What to do with an old Motorola Droid

I’ve got a Motorola Droid with a touchscreen that’s become too flaky for it to be usable as my fulltime phone. Not a problem since I was able to pick up another one used quite cheaply and activate that. This does leave me with a spare Droid sitting around and I’m trying to think of ways to put it to fun use.

I’ve never rooted an android device, but anything goes now as far as this phone is concerned. It has no active Verizon service but it does have wifi and I have a spare docking station to keep it plugged in all the time so keeping it online is no problem.

I’ve thought about making it into the most compact backup/file server ever since the 16GB internal storage isn’t too shabby at all. Alternatively it might be fun to try and hack it enough to get a LAMP stack running and use it as a complete replacement for my current home webserver. I have an old P4 with Centos hosting my personal website and given that my traffic is virtually zero there’s no reason the Droid wouldn’t have the power.

Anyone else have any creative thoughts as to what uses to put an original (A855 model) Motorola Droid?

Not as adventurous but I will use mine as a really expensive alarm clock when I get a new phone.

I say root it and experiment around with ROM’s and such. If you like it and feel comfy with it, do it to your new phone.

If you want to be charitable with both your time and dodgy phone you could try and find, and give it to an unemployed programmer or broke student who’s trying to develop apps for Android. Or learning how to develop apps for Android.

(That’s the end goal of my current attempt to learn programming, which is why I thought of it. But I’m still yonks away from looking for a phone to put test software on.)

Edit: If you just want to be charitable, then I’m sure you’d be able to find a group that repairs them and sends them to needy people in Africa.

Second Edit: The other ideas are more fun though.

I think people got a Debian distro running as Linux-on-Linux quite early on-- Linux apps run, and you can also run all the Android apps.

Plausible-sounding instructions for installing it on your rooted phone here.

Once you have Debian, it’s a quick step to getting your LAMP stack running. You’ll certainly save a lot of electricity over using your old 486.

Portable MP3 player as long as you download a decent media player app. Portable movie player, as long as you buy RockPlayer or QQPlayer. Low-quality point-n-shoot camera.

More fun, though: buy an old Droid1 dock off eBay or Craigslist and hook that sucker up as a permanent, voice-controlled GPS. . . assuming your new phone can create an infrastructure wifi signal via the Wifi Tether app ;)

My new phone came with a spare car mounting kit and spare dock, so both are available. Unfortunately the wifi tether makes that such a pain that I’d discounted all car uses. Though honestly, now that it’s been brought up, I do recall some youtube videos from last year showing a pretty cool interface between an android phone and a bluetooth ODB-II dongle that let the android phone (and appropriate app) display all the car performance and engine metrics real time. Maybe I could find a way to permanently dash mount the old droid and have it serve as an awesome car stereo.