Save dollars and the earth (just a little bit) while staying current with technology

Martin Dawson

Presently I am writing to you on a 2014 Lenovo ThinkPad laptop. I purchased it 4 years ago from my local computer store. It was purchased for under $400.00. A new laptop of this type sells for $1500.00. Yes, a newer one has more up to date and faster hardware than my older version, but it is not really upgradeable. The ram memory is soldered in, so you must pick the amount of ram (up to 32 GB) and that is it forever! My older version has memory slots, and I have inexpensively updated it from 4 GB to 12 GB. When I add to it the Linux operating system instead of the bloated Microsoft 10 that it was sold with, the speed is increased again.

There are hundreds of different versions of Linux available and for the most part they are available for the cost of a download and even less expensive if you get a borrowed thumb drive with the operating system on it. The number of different versions of Linux should not be daunting as they all work basically the same, and have been developed with different purposes in mind. There are versions that are specifically designed to make transition from Windows to Linux as smooth as possible. In many cases, the average user might not even know that they are using something other than a Windows operating system.

In case you are wondering if Linux is experimental or untested software, I should remind you that Linux is used by most servers that are presently connecting me to you through the Internet, Moreover, Android on your phone, and Google Chrome used as a search engine are also based on Linux. Even banking software and medical devices use Linux. It is just that the common person cannot obtain a laptop easily if they go to the big computer stores. Why is that? You certainly can in Europe and India etc. Instead a person must install it themselves or go to a smaller computer store and purchase a used machine and ask specifically to have them install a Linux operating system. Although I am capable of doing it myself, my local computer store installed Linux Mint on my laptop at no extra charge. Last week I updated it to the latest version with no problems.

If churches are really interested in climate change and environmental degradation, perhaps it would be advantageous to examine the reuse of older equipment through open source software like Linux.

Last year there was over 57 million metric tonnes of e waste.

Keep your software and hardware current (even if it is used!) and help the earth just a little bit at the same time.