Vintage Computing

I wish this was as smooth as Tumblr.

To quote the post made by minimallinux (note the two L's):

Vintage computing: reduce, recycle, reuse


or Making a virtue out of a necessity.

So I am no longer able to work due to some long term health issues, and I get by on a very little sum of money indeed.

My last computer had broken irretrievably, and I was using my 90 free minutes a day at the public library as my only real access to the internet.

Then one day walking home I came upon a Dell Optiplex GX400 on the street with a free sign on it. It had the power cable, a keyboard, and a mouse. A friend donated an old monitor and I was in business.

It was a little loud for the first few minutes after you started it up, and only had 256MB of RAM but it was free. It was running Windows XP. After a while the “Blue screen of death” appeared; Windows couldn’t find the hard drive.

I used an Ubuntu Live CD (which lets you run the OS from the CD without needing to install it). With it I was able to recover my files, fix the hard drive and install Ubuntu. Ubuntu is free and updated every 6 months.

Almost a year later, I am still using it. Although I use the Ubuntu OS, I run the Xubuntu desktop environment. It’s designed for older hardware and uses less resources.

I still use OpenOffice, Skype, Firefox, and other “serious” applications, but the combination of the Ubuntu OS and the XFCE desktop let me have a fast, efficient computer. I spent $14.95 for speakers, and that’s about it.

People ask me about getting a new computer. While I might consider moving to one that’s only 5 years old or so, I like what I am doing here.

  • I’m using something that would most likely end up as toxic waste in a landfill somewhere
  • I am recycling a discarded item
  • I am helping the environment
  • I am enjoying the challenge of matching hardware and software to do what I need to do, without lots of frivolous bells and whistles

Plenty of people have desktops and laptops gathering dust. They may be “broken,” have a virus, or just old.

If you need a computer ask around, post on your social networks, or go on Craigslist.

Ubuntu is a free open source software that can bring a lot of “dead” machines back to life and make them run faster than they did originally.

Take it easy on the earth, and your wallet.

Reduce, Recycle, Reuse!

This what it’s all about, people. Great story. I also love that term, “Vintage Computing.” Nice…

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