New uses for old Xboxes
There will be millions of unwanted Xboxes around the world by the end of the year.
And when Sony release the PlayStation 3 next year the same thing is going to happen with PlayStation 2.
There is a real danger that millions of them will end up either unused or, worse, being dumped. We're increasingly being prompted to pass our unwanted PCs but as far as I can see there aren't any console recycling schemes.
Yet both the Xbox and the Playstation 2 are just computers, and although they are shipped as dedicated games systems they can do other things. Sony provides an official Linux for the PlayStation 2, based on the Red Hat kernel, and it comes with a collection of libraries to let games developers use the specialised graphics hardware that makes it such a good gaming platform. You get a hard drive to fit into the console, a network card, keyboard and mouse and of course the software, on DVD.
There are Linuxes for the Xbox too, but they are unofficial and using them will void your warranty and means you can't use Xbox Live.