Using Open Source to Virtualize Old (Ancient) PCs

If you’re like me, you — or your customers — have an excessive number of old PCs lying in your basement or in a storage room. Time to throw those old PCs in the recycling bin? But what if you can’t bear the thought of saying goodbye to those machines forever? Fret not: Using a few open-source tools, you can immortalize those retired PCs as virtual machines without having to hold on to the actual hardware.
I received my first computer, an IBM PS/1, as a gift in 1992. I was in second grade and my previous PC experience was limited to playing around with the Apple IIes (can we even call them PCs?) in my elementary school, so the Windows 3.1 operating system that came installed on my computer was a big deal.
But the years passed, Windows 3.1 went out of style, and I went through a long series of bigger and better machines. My PS/1 was retired to the basement long ago, along with about a half-dozen other PCs that, combined, probably have less computing power than my current cellphone.
I’ll never use that hardware again, and I should get rid of it. But as a computer geek who’s also

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