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Linux Journal: Don't Throw That Old PC Away--Give It New Life with Linux

Jan 06, 2001, 14:04 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bryan Pfaffenberger)

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"Did you get a new, more powerful computer this holiday season? What's going to happen to your old system? Unless your old PC is of fairly recent vintage, it's worth close to nothing in the used market. And that's precisely why millions of disused PCs are headed for landfills, where they pose a genuine threat to the environment. According to a recent estimate by the National Safety Council's Environmental Health Center, some 315 million PCs will be obsolete by 2004--and they'll contain 1 billion pounds of plastic, 1.2 billion pounds of lead, 2 million pounds of cadmium, and 400,000 pounds of mercury..."

"What's especially tragic about this coming environmental catastrophe is that it's unnecessary. Many of the soon-to-be-junked PCs work just fine. Their only problem? They can't run the most recent versions of MicrosoftWindows. And that's where Linux comes in. As you'll learn in this article, you can breathe new life into obsolete computer systems by installing Linux on them and using these "obsolete" PCs for a variety of very useful functions. As long as you're running Linux in console mode, Linux runs very well on obsolete hardware, including 486s and first-generation Pentiums. Please note that the following suggestions are meant to be illustrative; I haven't included all the technical information that's needed to get these solutions working, but I've included links to get you going in the right direction."

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