It breaks my heart to see colleges and other institutions sell perfectly good computer equipment for pennies on the dollar and they go back and spend thousands of dollars on brand new replacement equipment that ended up doing nothing more than what the systems were already being used for. One example of this is I bought a used Apple imac for a whopping twenty dollars. The system probably cost over a thousand dollars to begin with. The college is replacing that old system for probably hundreds of dollars. Ouch, there go our tax dollars. At worst the system I bought would or might need a replacement hard drive which can be had for less than 50 dollars at bulk prices. If nothing else if would have given the college at least one to two more years of service and the college could have left the money in the bank earning additional income.

The machine I bought had to have the hard disk be wiped clean for legal reasons. What did I do. I could have gone to the local computer store and bought an operating system license from apple. Oops, you can not get one anymore. Apple no longer supports those machines. What I did do is download a freedom cd image (aka iso) with an open source operating system that is still being supported and then burned it to the cd. Then it was a matter of just booting the machine with the cd and installing it as you would any new (well in this case used) computer. In only minutes I was able to do word processing, spreadsheets, and other business stuff. I was also able to get on the internet and do email, post to a blog, listen to music all for a whopping twenty dollars and a bit of time.

If retail stores were smart they would offer a service to re-purpose old machines. To me it would actually probably sell more computers, because people would know that their investment in a system would last longer and the retail store would be there to support them. I would prefer to buy a new computer there than anywhere else. Kind of like the “Miracle on thirty-fourth street” marketing philosophy.

Any where can you get these cd’s?…owerpc/iso-cd/

Help save our tax dollars! If not at least save your self some dollars. One caveat, some older systems may require a bit more work to set up. Any local linux user group or computer techie worth his or her salt can easily help you there. Good luck!