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knoppix.jpgHere’s a great article about turning that old PC in to an internet-enabled CD player, DVD burner, and MP3 jukebox using Knoppix. I get asked about this a lot “What can I do with an old PC” and this is a pretty good use and Knoppix is a great way to get started. We interviewed Kyle Rankin who wrote “Knoppix Hacks” and hopefully in the next week or so we’ll be releasing the interview(s) with him and others for our Make:Audio series.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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  1. haleckhart says:

    One other thing you can do with a dumpster grade computer is to install and run EMC. The Enhanced Machine Control is a software system for computer control of machine tools such as milling machines. The “Brain Dead Install” installs all of its parts (including Linux) with a minimum of fuss. For the BDI-2.xx, the miminum requirements are an old P133 with 16-32Mb RAM, a 500Mb IDE hard drive, and a CDROM drive that can be booted from.

    You’ll need motors and drivers to do anything useful with it, but you can load and run CNC files in simulation and even watch the progress with its backplotter. Hours of geeky fun, and it’s all open source.

    EMC Wiki:
    http://www.redpoint.org.uk/cgi-bin/emcinfo.pl?EmcKnowledgeBase

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