extra computer...what to do?


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Old 05-31-03, 01:46 AM
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extra computer...what to do?

Hi all. i have an extra computer lying around(p200) and am trying to think of things i can do with it that i haven't ever done. Thoughts: running my computer off of it(network boot) keeping the os on the p200, everything else on mine. Or, trying to use it as some sort of filtering machine for internet(cable connection), Can i set it up as a firewall or router? I've done the server thing, and am looking more for security type things to do/try. Maybe even something utilizing unix/linux. I pretty much have any os i might need, and hardware,memory are not a problem. Any thoughts, ideas?
 
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Old 05-31-03, 08:42 AM
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Several years ago, I had old computer laying around, pre pentium days, and would install different os on them to find faults in the operating system to bypass the security for logins. This was in the days of telecomputing. (wouldn't dream of of doing someone's computer now, too easy to track back to source) I had some good times with my kids showing them how different systems worked on security issues.
You might want to explore some different operating systems.

Would make a great virus lab as long as it was a stand alone computer. (did this with kids also, have some GREAT memories)

Just a couple of thoughts....
 
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Old 05-31-03, 10:36 AM
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If you've got the time and a little money invest, a home automation setup is fun. There's so much you can do with a computer and a simple power line interface these days. Connect a phone line to it and add some special web software and you can control your house from all over the world, by phone or internet. Depending on the hardware used, though, it can be a pricey investment too.

The setup you're talking about doing would be a proxy. You can use just about any OS you want to use for a proxy server. It's basically like a firewall.

Have fun!
 
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Old 05-31-03, 03:12 PM
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Home Automation would probably be your most productive use, but since you are looking for suggestions; Personally, I'm one of those fellows who is always thinking of ways to make a buck and information gathering or data mining is sort of my hobby;

In the past, I have automated the processing of information and as time passed, I actually got into configuring bots to mine data and automated one or two of the Office products into processing it into a marketable format. This takes a lot of resources and a dedicated computer/connection makes it easier, so if there is a subject which you are particularly interested, familiarize yourself with the copyright laws, get a bot from cws or download and maybe you can produce something which you could serve or sell on a cd.

Otherwise, if you are going to have a computer sitting there mostly idle and it is connected to the internet, you may want to consider volunteering some of it's resources to a worthwhile cause such as SETI@Home which is affiliated with the SETI Project. (Note: Two separate links)

In doing so, you would download a "screensaver" which would kick-in whenever the computer is idle and your machine's resources would be used to process sounds emanating from Outer Space looking for a decipherable radio transmission. I don't currently participate in the SETI Project because I had to revert to dialup, but I have participated off-and-on for many years and I have never experienced any problems with the program.

Good Luck;
R

PS) Side thought; There is also a market for folks to reproduce cd's on a smaller scale than the commercial houses; Since you are knowledgable about burning, with some added hardware, you could mass-produce cd's on a small scale and make yourself some decent pocket change; There's a multitude of ways to take this idea, so I thought I would throw it out there for your consideration...
 
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Old 05-31-03, 07:01 PM
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We did SETI for a while, I even still have it on one of my hard drives. I got to the point where I liked to watch it analyze the signals. Haven't ran it for a year or so.

I think I'll start that back up... Good idea Magister...
 
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Old 05-31-03, 10:49 PM
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Thanks Notuboo; I'm pretty sure you can do SETI with dialup, but I have only done it when I was "always on" because I just couldn't stand the thought of having computers sitting there, doing nothing. I have seen a press release from someone within the last month who was mimicing the formula, but I can't lay my hands on it right this minute and for the life of me, I can't remember what they were seeking. Of course, I have my own theories about ET, but that's another story, altogether.

Tae) Thanks for letting us borrow your thread for this worthwhile cause;

Peace, Love & Happiness;
R
 
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Old 06-01-03, 09:32 PM
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Well, all those suggestions sound pretty cool. I ran seti years ago, i may look into it again. I have always wanted to walk into my house and say "light on, tv on", etc. Ever since i started messing with dragon naturally speaking. Anybody ever done something like that, or know a website about it? Course, sitting in my room turning things off and on could be fun, especially if i didnt tell the other half what i was doing!! Looked into proxies, and that sounds like something i want to try. The only problem i fear is that i will like it so much i will always want one. That means always upgrading that computer too. I have winproxy and microsoft isa server. Anyone ever use any of these or others, and have recomendations? magister, i am keeping your idea in mind about the burning. Kinda like it.
 
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Old 06-02-03, 03:53 PM
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Of course, on the other hand, you could integrate all of these ideas into one computer, with maybe the exception of the CD burning. X-10 has a CM11A interface that cost me about $40 through my distributor. That's one of the interfaces for X-10 home automation. They have the Firecracker and some others too. That's a cheap way to get into automation. If you search google for home automation, you can see some really cool websites of how people have setup their homes. Then you could use the same computer as a proxy and to "phone home" - SETI.
 
 

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