Eclipsed, obsoleted, retired

For the past few days I have debated disassembling the original Pentium laptop I got as a throwaway from a coworker about a year ago. I agonized over it a lot more than I probably should have, particularly considering it’s relative value, or lack thereof.

I had two reasons for doing it. The first I mentally categorized as an act of mercy — the power switch was unreliable and potentially dangerous. Disassembling it gave me the opportunity to look at it, although I knew beforehand that I was unlikely to be able to do anything about it.

The other reason was a little bit greedy: I was holding out hope that the core 16Mb of memory could be removed and transplanted into the newer Pentium. I have enough experience with decade-old equipment to know that a lot of these mid-to-late 1990s model laptops had a brace of memory that was fused to the motherboard, and not transplantable.

And this one was true to the rule. Any hopes I had of pulling a buried memory stick out of it and using it the other machine were instantly quashed when I got the (massive) heat plate out from under the keyboard. No stick. Just a farm of four or six Samsung chips, near where the battery sat.

And a cursory look at the power switch told me no more than what I already knew — that it didn’t seem to be working. I considered taking it apart piece by piece, but I doubt my own ability to effect any improvement, so the effort involved seemed wasted from the outset.

So now I am debating whether it is worth reassembling it and keeping it as a leftover machine, or as a backup for parts for the newer one. My instinct says no, that the sketchy performance and less-than-perfect condition make it unlikely to be truly useful any longer.

So I stacked it, disassembled, on a shelf until I convince myself to finally part with it. Funny, even just six months ago, this was my primary machine for everything — and I mean everything — I did on a daily basis. But once the new machine showed up, I began to see the faults in the old one, and realized it wasn’t really what I wanted after all.

Isn’t that the way life works, though?

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2 Responses to “Eclipsed, obsoleted, retired”

  1. 1 Ali Gündüz 2009/08/28 at 5:57 PM

    Can’t you just bypass the manual power switch and wire/solder the power line together?

    • 2 K.Mandla 2009/08/28 at 9:14 PM

      Perhaps. I am a clod when it comes to making repairs like that. And I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but that’s usually where I draw the line on usability. :(

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Some recent desktops

May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF

May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games

Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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