2. Downloading/Streaming Station: If you are streaming or downloading a lot of stuff, then it's a smart idea to use an old laptop to do this. You can either use your WiFi network or simply plug it directly into the router to get the fastest speeds. Ideally, this would mean that the laptop would be permanently installed somewhere in your living room. This would mean that you could use it as an HTPC, streaming media to an HDTV.
3. Media Hub: Instead of buying a dedicated NAS (network attached storage, a wireless hard drive that lets many people store data onto a single hard drive) storage device, you can use your old laptop's hard drive the same way by sharing it on your WiFi network. The process is similar to connecting a direct cable connection. You just have to follow the prompts when you click on the 'Sharing' tab. Once the old laptop is discoverable on the network, it can be used in the same way as an external hard drive. Storage can easily be expanded by adding cheap external USB hard drives and a USB hub.4. Kitchen Computer: Instead of buying a dedicated computer for the kitchen, you can easily turn your old laptop into a kitchen computer, thanks to a wireless keyboard, a mouse, and some ingenuity.
5. Dedicated Work Laptop: Many people don't like taking their work home, but if you have an old laptop, you can set it up to be exclusively used by you for work-related tasks. It stops you from accessing the programs dedicated to work and if that laptop is configured to check your email, then you can basically ensure that you aren't disturbed by work-related problems when you are home. That is, unless you absolutely need to be reached for work at all times.