Author Topic: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"  (Read 2759 times)

adamR18

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Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« on: January 03, 2017, 03:12:34 PM »
Maybe you've got an old laptop laying around, or maybe your old computer is getting long in the tooth. If all you do is  browse the web, check e-mail, or other basic internet services, before you chuck it and buy something else, turn it into a "Chromebook!"

I just did it to an old Mac (I know, not very Mustachian....) and couldn't be happier with the results! The 2007 Macbook browses the web pretty quickly once converted.

I used a company called Neverware, which makes install easy. It's free as well! I'm sure there are others out there, as Chromium is open-source.

My apologies if this topic has already been discussed, the search bar isn't working for me (on the converted Chromebook or my regular computer.)

kms

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Re: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 08:12:29 AM »
I love that idea! My dad has a 10 year old Compaq laptop lying around that he doesn't use anymore. The battery is dead and it's quite worn, so I've been planning to pick it up and do some restoration work on it just for fun. You know, get new Lion battery cells, take it apart and replace the thermal paste, clean out the dust, etc. and then either craigslist it or keep it around as cheap Linux laptop just in case.

I've had an HP Chromebook a few years back just to check out what all this buzz is about and loved it. I ended up selling the Chromebook again but ut'll be fun to play around with ChromiumOS on this thing though, thanks a lot.

Syonyk

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Re: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 08:39:56 AM »
Do you get the PDF reader and Flash on the Chromium side?

Either way, still a great use for old laptops.

SisterX

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Re: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 10:45:45 AM »
Really, depending on what a person does, many of us don't need more than an old laptop. I do internet stuffs, download ebooks, watch a movie once in a while (but prefer watching them with spouse on his computer), and write on mine. That's about it. Other than that, it stores files. I don't need a top-of-the-line anything for that. So when my old computer started crapping out on me I asked one of my brothers, who works in IT, to keep an eye out for a laptop his company was getting rid of. Lo and behold, a couple of months later he lightly refurbished a laptop on my behalf and it's perfect for my needs. I'm not a corporation so I don't mind the small crack around the keyboard, or the fact that the screen is a little bit wobbly. And we saved another laptop from being either thrown out or "recycled", not to mention saving the cost (this was free) and environmental toll of a new laptop.

Syonyk

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Re: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 10:48:01 AM »
If the screen is wobbly, 95% of the time, the screen hinge screws are loose.  They're usually pretty easy to access and tighten if you're comfortable working in laptops, or know someone who is.

kms

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Re: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 11:03:01 AM »
That really depends on the laptop. More often than not modern laptops have hinges that cannot be tightened anymore, especially cheap consumer laptops.

Syonyk

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Re: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 11:14:26 AM »
That really depends on the laptop. More often than not modern laptops have hinges that cannot be tightened anymore, especially cheap consumer laptops.

A loose screen, that doesn't stay in place - I agree.  That's usually a hinge problem.

Where the screen wobbles back and forth a bit, but is otherwise firm, that's usually screws having come loose, which are easy enough to tighten in most cases.

hobbes1

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Re: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2017, 11:26:29 AM »
cool. I need to look into this. thanks for posting

Rubic

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Re: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2017, 03:44:20 PM »
Heh.  I did the opposite. I turned a $200 Acer Chromebook into a decent
Linux laptop by replacing the firmware: https://www.coreboot.org/SeaBIOS

Cheap, lightweight, and runs about 7 hours on a charge.

WildJager

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Re: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 01:44:37 PM »
Thanks for this thread.  Our main computer is a powerhouse desktop (always has been a hobby of mine, gaming and 3d graphics and what not).  Since I'm familiar with computers I just upgrade components overtime when a bottleneck develops.  Much more cost effective than laptops.

Buy, obviously, it's not portable.  On the road I just use my phone for connecting with the world (smartphones are great), but every once in a while a laptop is necessary.  I have been keeping an old laptop I had for school from 2004 patched together with Windows XP.  It has been struggling lately with the modern internet. 

It just so happens I got handed an old laptop from a family member who didn't want it because it was broken (just OS corruption, no big deal, but as most people do they just got a new laptop).  So I loaded up this chromeware, and it works great!  I tried to then install it onto my old laptop, but it wasn't comparable.  :(. But, on the bright side, we upgraded our laptop for free that meets the relatively few requirements we would use a laptop for.  Thanks again!  I should have figured Chromeware was opensource since Android is an all, but I never thought to research it.

Radagast

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Re: Turned an Old Laptop into a "Chromebook"
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2017, 08:45:01 PM »
Great thread. I have a 2008 "netbook" lying around which isn't doing much. I recently fixed* an electrical connection in a nice old set of speakers and want something to plug them into that won't tether me to within 3 feet when I use the device. I've always wanted to give Linux a shot, this would be a good chance. Nothing against windows XP ;).

*I am not an electrical engineer, so I wound wire around and twisted like I was tying rebar until the contacts touched.