OK, so maybe not that old....
It's an idea though! You have an old machine sat around, doing nothing, waiting to be retired, so why not make use of it? You could easily turn it into a Media Center, Windows based or otherwise, serving up content throughout the machines in your house, recording TV whilst you're away etc. Alternatively, you could pick up a copy of Windows Home Server, install it, and then you have an ideal platform for serving up your content, be it your digital memories, music, or your home movies, regardless of whether you are in the home or not! It also serves as a great platform to create and run cool applications on! What are you waiting for!
Rich sent me through a useful link to get you started down the Media Center path. He's got links to complete media solutions, but also to software for recording of TV, managing files, accessing your PC remotely and more. He's even provided links to support forums, so you shouldn't go wrong!
You can find the list here: http://www.virtualhosting.com/blog/2007/how-to-turn-your-old-computer-into-the-ultimate-media-center-100-resources-and-tools/
My favourite has to be #63 - How To Build the Ultimate Windows Media Center 2005 Machine on a Budget - how the author manages to get this quote in: ""One OS to rule them all... one OS to bind them."—adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings" I'll never know....
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I'm actually looking into this right now
I've already been a hoarder of computers and parts but the lack of space is an issue now!
So i'm going to cobble together a computer (or two) from the best stuff i have
I was just looking at some the prices of new hard disks when your post appeared!
I know the feeling - having all those older machines lying around is a pain - you need to go all Frankenstein on them and create a new monster!
Hard Disks are cheap as chips now, but to ensure you can get it under the TV in the living room, it's all about the aesthetics and the noise! :-)
Great post, explained really well and I could really understand. Thank you.