Clever ways to use your pre-loved gear

Money Magazine Australia - - THIS MONTH - PETER DOCKRILL

If you're a bit of a gad­get lover – and even if you're not – there's a fair chance you've got some per­fectly func­tional old tech just ly­ing around the house gath­er­ing dust. But while our pre-loved lap­tops, smart­phones and tablets might no longer pass muster as our pri­mary de­vices, ob­so­lete gear can en­joy a new lease on life when it's re-pur­posed for sim­pler tasks.

For ex­am­ple, with the right soft­ware, you can turn a tablet into a sec­ond com­puter mon­i­tor, make an old PC into a digital hub that you can ac­cess and con­trol from any­where with an in­ter­net con­nec­tion, or even trans­form your old smart­phone into a se­cu­rity cam­era. If these kinds of re­vamps sound like labour-in­ten­sive DIY projects that ne­ces­si­tate tin­ker­ing with wires and ca­bles, guess again: none in­volve any­thing more com­pli­cated than down­load­ing a few apps, all of which are ei­ther in­ex­pen­sive or free.

Best of all, try­ing out any of these will help you get more mileage out of for­got­ten or re­tired prod­ucts that you once paid good money for – and that's def­i­nitely smart. What is it? Duet Dis­play

How much? $14.99. Pros: When us­ing a desk­top or note­book com­puter, your iPad is prob­a­bly just ly­ing idle. But with Duet Dis­play, you can ac­tu­ally put it to work at the same time, con­nect­ing your tablet to your PC or Mac and us­ing it as a sec­ond dis­play, giv­ing you an ex­tra iPad-sized screen to work with. It now sup­ports Ap­ple's Touch Bar too, giv­ing you ex­tra func­tion­al­ity on older Macs.

Cons: iOS only – but other al­ter­na­tives are avail­able (some of them wire­less), which also sup­port An­droid tablets. duet­dis­ What is it? TeamViewer How much? Free for per­sonal use.

Pros: There's noth­ing like get­ting to work and re­al­is­ing you have left an im­por­tant file at home. With TeamViewer, you can re­motely log into your home PC over the in­ter­net (even from mo­bile de­vices). Ex­tremely use­ful, and can be used to turn an old PC into a re­mote data hub.

Cons: Free for per­sonal use with lim­i­ta­tions but you can also sub­scribe for the com­mer­cial ver­sion. Also check out LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, Splash­top, Chrome Re­mote Desk­top, and many more. What is it? Many­thing How much? Free for ba­sic plan.

Pros: Many­thing (short for “mon­i­tor any­thing”) ba­si­cally epit­o­mises the idea of re­vamp­ing old tech, let­ting you use the cam­era on iOS and An­droid de­vices as a re­mote se­cu­rity cam­era and mo­tion de­tec­tor. Great for peace of mind while you're away from home or for keep­ing tabs on your pets while you're at work.

Cons: Free plan of­fers live stream­ing and mo­tion alerts for one de­vice but you'll need to sub­scribe to record your se­cu­rity cam­era footage in the cloud. many­

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