The 8th April, 2014 is two weeks away and pardon the cliché, and the days are counting down until the demise of Windows XP support. This means Microsoft will no longer be releasing updates or patches for computers that run XP. The logic is that XP users, including myself, are forced into upgrading or buying new computers.
I find it odd that no company, Apple or Google especially, is taking the opportunity to tempt XP users to their operating systems. Unfortunately the many branches of Linux operating systems (distributions or distros) don’t have and never had a PR drive. Even Microsoft does not seem to be pushing XP users to their new OS’s as strong as I thought they would and they probably should. Similarly computer shops should take the opportunity to tempt potential customers in.
Let’s say you decide to buy a new computer. So what do you do with that old XP computer? If you decide to keep it, you can try the less than scary world of Linux. Trust me, it is not as scary as you think. Possibly the scariest element of the Linux world is the many distros that inhabit it. It is a great way to educate yourself as I will be. Many distros allow you to try the product before you install it. Most have an interface that is similar to Windows. So don’t be too put off by the word Linux. If you want a pointer, Linux Mint, an Irish based distro, is the most popular and is cited for its ease of use.
Some shops in Ireland I notice had offered cash back deals on old computers. You need to check yourself if what offers are still available and in what stores. The EU has a Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) recycling programme, which allows people bring their old electronic equipment WEEE outlets (normally shops that sell electronic equipment). Another important option to be considered is charity. You can donate that old computer to charities such as Camara with a small donation. Your computer will be used to educate people in disadvantaged communities.
As it states on the Camara website, ‘Each reused Camara Education computer is installed in a low income school and provides digital literacy skills to 21 students.’ Now there’s a thought.