I had a day messing about with software. The hard disk on my ancient Toshiba R100 laptop (2003, mainly used for music!) has been dying since the spring and finally packed up last week. It had a 40Gb hard dive, a tiny thing (the R100 is a very small format, no CD drive). I found out that this Toshiba drive format had also been used in things like iPods; it has a compact flash interface. I managed to find a 60Gb replacement on Ebay for just £20; I put in in the laptop and the disk drive worked fine but when I installed the current version of Debian Linux (8.6.0) the graphics was totally knackered – these days the software assumes all the hardware will tell it what it does, and my ancient hardware doesn’t.
However, this was solved by finding the three years old version of Debian (7.4.0) that I still have on a CD-rom and installing that – and it works. Hooray – I can get all the music, photos etc. back on it now, and it will be available once more for the occasional LibreOffice presentation to the radio club when needed.