As I wrote the title of this post, I called to mind “new wine in old wineskins”, but here and now, new life and new functionality can be breathed into that tired and somewhat aged laptop that you’ve been complaining about. Here are some simple steps, and all or some of them can extend the life of your aged laptop immesurably…
1. New Battery
For under £15, a supplier on eBay will send you a new battery for your laptop which will improve things immeasurably. It’s the single best investment, I promise. Suddenly, an ancient machine which lasts 10 minutes can be used around the house.
2. Extra Memory
If you have slots spare, upping the memory can make a big difference. Most laptops are very easy to access the memory slots and so almost anyone can open it up and see what can be done inside. Many will have a spare slot and doubling the memory (around £30-40) has a great boost to performance
3. Turn off all the Windows 7/Vista Whizzbangs
Under CONTROL PANEL / SYSTEM / ADVANCED SYSTEM SETTINGS / PERFORMANCE / SETTINGS select “Adjust for best performance”.
Sure it turns off all those flashy settings, but makes a Windows 7 or Vista laptop run much much faster. I’d go for performance over style anyday.
4. Install Linux
Noted for turning even an old 486 machine into a functional device, Linux just knocks the socks off Windows, but you have to learn a new workflow. Certainly, OpenOffice does all that MS Office can, and with a decent browser who needs an Office suite anyway when all you do is on Google Docs anyway. If you can get over that hump, then suddenly, that unit good only for keeping the door propped open has a new lease of life, as a media streamer, as an online radio or iplayer.