Thursday, October 6, 2011

Portability At Last! Part 1

In the summer of 2006, I got an early Christmas gift. It was in August as I recall, or maybe it was July but that isn't that important right now. What is important was what I got that day. Sadly this isn't something that I still use as it ended up going downhill after a year and a half. This was my first laptop, and one that I actually regret buying to be honest.

From Acer Aspire 5003WLMI

My first laptop was an Acer, a brand that I know avoid like the plague whenever possible. That is not to say that I wouldn't take one for free or if it was dirt cheap. These computers are not built to last and my friend who also got an Acer had the same problem as me, and that was they are not made very well. But the point of this post isn't about Acer or how bad Acer products may be, but about much more than that.

I had read the reviews on the laptop, and it was a great deal at the time. Nothing had seemed to be wrong with the laptop, so I went out and picked one up. I was excited as can be and I could hardly stand the car trip home, but in the end, the box made it home unopened. This was shaping up to be an amazing year it had seemed! Not only did I have a new computer but it was finally something that wouldn't be tied down on the desk. For once, I could be on the computer while sitting on the porch or sitting on the couch, or even go somewhere like my friend's house.

The laptop I got was an Acer Aspire 5003WLMi. That is a very catchy name huh? Well, the laptop was only $550, on sale from 800 dollars if I remember correctly, and at that time it seemed to be one hell of a good deal. It had an AMD Turion x64 ML32 running at 1.8GHZ with 512KB of L2 cache. It was 64 bit but came with Windows XP Home 32 bit. There was 512MB of RAM which I had then upgraded to a full 1GB. This made the computer run great. It also had an 80GB hard drive, which was something I thought was something I could never fill.

The screen was 1280x800, a pretty standard resolution for a 15.4" wide screen. The graphics card wasn't anything fancy, but it was an SIS chipset which worked alright. It did give me some issues with Linux early on though. What had really given me problems was the Broadcom WiFi card. I will talk more about Linux in a little bit though.

Now that I finally had a laptop, there was one thing that had to be done. I had taken the laptop with me all the time. If I was going anywhere, even if it was a short trip, I just had to take the laptop me. I would take it with me every weekend when I went out shopping with my parents and a lot of the time, the only thing I would use it for was to make a post for my blog. The few people have read my blog since I started it know that Saturday usually meant a longer entry.

It was all fun and games until the issues started to pop up. Some were minor, like the WiFi button being in a bad spot and very easy to bump. One of the major problems was the touchpad buttons had been very hard to press, as if they had something stuck under them, but they still worked enough so I let it go. The DVD drive had also failed and the laptop ran very hot.

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