New...Old Notebook...

december 27, 2005

My cousin Jess broke her notebook (an old Compaq Presario 1215US/AMD Mobile Athlon 4 1GHz/128MB RAM/20GB HDD), so her dad dropped it off at my place yesterday. He figured I could probably repurpose the thing (thanks Uncle Nelson!). When I turned the thing on yesterday, I was greeted with constant clicking noise coming from the general vicinity of where harddrives are in notebooks. So, I got out my torx screw drivers and popped the thing open -- note to self, only need to remove front four screws and pop the wrist-rest to get to harddrive. I replace the borked harddrive with a spare 30GB that I had, put the thing back together and fired it up. It worked great. I reinstalled the Windows ME OS on it to see that it worked, then erased it all and put Fedora Core 4 on it. It ran really slow, given that it only had 128MB of RAM, but it was kind of cool that it was working. I stopped by Fry's today and picked up a 256MB SODIMM (the largest that the system can take) and popped it in -- bringing the total memory up to 320MB. Now FC4 runs pretty well enough that I can use it for work now. It has a 14.1" screen and a full-sized US keyboard, which is much better than the 12" screen and mini Japanese keyboard on my VAIO. I'll still keep the VAIO around since it is my Windows machine and I still have to have one of those around (for school and other stuff). Also, the Compaq doesn't have enough RAM to run Windows XP comfortably -- nor do I want to shell out more money to Microsoft for another copy of their OS -- so, I'll leave it running Fedora Core. I have never had a real Linux workstation before, now I have something close to one! In the family now are two AMD Linux based machines (ultramookie.com server and the Compaq), two Intel Windows XP based machines (my wife's VAIO and my VAIO), and one Freescale G4 based MacOS X based machine (my Powerbook G4). And there are some oooold machines in the garage that I have to figure out what to do with. Perhaps I can fix 'em up with Ubuntu or Fedora Core and donate them to schools -- it is never to early to teach kids about the benefits of a Unix-like OS rather than turn them into Windows-drones.