Don’t throw away that old laptop!

Windows users like myself are switching to Linux based operating systems. It is giving new life to old PCs. Linux is powerful, lightweight, secure and customizable. these are my impressions after a couple months.

I created a bootable USB stick with a free program called Balena Etcher. I chose a distribution that is friendly to windows users, Linux Mint.

The laptop, 2013 HP Envy, was running Windows 8. I clicked restart with my bootable USB attached, hitting Escape key to enter safe mode. from the menu you can choose which distribution to load. This is a really convenient way to try out Linux without having to modify your existing setup. The improved performance was so noticeable I chose to overwrite windows.

I suggest that you download multiple Linux distributions on your USB stick. Pop! is another distribution aimed at non-coders that is powerful. Pop! markets itself as being fiendly to “STEM and creative professionals.” Play around, see which you prefer and commit for a year.

Time to get productive. I downloaded Blender, a 3d program, and rendered a picture of Tux. Gimp is free alternative to Photoshop. Libre Office is free opensource alternative to Microsoft office. Musescore is a free alternative for Sibelius/Guitar Pro. Firefox for the browser.

What would you do with another computer? Is there a student you know who could benefit from a laptop? It has never been easier to start. The Mars rover, Curiosity, runs Linux as its OS. and I’m ready for it to take me to the stars. or at least set up a plex server to host music and video. Thank you Andy Cuccaro for creating the etching program to create bootable USB stick

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