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For those of you into Supercomputing, you can use Linux and your cast off machines to make a Beowulf cluster.

A Beowulf cluster is a collection of computers, usually a few dozen of last few years' ago computers, wired up in an Ethernet and set up with a special Linux system which allows computer programs to be run on the network of computers as if it was one supercomputer. As such supposedly obsolete computers can be got for very cheap prices as they're not "the latest thing" and are at least a quarter of the power of a modern machine, if you put sixteen of them together you've got a multiprocessing machine four times as powerful as a modern machine for less than half the price.

Also this whole thing gets into the realms of distributed systems and is very interesting in research.

Contacts for this are (gone? surely not!?) and the Xyroth beowulf cluster review

An example of a Beowulf Cluster is the Beowulf Cluster at Xyroth Enterprises

Plus: The Beowulf Underground and Extreme Linux (was - see Linux

Another alternative is Open Mosix