Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
Without that grime all over the place, this laptop is looking rather nice.
It’s faded and worn in a lot of places, but mostly intact. There’s a nasty hole punched through the top lid and a few cracks here and there, but otherwise it’s happy.
I disassembled most of the shell and blew out all the dust and grit from the interior. I scrubbed a couple of pieces that came free, and closed it back up. A word of caution: My experiments with ethanol over isopropyl alcohol suggest that the former will strip paint from plastic. You have been warned. …
I also found the easy way to access the hard drive — through the keyboard — and I’ve changed out the original drive for my spare one.
I’ve been testing it with a few distros, mostly live ones, just to see how it will respond. I may have run into a few problems already.
First of all, there seems to be some kind of issue between the 2.6 kernel and the PCMCIA bus — something along the lines of what this poor fellow ran into. There’s no response from anything PCMCIA-borne, wireless or otherwise, and if that thread is any indication, there probably never will be.
So far though, it’s not a huge issue. I can circumvent the problem by sticking to 2.4-kernel distros. Damn Small Linux, for example, can find a Xircom Realport wired adapter just fine. I expect it means that ultimately I shall be learning Slackware, since it’s at the 2.4.33 kernel, I think.
One way or another, this machine will be online and running Linux. I don’t know if it will ever run Lowarch (I know it can’t do straight Arch, since it’s a K6 machine; I’d have to recompile a mess of things on one machine and then move them across), but I wouldn’t mind sticking to DSL or even Slack with it.
Next stop, blanking the spare drive and installing the full Ubuntu 7.04 setup, with or without a network.