“Saving the world. One laptop at a time.” is a phrase close to my heart. I have thought about using it as a slogan, but it only describes a part of what I do. One strong theme from my childhood was sustainable living. My parents had a large garden in which they grew all sorts of organic fruit and vegetables. On our holidays my father would go fishing and the freezer would be stocked with freshly caught mackerel. From time to time, we would visit the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales. An amazing place, which in the 70’s was way ahead of it’s time with generating electricity from renewable sources, and organic farming.
This made such a huge impact on me, that even today, I have a strong “repair, re-use, recycle” streak. And to this informs the values of Nörtti paikalle.
When I talk about “Saving the world. One laptop at a time”, I am not only meaning that your computer is working again well, and you are able to use it follow your passion. The intention is also that using the principle of “repair, re-use, recycle”, your computer can continue to give value for many years.
Even if many newer laptops are made in such a way that the only the battery can be replaced, this is still worth doing. After a few years of daily use, the battery basically wears out. It cannot hold as much charge as it did when it was new, so and you may notice that you need charge it more often.
As time goes by, the operating system for the computer will become more advanced. This may be more power-hungry, and also make the laptop feel slower. Couple this with an old battery, and your laptop may not bring you the joy it once did.
This is where Nörtti paikalle can step in. We can reduce the amount of usable technology going to the landfill, and maybe even play a part in saving the world.
Repair. Re-use. Recycle.
Let’s repair that laptop!
Two things I would suggest immediately are to replace the battery and add more memory.
Let’s say that your laptop is four or five years old. May be you bought the laptop to help the children do their homework, or to pay the bills. By now it feels. With that in mind, I would guess that your laptop has 4GB RAM for it’s working memory. This would have been great for Windows 7. If you have let Windows do it’s thing, you are now running Windows 10, and it seems sluggish. By doubling the memory to 8 GB, you will notice the laptop feels suddenly more lively.
By replacing the battery, you can find that you can curl up on the sofa, pay some bills, research a project, and watch a movie without having to suddenly spring up to find the charger.
Over the years, you might have installed games and app, removed them. The children might have installed games, which brought with them unwanted programs. It could even be the programs aren’t opening at all anymore.
Check your RAM
- Select the “Start” menu, located in the bottom left of your screen
- Next, type “Task Manager” and press enter when the correct result appears
- Click on the “Performance” tab and check the section titled “Memory”
After you have followed any of these three methods on Windows 10, you should see a graph that presents the current performance and usage of your RAM. If the graph indicates your RAM usage is above 70% and you are only performing simple tasks or are not doing anything at all, you may need additional RAM to prevent sluggish performance. However, sometimes high RAM usage shown on the Task Manager can be due to having too many programs running in the background (source).
If running anti-virus software scans doesn’t seems to help, re-installing Windows might be something worthwhile to do. This needs a little planning, as you will need to back up your files (if you haven’t already).
Re-using a laptop.
It could well be that it is actually time to purchase a new laptop. The laptop you might be simply too out of date to handle the tasks you need it do. Gaming, 3D design, music production. But is this a reason to consign your old laptop to scrap heap?
Not really. Let’s use the principles above to re-use it.
- Replace the battery
- Upgrade the RAM (working memory)
- Maybe even get a bigger hard drive
- Re-install the operating system
- If you are planning to pass the laptop on, this will give the next user a clean table to start from.
What new adventures could this laptop have?
There many uses an older laptop could be put to. Here are a few suggestions:
- It could be used simply for writing essays or emails, or reading the news.
- Make your old TV set “Smart”!, and connect laptop to an older TV set to watch movies on, or play music.
- Connect a printer or large USB hard drive to this laptop, and then share these resources to others in your home, or home-office.
Just because the laptop is a bit old, it may not have yet reached the end of it’s serviceable life, With a little ingenuity and investmest, the laptop really could have a whole new lease of life.
If your laptop really has no life left in it anymore, now might be the time to send it to that great computer store in the sky.
Your laptop contains precious metals and other resources. With proper recycling these can reclaimed and give life to new products,
With a bit of work with a screwdriver, you could also recover the memory modules and hard drive yourself.
Does something here resonate with you?
I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation with you!