New life for old computers!

Some of the most dangerous polutants around are found in old computers and electronic equipment. Even though old computers are a small portion of the total waste, their influence on the environment and people's health can be disproportionate. For this reason the re-use of old computers is a major focus area of New Development.

Old computers are slow. However, it is possible to give them a new lease on life by installing one of the customized small Linux distributions on them. They can also be used as a firewall and/or router instead of an expensive hardware device. If you have old computers and don't know what to do with them, please contact us.

Why Linux?

There are a number of reasons why we will usually recommend Linux as operating system.

  • First of all is the fact that within the GNU/Linux Operating System the number of different "distros" gives you more choice, especially for the future when your needs might change.
  • Secondly, the Linux Operating System is inherently more secure than most alternatives. You will probably be familiar with the fact that computer viruses, spyware and other malware are rampant on the internet and can cause considerable damage or inconvenience. Linux was written based on the same design principles as Unix, which was developed from the beginning to be secure and safe in a multi-user environment. This means that no software can automatically install itself on your computer. It also means that you don't have to worry that deleting a file or folder (e.g. the "Windows" folder) will damage your computer system, because a normal user will never have the ability to delete critical system files. (Of course, it won't prevent you from deleting your own data smiley).
  • Linux remains one of the most stable systems around. Because it started out as a server OS, it is happy to run for years on end without ever needing to be restarted. If you have ever seen the infamous blue screen of death, especially just before saving some critical data, you will know why this is important. This is probably the number one reason why I prefer Linux.
  • Linux, especially Ubuntu and similar distros, has become just as easy to use (if not even easier) than Windows. For long, the perception existed that Linux was only really usable for specialists or as servers, but this perception is rapidly changing as user-friendly distributions like Ubuntu, Mepis, Puppy and others becomes better known for use on the desktop and laptop/notebook computers. Installing Linux is in general much easier and quicker than installing Windows.
  • Linux is free (Afrikaans: "vry"). This doesn't refer to price first of all, but to the fact that any programmer or company can change and tweak Linux to their specific need. It also means that Linux can be compiled to run on almost any platform for which there exists a C compiler, including security cameras, cellphones (e.g. Android), etc.
  • Lastly, cost. Linux is free as in freedom, but also less expensive than any alternative. It can be freely downloaded from the Internet or burned on CD's or DVD's at any freedom toaster.

For more reasons to use Linux, have a look at why linux is better.


Why not Linux?

In a few situations, Linux is not the best choice as operating system. If you are a hard-core gamer, playing a lot of games that run on Microsoft's directX, MS Windows would be the best choice. Recently both Steam and Valve have announced Linux support for their games, so this will not be true for much longer. The second situation is when you need a specific user program that is only available on the Mac or on Windows. Although there are equivalent Linux programs for almost all kinds of user software, sometimes a specialized program might only be available for the Mac or Windows. In most of these cases, the hardware you need will probably also be more expensive than an ordinary PC, although GPU's with high performance are becoming more common even in laptops. Of course the opposite is also true sometimes, with some specialized programs only available for Linux.


newdevel [by] chavoux [punt] com

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