I have owned more computers than I can remember, and I’m always on the lookout for talented team members. The roster changes from day to day, but I’ll try to keep this page updated to reflect what’s in the stable at any given moment. 😉
A word about names: I just give each computer the serial number off the bottom of the case. I know, it’s boring, but it helps me distinguish between similar models. 😐
Dell Inspiron 8200: 6m47421
- 2.60GHz Mobile Intel Pentium 4M CPU SL6WZ
- 2Gb Samsung PC2100 memory
- Advanced Micro Devices (ATI) RV250/M9 GL (Mobility FireGL 9000/Radeon 9000)
- Qualcomm Atheros AR5212 802.11abg NIC (rev 01) MiniPCI network adapter
- Sony 64Gb SDXC Class 10 UHS-1 R40 memory card in IDE-to-SDHC adapter
- 80Gb Fujitsu MHV2080AH IDE hard drive in modular IDE adapter caddy
- 2x USB1.1 ports, at left rear
- Adaptec AUA-1422 DuoConnect USB2.0/1394 CardBus adapter 😉
- 1600×1200 UXGA LCD
- Cirrus Logic CS4205 rev 3 audio
We all make mistakes in life, and one of my smaller ones was sending this machine on to a new owner. It would be a while before I could reclaim an 8000-series machine, and afford to outfit it properly.
The 8000s were some of the most flexible, customizable machines Dell ever made (in my unprofessional opinion) and a top-of-the-line refit will run you less than the cost of a department store ultralight — and you might even get similar performance from it.
A few caveats, if you wander down this road:
- The 8200 is the only one that can run the 2.6Ghz P4, and only after the last BIOS update is applied.
- I am almost embarrassed to admit it, but after nearly a decade of pitching the NV18 as the go-to card for this model, I’ve converted to the dark side and installed the ATI Mobility 9000 … and am much, much happier for it.
- Dell never documented the 2Gb memory limit for this machine, and given the weight of the web these days, you’ll probably want it. Even just typing a document in Google Docs can thow you into a fit of paging.
- The mini-PCI bay will hold an a/b/g wireless card and the frame is wired for an antenna. Most of the 8200s I’ve seen come stock with Broadcom 4318 cards, and I used to suggest the 2200/BG as a replacement. But to be honest, the Phillips-branded Atheros cards that were standard in Thinkpads of this era are even better.
- While you’re at it, get yourself a modular bay for a second hard drive, a modular DVD+-RW, a 250Mb zip drive, and multicolor palmrest inserts! 😀
Tackle all that, and congratulations: You’ve built your own Precision M60. 😉
I wouldn’t have invested in a machine like this if I didn’t have some sort of serious attachment to it. The 8200s in particular seem to hold their value, and while parts are not expensive, they’re definitely sitting in the low end of that price curve that I’ve talked about. If you can see your way to spending about US$150 on all the upgrades, gadgets and gizmos, you’ll be terrifically pleased. It’s a rare bird that is this customizable and not horrifically expensive. 😉