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Re-gift and re-purpose old tech gadgets

If you're short on cash and in need of some last-minute gift help, poke around your home for some old tech that you can put new life into.

Segagenesispic Got an old Atari, Nintendo or Sega Genesis lying around? A video game nut would love to re-live the good ole days with these retro systems (just be sure to dust 'em off a bit before handing them out). It's also a good idea for young kids who might not mind getting a Genesis over a PS3. Hey, it's new to them!

I have a friend that just found their old Game Boy Color. Styles from the '80s and '90s are in these days (if you've been to clothing stores targeting teenagers, you know what I mean), so some teens might love the chance to show off in school by firing up Tetris on a retro system.

If you can get away with doing crafty gifts (like with family members), then someone might appreciate you taking the time to convert old printed photos into digital photos -- or even converting old home VHS movies into DVDs. And if you have a useless older computer, why not give it some spark by using it as a way to display all your digital photos? If you have a home office, put it in the corner and have the photos rotate as a screensaver, rather than buy a new digital photo frame.

Also, there's no need to buy a whole music entertainment center if you have a wireless connection and a Xbox360 or PS3. You can stream your media from your computer to your television using a game console. Good idea if you have to host a last-minute holiday party and don't want to deal with switching CDs or having guests mess with your iPod. Geek Squad has a how-to video for that here: Stream content from your PC through your game system

I also got the idea from a Geek Squad e-mail to use one monitor for your TV and computer. If you don't have a monitor that has enough inputs to support both, you can buy a switcher for multiple inputs and feed it all into one output. Might be a helpful solution for someone who is tight on space, like a student heading back to college.

Got any other ideas on re-gifting or re-purposing old technology? Post a comment and share!


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Genesis (Mega Drive) was a great console. It reminds me of good memories. It's easy to find a used unit on Ebay.

Bridget Carey

I still have my Genesis and all my games. In the past, I've set it up in a side room during parties and people get a real kick out of playing the games they grew up with. It's just so much better to play it on the original system than buying some version converted to play on Xbox360 or another new system.

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