TechRepublic editor Mary Weilage recently asked members about their first computers via a discussion post and on TechRepublic’s Facebook page. A number of members replied that they remember computers from as early as the 1970s; several members even mentioned that those old computers are still taking up space somewhere in the house, collecting dust in their attic or garage. We feature some of the member comments in the TechRepublic gallery: Photo memories of 18 first computers.

What to do with those old computers

Realistically, those old computers won’t be put to use again (especially when they are filled with dust). So, next time you clean out the attic, consider making a little extra space by getting rid of the old computers.

For computers that aren’t terribly old, some parts might be salvageable. Many cities offer resident taxpayers easy ways to recycle old computers and electronics at no fee, or for very small fees.  Stores like Best Buy offer recycling services with incentives like store credit. Using the parts for hobby materials is also a great option. If you have several old computers laying around, consider taking up hobby robotics and using the old computers for robot parts.

But if the dusty dinosaur is a really old computer, consider donating or selling it to a collector.  There are several good old computer museum sites on the web, run by people who have a passion for collecting computers. The folks at and photograph and catalog old computers and share this piece of modern history openly and willingly.  Many small local museums will also gladly accept donations of old computers to their collections.  Unless you are keeping them around for your own collection, those old computers aren’t doing anybody any good collecting dust in the far corners of the house. Find a way to give the old things new life.

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