What do you do with your obsolete hardware?

I’ve never been one to tinker or fiddle with my hardware too much when it’s still on duty. I learned the hard way in college when my computer literally melted (seriously, pop-pop-smoke, donezo) what happens when you run untested buggy software and cool experimental apps on your primary machine. So now I save my tinkering for old hardware--stuff I don’t use much, or has been replaced by shinier alternatives.

I always wanted to root my crappy Droid Eris phone, but since it was my only phone, I was afraid I would brick it, and then I would be screwed. A couple weeks ago I found my Eris in a drawer (I upgraded to the Razr in December), and I rooted it, downloaded a colorful baby app that makes sounds and shows pictures, and gave it to my 9-month-old son. He loves it, and now he doesn’t go after my actual, much more expensive phone.

This past weekend I came across my PSP, collecting dust in a closet. As a freelance game critic, I’ve always walked the straight and narrow when it comes to my systems (except for when I got into emulators in college, which probably contributed to my computer meltdown). I need my systems to function as a normal consumer’s would, so I can review a game fairly…and also not get banned. But the Vita is out now, and I’m pretty sure I reviewed my last PSP game over a year ago. So I hacked the now obsolete system. As with my phone, it turned out to be shockingly easy.

Right now all it has on it is a ripped copy of the original Prince of Persia (one of my all-time favorites, I’m afraid to think about how many incarnations of that game I’ve purchased over the years). It runs great though. I might load it up with some other old games the next time I go on a trip. It would be nice to have a small game library all on one card. I know a lot of people hack their PSPs to pirate PSP games, but I’ve owned a PSP for five years, and thanks to Gamefly and the used game bin at GameStop, I’ve played every PSP game worth playing, excluding JRPGs and sports games. There aren’t a lot of them.

I don’t have the time, or the tools right now, but I’m thinking about attempting something like this with my PSP. I could screw it up beyond repair, but what do I have to lose? Nothing, because it’s obsolete—some might argue it’s been that way for a few years. Poor PSP.

There’s something satisfying about breathing new life into old hardware. What do you do with your old tech?