Friday, 28 December 2012

Five fixes to give your old gadgets a new lease of life

Five fixes to give your old gadgets a new lease of life

Many might be receiving new gadgets for Christmas, but that doesn’t mean your old ones have to go straight in the bin. Far from it: there’s still plenty of life left in your old gadgets, so don’t hide them away in the drawer just yet. Follow our guide to reinvigorating them right here instead!

Software updates

Even if you think your gadget has been left to rot by its manufacturer, have search online to see if there are any software updates for it – there may well be, whether it’s a phone, laptop games console or even a camera, updating to the latest and greatest will probably come with a host of new features. Fun fact: any machine that can run Windows 7 will run Windows 8 too.

Upgrading the hardware

For those with an old laptop or computer lying around, an extra stick of RAM is easy to add, doesn’t cost an awful lot online, and will do wonders for your device. You could even pop in a larger hard drive, and if it really isn’t up to the task of being an everyday device, why not give it another purpose, such as using it as a file or media server?

Security camera

Whether it’s to watch your car or keep an eye on your pet, if you’re thinking of an inexpensive way of setting up a security camera, why not use one of your old phones and get some sort of security software on the device to serve that purpose instead? They’re small enough to fit in all sorts of different places, and are quite easy to keep powered. Plus, you can take advantage of the hardware in phones, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to pull down the video or images taken with the camera from afar.

Alternative uses for iOS

You might have received a shiny new iPhone or iPod touch for Christmas, but don’t chuck out your old models just yet. You could use them for different purpose. How about rigging an old device to serve as a controller for the house or media centre, or turn an old iPad into a dedicated Twitter-stream or photo frame?

Turn your aging PC into a media centre

With a wide range of different media centre suites available (many are free) for all sorts of PC configurations, it’s easy as pie to turn an old system into a movie-playing powerhouse that will serve up whatever you throw at it to the whole house. Using simple clients like Plex combined with online services like Netflix and YouTube, it’s easy to turn something old into something new, and it’s much better than letting it sit in the corner and gather up dust.

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