By admin / Hardware / 0 Comments

Repurposing your old computer

You’re sat waiting for your ageing PC or Apple Mac to boot, thinking “maybe its time to buy another one?”. You can pick up a new PC for less than £200… with an operating system, which seems crazy cheap but in this age of throw away tech, it seems to be the way that most manufacturers are moving. Even the high end MacBook Pro laptops are not built as well as you might think, but their price point suggests otherwise.

What if you could repurpose your old laptop, PC or Apple Mac to be as fast as the day it were born? There is no special magic or sauce here. No clever dongle that promises to boost the speed of all the components on board. The potential solution comes from something called Linux.

You may have heard of Linux or perhaps Ubuntu. Linux is another Operating system, just like Mac OS or Windows. The difference is that most Linux distributions (we call them distros) are free to download and install. They come with a raft of tools to rival many Microsoft or Apple software and if installed correctly, Linux can provide a boost of speed and give new purpose to an otherwise perfectly good but ageing computer.

Now, lets be clear, you’re not going to get Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge. Your not going to get Word, Excel, Powerpoint or Outlook on Linux (at least not yet), but you can get some very good alternatives such as Libre Office for your Office siute replacement, Mozilla Firefox or Chromium to replace Internet Explorer/Edge and Mozilla Thunderbird to replace Outlook for email, making this a perfectly useable internet ready PC once more.

If you’re confident to have a go at installing Linux yourself, then head over to and download the desktop version yourself. However if you would like to discuss this further, drop us a line and we can provide a personalised quotation for installing a new Linux operating system and all the software you may need.

Data Backup

Backup, Backup and Backup

One of the most common issues I encounter when fixing a computer is the lack of regular backup. If the computer that I’m asked to fix has a faulty Hard Disk Drive or SSD, then its likely that some/all data on that drive will be lost… forever.

There are some software tricks we can employ to try and get the data, but if the disk itself simply will not start, then recovery of important thinsg such as family photos, important documents, emails, family videos etc. is increasingly slim and also increasingly expensive, running into £1000s to send the disk away to a special dust free laboratory where engineers will try (and there are no guarantees) to recover as much data as they can.

These days, there really isn’t any excuse not to have some kind of backup in place, whether thats a second USB Hard Disk that you plug in each week or month, or perhaps an online solution such as our own Cloud backup solution, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsofts OneDrive, or even perhaps whats called a NAS (Network Attached Storage is an unassuming box of disks that acts as a kind of central repository for all your backup files across all your devices). I’ll talk about NAS boxes and options in a future Blog entry.

Many of the online solutions (including own own) provide some free space to start you off. If you already subscribe to Microsofts own Office 365, you’ll have 1TB (1 Terabyte or 1000 Gigabyes) of online storage included, so what are you waiting for? Don’t put off setting up a backup until its too late.