Laptops age quicker than desktops – fact. Their parts are more expensive to replace, less interchangable, less upgradeable and more expensive. This means that when you buy a laptop it will have a shelf life of about 3 – 4 years assuming that it doesn’t break in the mean time. A desktop would have the same 3 – 4 years without any upgrades, but then you can add extra disk space for cheap, upgrade processors and memory, and nowadays you can even throw an extra graphics card into the same box to get better performance.
So, what do you do with your old laptop that’s been sitting in the cupboard doing nothing for two years because you bought an iMac and are totally a victim of marketing with purchasing powers beyond your own control?
Linux is a free, open-source (that is good) operating system that provides you with an alternative to windows. It generally runs a lot faster than windows and requires less PC power for the same performance so it’s perfect for your old laptop. Additionally, there are many different kinds of Linux, some specifically designed for older computers, so there’s not reason why your old, dead laptop shouldn’t be back up to full speed in no time!
Here’s some options:
1) Ubuntu Linux.
Ubuntu is the most accessible version of Linux and great for people with little or no experience. It will probably require a PC bought in the last 5 years or so to run the latest version.
2) Debian Linux
This is great if you’re looking to turn your machine into a server but requires a bit more experience with Linux. If you’re comfortable in the command line, then do it.
3) DSL Linux
This is the last call if your laptop really is so old that it’s barely usable. Damn Small Linux will run on just about anything, but it’s not the most friendly of distros. If you really are too cheap to go out and buy a decent secondhand laptop for sale, then this is the best you’re going to get.