new laptop

woohoo! Im on a new laptop!!

lots of fellow IT professionals I know dont understand why I play with old and broken hardware.

My passion for IT gear is normally from handmedown hardware and stuff previous owners are bored with. Why? I look it in the same way as mechanics drive old cars. Because its cheap and I like getting my hands dirty and seeing the satisfaction of getting it working again.

I got a real find in August, a Compaq Evo N800c laptop, it has a 2.2Ghz P4m processor and already had the memory bumped upto 1Gb. When I got it, it refused to boot, just made a repeated clicking noise because of a failed hard disk, a battery that wont hold any charge at all. A few boot CDs meant RAM tested all ok, and motherboard and screen were functioning, there was no sign of impact damage, just a piece of plastic missing from the lid of the screen, which covers a proprietry Compaq wireless card which was absent.

A quiet saturday afternoon later and I got a new 80gb hard disk from novatech for £37, a non genuine battery off ebay for £25 and I have a really superb performing laptop. I have it dual booted XP and Ubuntu, I have been practising imaging PCs more to enable I can quickly reinstall everything in a shorter time span, so XP and 83 odd updates, drivers and applications installed.

Its not yet completely running ideal, Im using a cheapo PCMCIA wireless card which is a bit clunky, bother asthetically and software wise, as it takes an age to pick up the signal after you have booted into XP. I would like to obtain the genuine card and the plastic trim to make it all look and operate ok. Its a world away from my ancient 1999 model Celeron based Toshiba Satellite.

I really like this machine, it has a 1400×1000 screen, quite loud and good sounding speakers, a few quirks though, the DVD combo drive is on the wrong side, on the left, and USB ports reside behind a rubber flap in the middle of the back panel which is really awkward to get at. I replaced the battery as I got fed up knocking the power supply cable out of the back causing it to go off. Im using a non-genuine Chinese made replacement battery which is working well and gives well over 2 hours of run time.

Im pretty pleased with it and it should serve me well.

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