ both cheaper and can be preconfigured with preinstalled Linux OS and companies can configure them for NAS mode with extra HDD.
example to go PopOS and ask for help if you buy a PC you will get same support as with sinology many other companies offer per subscription Linux support for new users with probably same level as sinology.

its 2020 I can probably find 10 companies that sells that (mentioned few above), but its after 23:00 Hours in Europe and I got other plans, hence we can brainstorm if you like another day

Regards, Alex

@user80237309, clearly you have more experience with Linux than I do. You mentioned setting up NextCloud, I think that is a great use, but you didn’t mention if you have a box set up as a server already. I don’t know what kind of programming or IT work you do, but we have enjoyed setting up a Debian Freedombox server, and a Fedora Server in our home network just to learn more about server administration and to give my programmer son a playground to write web based programs that only run on our local network. Having a dedicated “server playground” on your home network might be a way to expand your vocational knowledge, and you can still experiment when your Internet connection goes down and you can’t reach your droplet in the cloud.

As someone who basically depends on people throwing out their old or partially broken computers to upgrade our systems, I like your idea of donating it to a charity or maybe a young middle school or high school student who is interested in learning programming, but only has a Chromebook to use and can’t afford a system of their own. You might win a convert to Linux for life if you could mentor a child in Linux. My son’s main development box is a Dell Optiplex 390 with 4 gigs of RAM, and an older I3 processor that a local school was getting rid of. Your box would run circles around his and perhaps inspire another young programmer.


I’m ok with Ubuntu server so I could do that but I could also just install Ubuntu 20.04 desktop and enable all the usual server functionality and also use it as a media pc as well as a Nextcloud instance. It seems like I could get the most out of it doing that hybrid setup with full desktop and server.

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I’m a bit late to the convo but here is another idea.

Do you have a friend or family that lives a decent distance from you? You could take the old rig and turn it into a remote backup/server.

You could use LXD or OCI Containers (Docker) instead of VMs, and if something where to happen where you normally live, you would have some sort of accessible spare to use.

This is something I am planning on doing with one of my nas boxes. While I’m not set on it yet. I am probably going to have it be exposed on the TOR network and use SSH and possibly X2go if I need a desktop. Otherwise I could use something like Wireguard or ZeroTier

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Find some cause that you support that uses distributed data crunching such as SETI, COVID19, or Human Genome and set up that computer to crunch that data.


This is a fantastic idea but I can’t think of anyone who would be open to that in their home.

Very interesting idea. Will have to do some research on how to do that.

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I’m sitting here not able to justify using my PowerMac G4 as a server because the extra power usage alone would probably pay for a cluster of RockPro64s more apt for the job.

A 6th generation i5 with 16 GB of RAM paired with a inexpensive AMD video card would be a great starter “workstation” for the next generation. Maybe give it to a young person who might not have the means but has the drive to learn and develop. They can get a lot of development done on such a machine.