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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