Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 15th Jun 2010 21:06 UTC
Linux All of us who use computers create a problem we rarely consider. How do we dispose of them? This is no small concern. Estimates put the number of personal computers in use world-wide today at about one billion. The average lifespan of a personal computer is only two to five years. We can expect a tidal wave of computers ready for disposal shortly, and this number will only increase. And as if that isn't challenge enough, there are already several hundred million computers out-of-service, sitting in attics and basements and garages, awaiting disposal.
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On old hardware, I generally find it faster to install Linux than to install Windows. A Linux distro would very likely support the hardware out of the box, while I'd have to hunt down drivers for Windows.

Just recently I had to redo a completely hosed Windows installation on my girlfriend's old (circa 2004) laptop. But first I had to recover some files from the hard drive. Popped in a CD with a recent release of Ubuntu, and what do you know. All the hardware works out of the box. Sound, wireless, the works. I recovered the files, then proceeded to install XP. Once done, I popped in the CD containing the Windows drivers. Had to manually install ten or eleven different drivers, rebooting after each one. But at least I had the CD and didn't have to go hunting for drivers over the net.

While the above is just one example, it has been typical of my experience in these situations.

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