i’ve thought about a handful of ways for technology to maybe help businesses (and maybe homes) to save a little money.
- use what you have. do not upgrade your software to anything unless its free. if you’re using windows xp then stay with it. there’s no point in switching to linux when you already have the license for xp. same goes with whatever version of microsoft office you have installed — if you have it installed at all. there’s also no point in pirating ms office when there are a bunch free alternatives already just waiting to be downloaded.
- standardize on the basic file formats to adopt within the workplace especially with documents and spreadsheets. choose the common “denominator” — the file format that all word processing or spreadsheet program can save as. this way, you can use different versions of the word processing or spreadsheet programs and not have to worry about compatibility or forced to pay to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of that program.
- make use of old computers. if possible, max out the memory or plug in at least 1 gig then install linux. you probably should use at least a 1 ghz pentium 4 or equivalent for desktops. mind the type of memory modules needed by the computer. older computers need older memory modules.
- you can possibly use these old computers as print or file servers. just max the memory, put in a really large hard drive and you’re in business. install a server-specific linux distribution and you’ll save a lot from server licensing especially if you have a large population of users.
- if your company is buying new computers, try purchasing them with linux installed. it should come out a little cheaper compared to when windows xp or vista is installed. if it isn’t cheaper then tell the vendor that windows is not free and when you woke up that morning it still isn’t free and that you’re just buying the hardware and not the software. for office applications you can always download and use open office.
- not buying new hardware? give a little speed to your old computer by increasing its memory to 2 gig. 4 gig would be nice but 2 seems to be the sweet spot. this is certainly cheaper than buying a new computer.