What can you do with old monitors

3 things to do with old computer monitors

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Unused electronics is the bane of modern life. Perfectly functioning gadgets sit quietly in a corner of the storage room, doing nothing. Old LCD monitors are a perfect example of this. Whether you bought a new device or switched to a laptop, what do you do with it now? It turns out a lot.

Computer monitors are pretty versatile if you can use them properly. For example, you can increase your productivity with a dual monitor setup. Work more productively with two monitors Work more productively with two monitors You need space for several documents to get an overview and to switch quickly between tasks. What applies to your desk also applies to your virtual workspace. We'll show you how it's done. Continue reading . But if that's not your style, there are plenty of other options.

If you're turning a tiny computer or dashboard into a mirror, here are three of the coolest ways to re-use a monitor.

Turn it into a dash or $ 50 pc

The Raspberry Pi is an incredible device. The More You Find Out About The Pi 9 Things You Wanted To Know About Raspberry Pi 9 Things You Wanted To Know About Raspberry Pi What is a "Raspberry Pi"? Who did it? What's the point What can you do with it Let's find answers to all the frequently asked questions about the Raspberry Pi. Read More But don't forget that the Pi is a tiny, inexpensive, full-fledged computer. And that means your old monitor can be turned into a PC for less than $ 50.

Attach your old monitor to a Pi and it can be put in your kitchen as a recipe and video source. Make a Pi-Based Retro Video Game Console Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi: Everything You Need to Know Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi: Everything You Need to Know The Raspberry Pi has many uses, but perhaps the most fun is this classic video to play games. Here's everything you need to know about retro gaming on your Raspberry Pi. Read More

Perhaps the best implementation is to marry a Raspberry Pi and an old monitor, the PiClock. When a developer had free time on a Saturday afternoon, they built the wonderful gadget you see above. And like any good developer with a Pi, he made the whole thing open source so everyone could build their own.

The PiClock shows the time using a simple clock, the weather forecast in your region and a radar map. Because who doesn't always have to check a radar map?

There is a step-by-step guide for everything you will need, but it really is nothing more than the monitor, Pi, and power supply. A keyboard and mouse are required for setup, as is an active Wi-Fi connection, but then you're done.

If you're using an old LCD, it might not have an HDMI port. But don't worry, there are easy ways to connect the Pi to any monitor 5 Ways To Display Your Raspberry Pi On A Monitor Or TV 5 Ways To Display Your Raspberry Pi On A Monitor Or TV Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Home Computers does not rely on dedicated monitors to display operating systems, applications and games. Things were a lot simpler then. Instead of paying extra for a monitor ... Read More

Hack it into an "eye-only monitor"

Sometimes you work on something private in an open office or search specific * cough * spots * cough * at home. You can't let your co-workers or kids see what's on the screen. To keep the eyes at bay, do an "eye-only monitor" from an old monitor.

To anyone else, it will look like a blank white monitor with nothing on it. With special glasses you can see things like a normal monitor. It is magic! This is how it looks and the process:

Basically you will cut out the polarizing film of the monitor. This film is then put on simple glasses. Your screen will now appear white, but the glasses can "see" the content. It's one of the best ways to keep prying eyes away from your PC Keep Your Eyes With a Computer Privacy Screen Eyes Free Keep Your Eyes With a Computer Privacy Screen Are you keeping your staff paying too much attention to your display? Privacy screens can help - here are your options. Continue reading .

The reason you should be using an old monitor is that things can go wrong. You will be disassembling and then reassembling the monitor, along with hiding the anti-glare and polarizing films. You also need to separate the polarizing film from the anti-glare film. It's a difficult process, but dimovi's guide at Instructables is thorough and precise. Remember, while others can't see what's on your screen, they can still see where your hands are.

Turn it into a mirror (or a smart mirror)

If you have a broken old LCD monitor, it can be turned into a usable mirror; but if you have a working old LCD monitor, adding a Raspberry Pi can turn it into a smart magic mirror. 6 Best Raspberry Pi Smart Mirror Projects We've seen 6 best Raspberry PU smart mirror projects so far we've seen the magic so far Mirror of the Future won't just tell you that you're the prettiest of them all. It will also tell you the time, date, weather outside, upcoming calendar appointments, and more. Continue reading !

The simpler of the two is the normal mirror. Instructables user MrAdventure has put together a simple guide for this. Get a screwdriver and open your monitor. Strip out all the pieces, all you need is the screen. As he puts it poetically:

The LCD has several levels. Find the shiny part and show it outward to better see your beautiful face! Now screw it back together in a couple of places so that the frame holds all of the guts.

You can then put the screen back into the monitor housing if you need a table mirror. Otherwise just hang the thing on the wall.

If you have a little extra time and are planning a more intense DIY project then give the MirrorMirror Smart Mirror project a try. Blogger Dylan Pierce documented every step of his project to make a beautiful smart mirror with a wooden frame.

You'll need some extra stuff for this, including a Raspberry Pi, double-sided mirror, 2 × 4 wooden beams, cables, and woodworking tools. If you do it right, you will get a nice smart mirror like the one above. Girlfriend not included, nerds.

A couple of other ways to reuse

If none of these are on the street or suit your needs then there are other weird things you can do. Here you have a look:

  • Turn this monitor into a TV: It's obvious, but hey why not? Here is an easy Instructable to do it.
  • Your CRT monitor is intended for art or decoration: If you still have an old CRT monitor then you go Grandpa, Buzzfeed has a few thoughts.
  • Make it a dedicated screen for Nintendo Wii: Nintendo Wii can be connected to a VGA monitor 5 ways to connect your Wii to any TV 5 ways to connect your Wii to any TV Would you like to use your Wii with your new TV? Let us help you connect your Wii to pretty much any type of television. Let's see what your options are. Read More In fact, buy a used one, they're pretty cheap on Craigslist.

Do you have any other ideas?

Of course, there are other things you can do with an old computer monitor that we didn't think of here. If you have ideas, we have ears. Let's talk in the comments.

This article was originally written by Tim Lenahan and published on July 27, 2010.