Revitalize old PCs with a Linux operating system.

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Revitalize old PCs with a Linux operating system.

Post by andyc on Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:03 pm

Whenever a computer comes into our Repair Cafe it almost always seems to be suffering from software rather than hardware issues. We all know Windows bogs down once the installation is getting a bit long in the tooth and it's also very prone to catching viruses.

For a good few years now I've not used Windows at all, but made the switch to a free Linux OS. There are loads of benefits but these are the main ones:

1. The software is free.

2. It doesn't bog down and it doesn't spy on you either (unlike Windows).

3. There are free alternatives to 3rd party software like Office, Photoshop, Movie Maker and many more. Some of these alternatives are actually way better than the paid programs.

4. A Linux OS can be very lightweight (depending on the exact version of linux you choose) so it's especially good on older or lower spec machines. Even top spec machines will run much faster than they do under Windows.

5. Linux is not likely to become infected with a virus.

6. Programmes you might want to install are almost always in a pre-configured repository, so you don't have to trawl the web looking for a download.

7. Your entire system and all the programs you have installed can be updated with a simple command.

8. The desktop can be changed to suit your personal preferences. Get rid of those silly windows 'tiles' once and for all!

And the list goes on!

There are lots of different versions or 'flavours' of linux. Personally I use Linux Mint running the Matte desktop, wich is very similar in how it appears on screen to Windows XP. Ubuntu is another popular one.

Most linux versions can be burned to a DVD or memory stick and booted from there. Once booted from the removable media you can try them out and when you find one you're happy with there's a simple graphical installer to click on that walks you through the installation process.

I would definitely recomment having a memory stick with something like Linux Mint or Ubuntu on it at every Repair Cafe.


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Re: Revitalize old PCs with a Linux operating system.

Post by adjman on Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:53 pm

It is an option, but a lot of people are very "used to" windows and find a shift to something else hard to get their heads around. I agree that Xubuntu is SUPERB as a lightweight that will run on just about anything, but it might need a few "how to" guides writing or finding to print out to go with it for folks that have never touched it before. As a techie I am happy to tinker and play around with Linux, but some home users might struggle with things like setting up a printer or getting it connected to home WiFi - worth having a demo system at the cafe for people to try though!

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