Interfacing with Older Computer
Hello, I apologize if this is the wrong forum section but I'm not sure exactly where this question fits.
I work in a research setting where instruments are often hooked up to prehistoric and excessively slow computers. Sometimes only the old computer has the required interface parts, and sometimes and upgrade of the interface simply costs too much. Neverteless, it would be nice to occasionally boost the performance of these machines, or maybe connect them to the internet (some only have dialup).
Question: is it possible to perhaps form a cluster of the old machine with, say, a higher-spec notebook, to make use of the original interface for controlling the scientific instruments, while improving performance in lieu of a complete system overhaul? If possible, is some specialized software needed, or is it as simple as setting up a LAN? Or would the old computers (e.g. some are running Win95 or 98) be incompatible with this setup?