Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
I’m still on the prowl for a very old laptop to use as a guinea pig for Ubuntu tweaks, and I have a couple of leads on machines that sound fully functional, though they may turn out to be pricey. That would be a shame, but I suppose I should see that as an opportunity to invest in an antique, instead of resurrecting a fallen hero.
Speaking of fallen heroes, I was offered (and accepted) another Thinkpad into the family yesterday. This one was, quite literally, out on the junk heap in a shed for a year, before someone spotted it and gave it to me. This is a Model 2655, which I believe makes it an A21e — 750Mhz Celeron mobile processor, 128Mb of PC100, Intel PRO/100 onboard NIC, ATI Rage Mobility M, CDRW, Japanese keyboard and so forth. Hard drive is a 20Gb IBM-DJSA-220, which I think is similar to the one that just died on me. Best of all, the battery actually holds a charge.
I removed a thick layer of dust and goo and peeled off the Windows ME stickers, and it’s a rousing machine now. With only one defect — the screen was shattered at some point, so I get a very depressing spiderweb effect everywhere.
I’ll have to look into prices on replacement screens, mostly because I think this one might be worth keeping. I like that it has an onboard network card, and a Rage Mobility is almost a real graphics card. (I used to have a Dell CPx that had a Rage in it, and it could do some very simple video acceleration without too much sweat.)
It’s a little faster than what I want for speed testing — after all, the Thinkpad I already own is 200Mhz slower than this one — but we’ll see what happens. I did a minimal Ubuntu installation already (Arch kernel panicked on it, but I think I have a mischievous CD) and it seemed sufficiently functional … and sufficiently slow. And any processor geek will tell you a Celeron behaves slower than a Pentium of the same clock speed, which is probably true.
If I can get a proper screen on it and get a working distribution in place, maybe it will stay on hand. Or maybe it will go to charity. Who knows.