William is blind and wants to know more about accessibility with Linux. He believes that many tools are built with the assumption of what he needs, not what he really needs. The tech world has also taken away much of the tactile nature of computing that William could benefit from.
Franklin wants to know what CUDA is in a video card and can he use it with Linux? Leo says that CUDA is a performance codec that will help higher resolution video perform at various frame rates and resolutions. The key is to make sure he's using the proprietary NVIDIA drivers for the best results. If he's using Linux, though, it's possible he won't get CUDA support, especially with Linux drivers. He could also make sure that he has OpenCL drivers as well.
Nathan recently created a dual boot PC using Windows and Majaro Linux. But now his bandwidth speed on that PC is really slow compared to his other devices. Leo says that if the slowdown is evident on both Linux and Windows, then that points to a potential hardware issue. Leo recommends to boot into Windows and go into the Device Manager to make sure the PC is using the proper drivers. They should be by Intel. He can also do a Linux LSHW (list hardware) command, or LSPCI command which will show what ethernet and Internet commands are being used.
Tom's old Acer computer hard drive died recently. Would it make a good media server if he replaced the hard drive? Leo says that sure, but try booting from a USB key first just to see if everything is working. You'll have to go into the BIOS/Setup and change the boot order. Then burn a copy of Linux to a thumb drive and boot it up. You could also do it with a Windows Media Creation Tool. Once you've verified that the computer is intact and OK, then you can replace the hard drive and turn it into a media server.
Quincy likes using MINT Linux on his old Dell Latitude laptop because it looks a lot like Windows. But the video has been glitching. Leo says that Mint may have chosen the wrong driver when he installed it. Linux uses video drivers made mostly by enthusiasts, and relying on the motherboard graphics is the easiest to get drivers for. But he may want to check the video card manufacturer to see if they have a Linux driver available. Try googling the model laptop with Linux and see what drivers pop up, and who has solved that issue.
There are many things you can do with old computers. Obviously, the easiest thing to do it properly dispose of it through an e-waste program. Of course, make sure you properly back up and wipe your drive before disposing of the computer.
But what if you want to re-purpose the machine for something else? There are many things you can do to re-purpose the computer for something else:
Jacob wants to look into Linux, but which version to get? Leo says that there are various "flavors" of Linux, and based on your experience level, some may have different features. It's enthusiast driven, and so some devices may work, some may not. Most standard devices, like keyboards and mouses, will work natively. But you may need drivers for your monitors and peripherals like printers to get them to work.
Nathan is 10 and he's interested in Linux. Would it be a good idea to switch to Linux? He's tired of Windows. Leo says switching would be an interesting thing for Nathan to do because he'll learn about Unix-based operating systems, which is the basis of most networks. Most servers run on Linux. If Nathan wants to grow up and get a job in computing, having an understanding of how Linux works would be most beneficial. Another thing that Nathan can do is get a raspberry pi computer for $35 and build his own. It comes with Linux and that way he can have both.
Jeff wants to know what's the best affordable Network Attached Storage (NAS). Leo says the cheapest is to take an old computer and run NAS software on it. But that requires a lot of work to maintain. Leo uses a Synology multi-bay NAS with several spinning drives in a RAID configuration. And Synology lets users mix and match, so they can mix several larger and smaller drives. Should he use SSD drives instead? Leo says no. That would cost more than it's worth.
Jacob uses a classic shell with Windows 10 to make it look more like Windows 7. Leo says that the free Classic Shell is old and hasn't been updated for a while. So it's a security risk. Leo recommends StarDock. For further customization, they also make Windows Blinds and several others. You can get the entire library of utilities to customize your Windows OS for under $30.