Monday, October 22, 2012

PC or PoC?: The original Gigastrand Laptop

Another of our "vintage" computers we run here at Gigastrand is the "original" Gigastrand Laptop (that's it behind the table).

The laptop was sold to a customer of ours in 2004 and it originally ran Windows XP. He later traded it in and we kept it, loaded Linspire 4.5 back in 2005 and it has never ran Windows since.

It has been upgraded a couple of times. It started with 196Mb of RAM originally and now runs 512mb. It has had 2 hard drives fail, the last we upgraded from 20Gb to 60Gb. It has even been wet after a pipe on our water heater blew up. We dried it out and it worked perfectly.

I would like to upgrade it further, but I am just not sure how much longer this laptop can last. If anything is going to go out it is the screen and a laptop this old may have trouble finding parts.

It was my main system for Gigastrand in 2006 and made the journey with me to the Desktop Linux Summit. After being smacked around by airport security in 2006, the Laptop ran freespire for a couple of years until it was loaded with Linux Mint 5 KDE in 2009. It has run Linux Mint 5 KDE until last week when we successfully loaded with the Gigastrand OS.

Ok, when I say successful, there are one or two problems with it. The first is that the wireless is not working for whatever reason - which we will fix soon. The second, we piled on a lot of stuff from the repository to see if it could handle it. 

Well, it sort of handles it but it is slow. Not "holy cow I think I am going to reload Linux Mint 5" slow, but slow nonetheless. I plan to pull off a lot of the KDE developer stuff we loaded and that should help quite a bit.

Anyway, the laptop still serves an important role at Gigastrand. It is my backup PC. It was able to edit video in Open Shot when my main laptop (running Linux Mint 10 KDE) would crash on startup. (BTW: Open Shot works great on Gigastrand OS on both laptops.)

This laptop stays at home for the most part. Now that both systems run the same OS, I can work on either system without having to transport computers back and forth.

So, the little laptop that doesn't die soldiers on. Do you have a PC that has been with you for a long time?


UPDATE: The wireless now works after an Intel firmware update. The laptop still struggles a bit with the new system but considering that it would not run anything later than Linux Mint 5 KDE, I call it a win.

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