I was 28 years old when I bought my first laptop. I was ecstatic. “Imagine the possibilities!” I was untethered, I thought to myself. Well, as untethered as one could be while being plugged into a 30-foot-long telephone line. But never mind that, I had a laptop! And if it sat there too long, I’d be in danger of developing deep vein thrombosis because of its crushing weight.
Nowadays, of course, I might as well have also been writing in hieroglyphics. The average toddler is a proficient user of whatever device might be lingering on the coffee table—iPads, smart phones, you name it.
Using laptops and other devices for school is just a way of life these days. And that’s especially true of the tech needs for college students. It’s that time of year when our kids are graduating and preparing for new adventures. That usually means that the only thing melting faster than the tires on their cars as they race away from home are the credit cards in our hands that are funding their blastoff into adulthood.
Sending kids to school is expensive. Part of the expense that you are going to have is the technology needed to advance your child into their college experience, their trade school or perhaps, their coding camp. Like the ancient 28-year-old me, that usually means coughing up some serious dough. But times are changing so rapidly, and exciting new opportunities are emerging that might help you stretch your dollars more than ever before.
I still have that old laptop stuffed away in my garage. It would be impossible to run a modern version of Windows on it. But there’s a very real possibility that it may still have life in it. And if not that one, then certainly one of the others in a pile of laptops I’ve collected over the years.
All of us have “that” closet—the one with old computers, orphaned power cables and unexplainable parts. What if you could resurrect some of that junk and make it useful? What if you didn’t have to buy a new laptop for every child in the house every few years?
Sure, there’s a need to keep good technology at hand, and you’ll likely need to send your child to college with a new or relatively new computer. But what if you were able to send the best laptop of the kids’ fleet to college, and your first-year whiz and the other kids were able to have a blazing fast computer experience back at home with the ramshackle laptop leftovers from a few years ago?
Enter the exciting new world of Neverware.
Neverware is an innovative company that has used open source Google software to develop an operating system that runs smoothly and efficiently on aging computers. Machines that would usually be ready for the junk heap have found new life.
And, what’s the harm in trying, since it’s FREE! Yes, the home version of this company’s exciting foray into the world of cloud computing is completely free. So rather than turning your grindingly slow PC into a closet companion of old shoes and a lifeless Dustbuster that refuses to stay charged, why not turn your tech guru middle schooler loose on rescuing your old computers from the Island of Misfit Toys?
Sure, computers over the years have become less expensive and more accessible, but when it comes to extending the life of your old computers for basic cloud-computing needs, why not save a few bucks, reduce waste and open the door to the possibilities that come with finding some use out of an otherwise useless device. It might even be fun!
Richard Singleton, MACE, MAMFC, LPC, is the executive director at STARRY in Round Rock.