I’m beginning to see a pattern in my not so frequent blog posts which relate to tech that I love using dying off but this had to be my first entry for the New Year and the New Decade.
I’m one of the generation who enjoyed Windows 95, loved its interface and the new frontier it offered – and then it died off.
I had to then adapt to Windows 98 with its ability to play videos…. I was in awe and fell in love with this OS. This too was killed off but I could understand this one. We’d all outgrown Windows 98 and craved for more as the internet grew. Although it was the operating system which saw me through my teaching degree and signified my future as a Tech Trainer/IT teacher, my mourning was for a little while.
I held out and so did not need to endure ME which I shall not talk about any further, but went straight to Windows XP. Whilst I didn’t like this operating system as much as 98 and 95 it did teach me how to use the back screens whenever some random hacker decided to play with my devices.
So with the nightmare that was Windows Vista I finally converted my 2009 laptop to Windows 7 and immediately took a shine to it. Windows 7 still allowed me to take a peek under the hood, so to speak but it was user friendly enough to allow me to do what I needed to do day to day.
So fast forward to 2016 when Microsoft announced that the operating system that we all loved had reached its end of life for security support updates. I was open minded enough to try Windows 10 for free but found with my laptop that 10 clashed with the old laptop’s graphics card which could not be updated further. I was stuck with Windows 7 which I didn’t mind too much.
But it was when we were given a date when Windows 7 security updates would finally cease that my ‘tech grieving’ began. I just couldn’t end my relationship with Windows 7 – we’d been through so much together and letting go was hard to do.
But reluctantly I upgraded to a desktop with Windows 10, where I could still plod on with those tasks from this blog that seems to be on the continual backburner and so far things seemed ok.
Except for the Windows 7 laptop that I just could not let go.
I realised that this laptop still had software that was incompatible with Win 10 but that I still needed to use. I also had the dilemma of requiring a laptop to use online for tasks such as homework for other members of our household. I wasn’t in a position to buy a brand new laptop which was completely out of my budget, so I pondered what could be done.
Then like a knight in shining armour came the light-bulb moment for me which was the Chromium Operating system that I had used during my last but one contract. The school had used Google Classroom extensively and each child was in possession of a Chromebook which ran Chromium. What was great was that a company called Neverware was offering the OS for home use completely free. Niiiccce! (exaggerated to mimick my ds when he is impressed with something).
So whilst I didn’t want to overhaul my old laptop I instead went on a mission to purchase an old laptop, wipe it clean and install Cloud Ready Chromium so that it becomes a Chromebook for my son’s school work.
Yesterday I went to an old pawn shop and located a relatively old computer ( 2011 Dell Latitude E6220 4GB RAM 250GB HDD notebook) second hand for £79.99. The previous owners had upgraded to Win 10 but the machine was running real slow and must have been riddled with malware. So with a strong cup of tea and moral support from my cheerleading son, I set to work to wipe clean its drive.
While I was waiting for this to be done (took a number of hours) I created a bootable usb with Chromium on. I used a Usb with 32GB data on but smaller ones would have been suffice to be fair.
I had to boot to the BIOS (F12 on this machine) and deselected everything else so that the machine could only boot from the usb. I then booted up the machine and installed Chromium.
By last evening I now have a cleaned up Chromebook (the old machine was minging with dried food etc caked in the keyboard and mouse pad) and it is from this machine that I am updating this blog.
I am so chuffed that instead of spending a few months trying to save up for a Chromebook at £150 minimum I now have quite a powerful little notebook for homework use on a machine which only set me back at just over half the price.
So mums and dads if you’ve grieved over your deceased Windows 7 machine which is more than 8 years old, incompatible with Windows 10, and have nothing to lose on the machine itself, definitely upgrade to using something like Neverware’s Cloud Ready Chromium Chromebook. Home work can still be done using Google Drive and Docs/Sheets/Slides but you will save significant amount of dosh instead of investing in either a brand new laptop or new chrome book.
As my son would say, “Niiiiicce”