Everyone likes using brand new things for the first time. Whether a book, a notepad, a t-shirt or a mobile phone, using something for the very first time gives us a particular, indescribable feeling of happiness. But obviously we can’t keep trading in our old things for new ones, and sometimes we have to give them a second life
Today we are going to focus on one of those devices that has stood by us over the years and that, unfortunately, can no longer perform the same as it could on its very first day: your old PC. When you first bought it and starting using it, surely it turned on immediately, opened programs in no time, and you could do anything in just seconds and/or even play the best games.
But all those experiences are just memories now, and after installing the most recent version of windows, your old PC has finally said: enough. Well, that’s if you even manage to install it. Luckily, just because your computer doesn’t perform to its previous standards doesn’t mean you have to scrap it. There are alternative operating systems that are designed for older or more modest machines. Let’s take a look at a selection that can give your old PC a second life. It won’t operate as it did on its first day, but it will still be useful.
We start with the idea that you want to take advantage of your computer but you’re not willing to keep the currently installed Windows version and it’s possible that this has become obsolete and less secure, since Microsoft has stopped releasing compatible security updates.
Well, let’s start with ReactOS, an open-source and free version of Windows that has been taking shape for years and currently represents a good alternative if you want an operating system that is compatible with Windows and your current programs, and that operates on old PCs without a hitch.
It looks like Windows 2000/XP/2003, takes up 500 MB of hard drive space and only uses 96 MB of RAM. If you want to continue using your old computer and running Windows programs, this is a good option for you.
A second option is to take advantage of the fact that almost everything we do is on the cloud, and install an operating system on your old PC that integrates online services. This way you won’t have to install or run any large programs. All you will need is an Internet connection.
CloudReady is inspired by Chrome OS, the pre-installed Google operating system on chromebook laptops. These are light and cheap with modest hardware, and everything runs on web applications.
So, if you want to revive your old PC, CloudReady gives you that option. It’s free for personal use, but doesn’t offer any support. However, you’ll need very little support, since installation is simple and its operations are reminiscent of other Google products, such as the web browser.
If you’re used to working with web services and applications, CloudReady is the choice for you.
This is a free version of Windows, an adaptation of Chrome OS and, lastly, a version of Android for computers.
Android was designed for mobile devices such as telephones and tablets. Later on, HDMI sticks with Android came out which can convert your television into a smart TV. And there are projects for this operating system to be used in computers.
One example is Remix OS, based on Android-x86 and which is visually attractive yet uses very few resources, and therefore operates well on older PCs.
Remix OS allows you to install and run Android applications that are adapted to your computer screen. This includes everything from entertainment applications such as games to productive, office software and editing apps.
Windows, Chrome OS, Android… Linux has to be on the list too (even though Android and Chrome OS are based on this operating system).
There are a lot of versions of Linux that are adapted to multiple needs and types of devices. There are versions for playing, for working, for video editing… And there are quite a few for old PCs as well, such as Lubuntu.
Lubuntu is the lighter version of Ubuntu, the most popular version of Linux. The goal is to enable you to take advantage of its ease of use and large number of compatible applications, and all of this on a computer that is short on hardware resources.
If you want to start out with Linux and you’re worried that it’s too complicated, one of the best ways to begin is with Ubuntu, and now with Lubuntu you can do it with your old PC.
The operating systems we’ve seen thus far are good for multiple purposes, but perhaps you want to use your old computer for something specific. In that case, you can try out Kodi, previously known as XBMC.
Kodi converts your PC into a multimedia centre so you can easily listen to music or watch videos. It has been carefully designed and has extra add-ons to provide more functions. It offers a different way of converting your television into a smart TV by connecting it with your computer.