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Sunday, March 19, 2017

1802. Use a Very Old Laptop

I have a very old laptop that’s just sitting in a closet that’s basically valueless in terms of resale value. I’d love to be able to use it in the kitchen for basic Web browsing, watching videos, and streaming music, but it’s just too old to run any modern version of Windows. Is there anything I can do with it?

Well, join the club! We each have a stack of old laptops (I seem to collect them like baseball cards), and we, too, were looking for something to do with them. One day, the answer appeared in our Inbox: A friend sent a link describing how you can install a very light-weight, Linux-based operating system on an old laptop, and it’s trivial to install and configure. The operating system was originally built for the Raspberry Pi, a tiny, $35 computer that a lot of hobbyists have adopted for home-based projects. Given the information in the article, you can easily download the operating system, copy it to a USB stick, and either run it from the USB device or install it on the laptop’s hard drive: []. If you have any interest in experimenting with the old computer, and have an hour to kill, it’s certainly worth a try. It’s free, simple, and might breathe some new life into that ancient laptop! If you have a little more interest, you can also dig into installing a full copy of Linux on the laptop. Linux tends to run on lighter-weight hardware than does Windows, and it, too, is free. You can find more information about installing Linux here: [].

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