So long, old friend

Behind the scenes here at K.Mandla central, there has been a bit of soul-searching going on for a couple of weeks. And the net result of the soul-searching was this: The departure of a long-time friend, the Inspiron.

I will say up front that it is not because of any component failure, or even any sense of dissatisfaction with the machine. Quite to the contrary, I am just as satisfied now with that computer as I have been at any point in the past three or four years, starting with the day I bought it from a relative.

I have recommended the 8000-series Inspirons many times over, and I would not hesitate to recommend them again. They’re flexible, customizable, solid, dependable and quite enjoyable. Given the opportunity, I would quite eagerly spend a few hundred dollars on another 8×00 machine.

So why did I relay it to an acquaintance in America, with the intention of putting it up for sale on ebay? Well, that’s hard to answer.

Its presence in my “stable” was never called into question until a few weeks ago, when that Inspiron 600m arrived. The 600m never really had a chance of displacing the 8000; my emotional attachment to the incumbent underscored the shortcomings in the 600m, and contributed to finding its new home with my neighbor.

But it did make me reassess the role the 8000 played in my day-to-day affairs.

In general, the Inspiron really only did two things for me: It compiled faster than any other machine in the house, and it offered a powerful enough framework for a graphical desktop, occasional games or just testing distros in an efficient manner.

In other words, I was keeping it around for its speed.

Which is an okay, but also slightly flawed, reason. After all, 1Ghz is no powerhouse, by anyone’s standards. Even mine.

And with the rock-bottom prices on all but the highest of high-end computers these days, I could easily pick up a secondhand Thinkpad with a Pentium 4 in it, and do all the things I mentioned above with twice or even three times the power. And the prices would be about equal.

That’s how I came to the realization, a week or so ago, that a 1Ghz machine playing the part of speed demon was a big-fish, little-pond arrangement. It was the fastest horse in the race, but the field was rather wimpy, to be honest.

That was when I decided it was time to part ways — a sad, but honest decision. I bundled up all the accessories, plugs, cables, CDs, paperwork and other stuff, and boxed it this morning.

When it hits the market, I’ll be sure to make a note of it here. In the description I mentioned that it was the machine that anchored this blog for about three years; perhaps one of you old computer fans would like to give it a home.

Either way, I’m enjoying a small snack of double-chocolate dessert Pocky tonight, as a way of saying goodbye to a machine that did so much, so well for so long:

Tsamaya ka kgotso. 😐


16 thoughts on “So long, old friend

  1. ajlec2000

    My favorite laptop is an 8600 I bought from a relative. It came my way because its HD died and there was no recover discs
    and it wouldn’t take a fresh install of XP. Surendipitously I wanted a laptop for Ubuntu. Not only did it take the Ububtu install but everything works beautifully now. If I had the bucks I’d buy yours in a heartbeat.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I never owned an 8600 but I heard great things about them. If I remember though, that was the first machine to breakaway from the archetypical “black” form that Dell used all the way back to the Pentium II models. I would like to get my hands on one of those some day. Purely in the name of science, of course. …

      1. ajlec2000

        If “black” refers to the case I’m proud to say mine has a beautifal faux woodgrain inlay on the lid.

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