NOTE: This is a retelling of a post from 14 years ago.
I have a thing for re-using old hardware for server equipment. This is odd given that the ease in deploying apps/sites/cat pictures on shiny cloud services, but I am old school and prefer to be able to put my hands on the devices that serve my stuff.
Currently, the 2008 First Generation Aluminum MacBook is running Ubuntu Server and delivering the content you are looking at. Previously, it had been hosted on one of the Raspberry Pi 3b+ machines you see in the background, but I figured it was time for an “upgrade”. I have an old Dell desktop machine under my desk that I may repurpose to run the upgraded version of Ubuntu LTS, but that is a project for the summer.
In the past, back when we lived in Massachusetts, I had a hodgepodge rack of devices ranging from ancient Dell desktops, old server machines, and a bunch of hopes and dreams.
At least with the new setup, I don’t have to worry about there being an inch of water in the basement after a heavy rain.
There have been stories around for the last month that suddenly make “old” hardware shiny again – install ChromeOS Flex! Well, that’s not the only use that old machines have.
Servers can run on just about any platform. Even if it’s just a local DNS or MX server, it doesn’t need to go on the trash heap.
It’s not just you who can benefit from recycling or donating still working computers and equipment. Not everyone has access to the best and the shiniest, but that may not be what they need. Giving a family an old laptop that can run ChromeOS Flex may make it easier to raise them above the digital poverty line. That old iPhone or Android Device that you aren’t using could make it easier for a family to stay in touch.
If you aren’t using it anymore, donate or recycle it appropriately. Info on donating and recycling your old hardware is available here.
Old to you may be amazing to someone else.