A couple of posts ago I talked about creating useful stuff from junk. Recently I've had another awakening about taking still-working (but obsolete) items and using them in other ways. I'm not talking about stripping things for parts to be used in new projects, but giving old stuff that still works a new job.
I've got an old camcorder that currently records poorly to its native tape format, due to worn out heads. I could get it fixed, but the money would be better spent on a new camera. I could give it away, but who wants a broken camera?
Repurposing was the answer. The firewire connection typically used to transfer video to the computer still works. Using a video capture utility (like Scenealyzer Live!), I can record directly to the computer's hard drive. As a result, portability is lost, but who cares? I can lock down the camera and use it as a dedicated webcam for live streaming or recorded video blogging. Plus, I have the advantage of a decent camera with some actually manual control, something most webcams don't have.
Sometimes we just need to re-think and we can find new ways to use old items. We don't have to retire what still works, when it can still be useful in a new occupation.