It's a tank. Both physically and Software wise. A big, clunky, "push through anything" tank.
P4, 3.0 Ghz, but 512 MB ram. Meh, it does the job. Cpu always run low percentages, ram is always maxed and into heavy disc access.
It checks email, surf's the net, plays videos and DVD's, runs photoshop CS and does pretty much everything else I ask of it with little or no complaints.
It slows down from time to time, but that's usually my fault and a quick clean up gets the speed back up (at least what speed it had).
I've had it apart more than a dozen times. It's been ripped off the table by the power cord more than I can count (and resoldered inside). It's bounced down a flight of stairs. It's been literally around the world more than a half dozen times. The built in ethernet adapter has died and is now a belkin usb unit. Ditto with other conflicts that have been disabled.
Yes it's big, yes it's heavy but it's the one I reach for when I need it to work.
I like the speakers (harmon and they sound good in the context of a laptop), I really like the big screen and I've got a nice Kensington briefcase/carrier for it that I use every day even when the laptop isn't in it.
So I'm going to upgrade the old beast a bit and modify it. Time for some fun.
First up is RAM. It's running the original 512. Yup, it works ok but compared to modern machines it's sloooowwwwww!
50 bucks gets me the max 2 Gb PC2700 DDR it will support.
Next up is a backlit keyboard. I've always wanted one, usb lights suck. So I order up a Toshiba M505 backit keyboard. 30 bucks. Looks to be the same format and size as the P30. Some keys are moved around, but I can remap those if the keyboard works. I'll need to wire the leds up myself since the P30 doesn't support a lit board.
Some lighting and painting will come along also. Haven't decided on what yet but I'm 47 years old so it will be something fairly reserved yet unique. "Classy" at least.
Some cooling modifications will also be in there. I have a few ideas for that.
I'd like more USB ports, I'll have to dig around the board and see what's supported.
It's running the 5400 drive. A 7200 or maybe a SSD will come along eventually. Storage isn't a big concern; I keep everything I need besides the programs on a 1 TB compact external drive.
Bigger battery will also be needed eventually (more piles in the case if it can be had) or at least a new one. It's almost always used plugged in, but the battery dies off within 20-30 minutes when called upon to support. I treat it more as a UPS and make sure I don't run too long on it if I'm doing anything important.
I'd like to find a way to get HDMI out of it, but there's no way to do the card change and most TV's support the PC out now anyways. It does support S-video, but that is dying out also it seems.
I'd also like to up the wifi a bit, but not sure what it will support.
Adding internal GPS would be nice, but not essential. Bluetooth would also be nice.
For a laptop, there's lots of room in the case so some additions may just be possible through internally wiring some USB access or by some other means.
OS will most likely stay XP SP3. I know it, it supports all my stuff, doesn't need custom drivers for the older hardware and it just plain works for me. The vista and W7 machines we also have just never feel right to me...never quite as easy to use or just seems to "restrict" you in some way.....
So, that's where I am; big dreams and waiting for parts.
We'll see where it goes and how well "The Tank" takes to it.
I also can't bring myself to chuck it out just because it's "old tech". Heck, I've still got a Compaq Armada 1750 that I use and just won't die. That one is even more of a "tank" than the Toshiba, although it just carries my tuning software for the diesel these days.....gotta love being able to still use a serial port for my older interfaces!
Yeah, I guess I'm just and old sentimental fossil....
Edited by great white - 11/24/12 at 10:35pm