Having bought a new laptop or desktop what do you do with the old one? Well I am not one to just throw stuff away and certainly not if it is useful. So I was particularly delighted when I cam across someone who wanted to use his old laptop as a web server in a test environment. His concerns though were around do I go with Windows which is installed or Linux, how do I protect myself from the outside world as they are connected to my router and what tools should I use? The post got a lot of good answers which shows how versatile our thought processes are here. Anywho this was my contribution:
Firstly great to see that you are using "older" technology. All to often we "throw" something away just because it is old. Re-using it and re-using the license of Windows is also a good idea. But learning new technologies like Linux is also good for you, as it will increase your technical knowledge. Now I am no Linux boffin and each Linux devotee has their favourite but Ubuntu seems pretty good.
So do you go Windows or do you go Linux? Well why not both? You can get Linux and Windows as both bootable off the the same PC. Using this would enable you to have your Windows environment that you are comfortable with up and running quickly while you learn the Linux environment.
I would also assign a fixed IP address in your router to the test device. This will make connection consistant in the event that your router powers down. Also as others have highlighted check which ports are open to protect you from the outisde world seeing your new development.
As to tools like DreamWeaver I would need to do a bit more research for you but the Linux environment has a wealth of tools many of them for free to try.
Let us know how you get on
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