There’s no need to throw away an old PC or Mac after you upgrade, even if they seem as slow as Babe Ruth running the bases. Neverware, a company based out of New York City that refurbishes computers, released its own version of the Chrome OS to turn your computer into a Chrome or Chromium laptop. (As Ben Popper at The Verge reports, Google wants to keep the name Chromebook for its line of branded computers.)
Neverware is enabling this by offering up the entire CloudReady OS for free. It’s a variation on the Chrome / Chromium OS that is offered for free to individual licenses, and for $59 per device to schools. That price comes with technical support and training. Popper reported that, after installing CloudReady on an old Dell, a machine that could barely hum to life suddenly loaded in under a minute.
Of course, there are some caveats to a Chrome OS-like system. Software compatability is a big one. Most of what works is Google’s software and Chrome plug-ins, and the whole device will definitely be a word processing and Internet surfing machine and not, say, a way to do video or photo editing. And because much of the software is cloud based, you will need to be connected to the Internet most of the time to get the most out of it.
But regardless, if you have a computer on its last legs, creating a partition for CloudReady may be the way to give it a little life yet. Installation instructions are available here. In addition to the software, you’ll need to be prepared to sacrifice an 8 to 16 GB USB thumb drive. If you want to keep your old data on the old computer, you should follow the instructions for a dual boot system.
So dust off that old laptop and get ready for it to become a brand new Chromeishbook. A list of compatible computer models can be found here.
Source: The Verge