Long story short, I took 3 pieces of junk and transformed them into marvelous computing machines.
I have two old Dell Latitude C510/C610 computers. I'm guessing they're made from sometime around early 2000. The other computer is an HP DV9000, but I'll get into that later. Anyways, the people that owned the two Dells threw them out as garbage a couple years ago. One person's trash is another person's treasure, I guess!
As for the Dells: One has Windows 2000, about 256 RAM and a 20GB hard drive. The other has XP, which doesn't even work, (there will be another blog about this soon) and has 512 RAM. (I don't remember how big the hard drive is.)
I put the newest version of Ubuntu Server as of March 2012 (11.10 Oneiric Ocelot) on the one with XP. Then I hooked up a 500GB Hard Drive with all my music (100GB) pictures (50GB) and videos (?GB). Now I can access my files from any computer on my home network. This computer is about 10 years old and still runs modern software - amazing!
As for the Windows 2000 computer, there's a short story why I'm even using it. The cheaply built hinges on my HP DV9000 with Vista broke (there might be a blog about this soon.) So what did I do? I put XBMC on my HP DV9000 (which came with a remote controller and a built-in non-USB sensor) and hooked it up to my brother's LG TV (120Hz 1080p). This is what I use to access my media files via my server. Plus, it would play DVDs if the stupid optical drive wasn't junk. Regardless, it makes for an excellent home media center.
So what does that have to do with the Windows 2000 computer? Well, with my other computers being used for server and media center purposes, I would need a computer for traditional use. And since Windows 2000 is so obsolete that the video and network cards are unsupported, (there will be a blog about this soon) I put Debian 6 on it with LXDE. I even got an old Linksys WPC11 Version 4 Wireless-B Notebook Adapter to work on this piece.
Now that I have Debian installed with LXDE, it seems to run just as fast as my Vista or Windows 7 computer now! It boots up faster, that's absolutely certain. I'm not sure exactly how much faster. I'm too lazy right now to get up and check it out.
What's the moral of the story? Never throw out old equipment!