Thursday, October 6, 2011

Portability At Last! Part 2

I had used my laptop in the car a lot, and in fact I still do from time to time. One day, I was talking to a friend from a forum I was on, and he said that he had a few old ThinkPad 570 laptops, with the docking base, that he was told by his job to dispose of. I had gotten one for 5 dollars. Time went by and he never sent it, then one day, I talked to him again and he had sent the laptop out to me. This was the first time I had a spare laptop, which I used as a "beater" laptop.

From ThinkPad 570

Now, this ThinkPad wasn't in the greatest shape. The battery was shot, the hinges were loose, and it was only a Pentium II 336MHZ. There wasn't much RAM when I got it either, only 128MB of RAM. There was 64MB soldered onto the motherboard, and a single slot that took PC66, but could use PC100 as well. I remember getting a 256MB low density stick of PC100 for it to the tune of 75 dollars. That was a lot of money to spend at the time, but I had figured that since the laptop was pretty much free, it was worth it.

The hard drive it came with was only 6GB. The drive didn't work but I had a spare 20GB hard drive from an MP3 player that I took apart, but that will be covered in a different post I think. So all in all, the computer had run Windows XP on a scant 320MB of RAM and a 20GB hard drive. I had gotten a WiFi card for it and the laptop was useful for some basic stuff, but since the hinges were so loose, it was used mainly as a toy and stayed on my desk.

This laptop had a bad effect on me, since it jump started my addiction to old hardware, but what was really bad is the addiction to ThinkPad's I now had. I had met our fellow writer, Alex, on a ThinkPad forum. We had started to do some little trades, and one of the trades had been for one of my all-time favorite beater computers, the ThinkPad T20. I had been given a Treo 650 in a trade, which will also be explained in a later post. Alex had wanted this Treo since it was GSM, so we arranged a trade for his ThinkPad.

From T20

This one was not only a Pentium III, but a 750MHZ one at that! This was a huge jump up in performance from the 570 for sure! It also had 384MB of RAM since I only had the 256 and 128MB sticks of RAM at the time. I remember part of the trade was that Alex kept the RAM and the hard drive from the T20. I had used the same 20GB hard drive as the 570, since I had 2 of them.

Alex had also given me a WiFi card with this one and a battery that would last for about an hour. I was hooked on this computer, which had an even nicer keyboard then 570 had, so I invested some money into a new battery. That would make this the first TRUE beater computer because instead of taking my Acer, I would often take the T20 instead.

The T20 was sold to my friend's sister who needed a laptop for school. She paid me 100 dollars for the computer, and I gave her a mouse and a cooling pad with it. She had used the computer for about 9 months when suddenly it had developed the dreaded blink of death problem. This was a horrible issue that is only able to be fixed if you are willing to swap the motherboard.

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