Todd Ojala

Todd Ojala.

A new small business is sprouting up in Borderland, as Todd Ojala and Joe Mershon started www.freemycomputer.com.

Freemycomputer seeks to install Linux onto users’ computers, in place of their regular operating system. Linux is a family of open-source operating systems.

Ojala, who works as the International Falls city information systems administrator, said freemycomputer exists to help give users an alternative in a field dominated by two companies.

“My website is about empowering people and small companies by providing an open-source alternative to Microsoft Windows and Apple,” he said. “The open source movement has been around for many years, and the Linux operating system has now been developed to the point that it is easy for even the average non-technical user to switch to Linux.”

In comparison to Windows, Ojala said Linux is able to run more proficiently on older machines.

“Most people have older computers and laptops sitting somewhere in a closet, collecting dust,” he said. “If you switch to Linux, you can dust off those old computers, and bring them back to life,” he said. “Linux is great for browsing the web, streaming movies, watching Youtube, working on your resume, doing schoolwork, joining Zoom meetings, etc. In fact, Linux can now do basically everything that the average user needs to do. As a added benefit, most computer viruses and malware are written to attack Windows machines. Linux is much more stable and secure.”

Although the business doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location, those interested can drop off their computer or laptop at Soundnorth, of which Mershon is associated.

“We will also provide a DVD video that introduces the user to Linux,” Ojala said. “We can also provide in-person or online training if desired for a reasonable rate.”

The business will also offer general IT consulting services, along with selling computers with Linux already installed, which Ojala said will “cost significantly less than the same machine with Windows pre-installed.”

Those interested can visit Soundnorth or www.freemycomputer.com for more information.