I just rediscovered a draft post from 2011 that I had forgotten about.. may as well post it now.
Old laptops are dirt cheap on eBay these days, and while they may not have touchscreens, quad-core processors or gigs and gigs of RAM, they can still be used for a bunch of different purposes, depending on your needs.
I've been experimenting with an old Toshiba Tecra 8200 to see what I can get it to do.
First problem is that it doesn't have a lot of memory. 128Mb to be precise.
Second problem is that it's got a Pentium processor with not-a-lot of gruntage.
That limits options for what operating system we can run. It was either something ancient, like Windows 98 (SE, of course), or DSL (Damn Small Linux) which at least has some modern functionality and networking.
So, I opted for DSL and sure enough, it installs and boots up straight off CD. It detected the built in ethernet port, and the wireless straight away - although attempting to use the wireless connection causes a totally epic fail of a system lockup, complete with old-school graphics glitching.. Nice.
Still, on a wired connection it seems to work ok.
The web-browser is basic, but functional, and of course terminal / SSH works just fine, so the machine would make a good terminal / basic web browser. It's also a pretty reasonable resolution screen so it'd make a good digital photo frame, if the case was redone a bit.