Must … not … buy … another … computer …

A trip to my local recycling shop yielded another find today, a still-shrink-wrapped Corega CG-WLCB54AG2, which I believe uses the Atheros chipset and should be fairly easy to get working. I figured any card still wrapped in the box with a price that’s one-quarter of the original retailer’s sticker is probably a good find, whether or not it works with Linux.

And I spotted a nifty Thinkpad sitting by the door; this time it was a 700Mhz Celeron, which makes it another A21e, if I’m not mistaken.

I practically gnawed my own fingers off trying to keep myself from buying it outright; the asking price was a mere $40, for 192Mb and an 18Gb hard drive. Working or not, if it is another A21e, then the screen on this one might be a possible replacement for the one I already have.

But if the insides were as nice as the outsides, then scalping the screen would be a shame. Something with those specs is easily converted into a speed demon with Arch Linux, provided it’s in working shape of course.

But my arsenal is turning Thinkpad-heavy these days, and decisions like this are best decided after a night’s sleep anyway. Taking on another underdog means there would have to be some logistical issues solved — most notably proper desk space — as well as the practical role for another eight-year-old laptop.

If it were any other brand, I’d probably just shrug it off. After all, right next to it was a Fujitsu Pentium 4 laptop for only twice as much, and there’s a mint-condition 800Mhz Duron laptop in a display case for three times as much as that. Neither of those was interesting though.

I blame the little voice in my head that keeps saying, “But it’s a Thinkpad. …”

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7 thoughts on “Must … not … buy … another … computer …

  1. Mich

    I am going to blame your for this …

    after reading some of your articles, I decided to get a “old” computer instead of a brand new one.

    maybe an article on how to check out an old computer before a purchase … and not regret later?

    I’ve got ubuntu on a thumbdrive that I can bring along for the testing before the purchase :)

    Reply
  2. eksith

    Are you kidding?

    This blog has convinced me Japan is the home of technology pixies and all every other manner of techno-supernatural beings.

    Particularly the computer fairy…

    Every time you lose a computer, just leave it under you pillow. She’ll give you another one to install Linux on it.

    Reply
    1. K.Mandla Post author

      eksith: :D

      Mich: I will happily take the blame for your purchasing an older computer instead of a new one. And considering the way the curve of Linux development is shaped, you’re more likely to have good luck getting an old machine to work over a new, new one anyway. Tell us how it goes, and send pictures of the lucky winner. ;)

      I’ll think about some sort of howto, for buying an old computer. Thanks for the idea. :)

      Josh Miller: G3’s would be worth experimenting on, in my opinion. There’s a PPC version of Crux that might be interesting for them; I’ll apologize now in case I’ve confused my Apple products. I don’t have enough experience with Apples to know which versions run on which hardware. I used to have a half-working G3 laptop but I ran out of time and couldn’t mess with it as much as I wanted. …

      Reply
  3. Josh Miller

    I’ve managed to stem my desire to own a ton of older computers lately. I have 4 Laptops, only two of them work, and neither very well (technically there is just something flakey in the power on one dead one that I should be able to fix and the other has some sort of odd video problem that may be repairable, no black, just glitched).

    Anyway, I also have a couple of old Power Mac G3s. I could boot them up and use them but then I think what’s the point. Anything I’d do on these I could do on my main machine in a superior manner.

    Still, they were both free so I can’t complain…

    Reply
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