I was wondering if I could do everything I need/want to do on a computer with only free software. So I’ve set myself a challenge.
I only had one computer at home, and I didn’t want to cause a hassle with the rest of the family, so I jumped onto TradeMe to see what I could find. I wasn’t looking for the greatest/latest computer, as I had read that Linux can often run on older computers. I spent $12 on a computer. It has a 20Gb HDD, 384Mb RAM, 850MHz processor – it’s not that greatest computer in the world! I then bought a 15” monitor for $1 (which the fantastic trader ended up giving to me for free)! I already had a spare keyboard and mouse, so I didn’t have to worry about that. So for $12 I had my computer to try this out with.
Okay, so I do already have broadband, so I was able to download the latest version of Ubuntu Linux to install on this computer, but you can request a free disc (or buy cheap from a number of distributors). Included in Ubuntu is Open Office and a whole stack of other programs.
So far, so good. I have spent a total of $12 and have a fully functioning computer with an office suite.
Oh and by the way, Ubuntu is great at finding things you plug in to the computer. I connected wirelessly to the internet using a USB wireless adaptor that I already had, and it installed it instantly! Windows didn’t do this as easily for me!
A number of the students that I teach don’t have computers. Money is often a factor in this. I have demonstrated already that for less than $20 a computer can be set up with a fully functioning operating system and office suite!
I’ll keep you posted on how things go!