Gary Helm

Give that old computer a New Life

You have an old computer, and there is nothing wrong with it except... Microsoft Windows will not update, or websites will not let you do what you need to do.

Here are some options to breath new life into that old computer. Both options are current software without all the Microsoft requirement.

  • 1. First is Google ChromeOS Flex (Chrome Operating System).
  • 2. Second is a version of Linux (Distro Operating System).

ChromeOS is a Cloud Based Operating System. That means only a small part of what runs your computer is actually on your computer. The majority of what makes your computer work is "out there, somewhere" on the Internet.

Linux is installed on your computer. You can get on the Internet, but everything runs inside your computer.

Google has two versions of ChromeOS. One is the version you will get if you buy a computer with the name Chromebook. The other, "ChromeOS Flex" is a version that can be installed on a computer that was a Microsoft Windows computer. As far as usability they appear the same.

Linux has many versions. Saying "Linux" is like saying "Ice Cream"; What flavor do you want? Linux versions (distros) are designed with specific needs in mind. The most popular version is Ubuntu Desktop. In my opinion the most user friendly version is Linux Mint; it looks and feels a lot like Microsoft Windows 7.

Let me again emphasise, these are not Microsoft Windows.

Operating Systems are the software that makes it possible for us to use our computer, phone, tablet or other electronic devices we use on a regular basis. Most of us are familiar with Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS for iMac or iPhone. Chromebooks are becoming more popular because they are readily available on store shelves and inexpensive. Most of us are not familiar with the name "Linux" but most of us use them every day. Most of the Internet including Cloud services run on Linux. Android phones are based on Linux. Many appliances and computerized systems in cars are Linux based.

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