Some of you may wonder what is the purpose of this article. First, because hardware nowadays is pretty cheap, you don’t need older hardware anymore. Second, there are some articles across the Internet dealing with this already. The answer to the first problem is: well, you’ll see in the article. The answer to the second is we have some experience with older hardware first-hand, and we found it to be very useful to this day, so we want to share this with you. Older hardware, PC or not, is to be found everywhere, sometimes for free, and you can get to it easily. You will get some ideas from this article, but of course we don’t say the following list is exhaustive. Only your imagination sets the limit. The only knowledge we expect from you is to have some idea what you want to do. If you don’t yet, our article may be of help.
Before we start, there are some variables that need some comments. First, the word “older” means different things for different people. To some, it may mean a 6 year-old AMD Athlon processor and 1GB of RAM. To others, “older” may be a PentiumII with 128 MB RAM. This article is mainly focused on the latter part, meaning really old hardware that’s still of some use with Open Source operating systems. Of course, if you have something more powerful, even better. The other variable is the hardware. People can find an old SPARC machine with < 100$ that is still usable, depending of course on what you want to do with it. The places you can find such machines, SPARC, SGI or Intel-based are Ebay, some local shop that sells older computers or even your friendly sysadmin that can’t wait to get rid of old machines. Take note that non-Intel machines will be more expensive, so think twice if you really need some exotic piece of hardware.