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Thread: Old laptop, what to do with it?

  1. #1
    Moderator anon's Avatar
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    Old laptop, what to do with it?

    I won an online auction for an old Compaq Armada laptop with my offer of 125 ARS (that would be 18.70 Euro). Yesterday afternoon it was going at 30 peso, and I thought maybe no one would notice it, so I could snatch the thing for a really small sum, just because it was there and cheap. After people did notice and the price began going up until it quadrupled, I said "to hell with it" initially, but I have been saving some money for something since last year, and maybe this was it after all. I stayed up to make the final offer ten seconds before the auction finished, and won

    Anyway, this is the thing.



    The seller says: "comes with charger and bag, Windows Millenium installed, network adapter, USB mouse adapter. Battery is dead, screen sometimes needs a little push to start and the cover has a small hit. The rest is in perfect state and working."

    Official specs:
    All-in-one form factor with three spindle support
    Intel Celeron™ processor up to 400 MHz
    128-KB integrated cache
    Choice of 12.1-inch Fast Response CSTN or 12.1-inch TFT displays, supporting resolutions of up to 800 x 600
    64-bit video graphics with 2-MB SDRAM
    32-MB standard SDRAM, expandable up to 160 MB
    Dual-function bay supports either diskette drive or additional battery for up to six hours of battery life1,2
    Supports NiMH batteries or optional Li-Ion batteries
    4-GB3 SMART Upgradable hard drives
    Internal 24X Max4 CD-ROM Drive
    56K5, V.90 compliant internal models (available in select countries)
    Two Type II/One Type III 32-bit PC Card slots
    Full-sized keyboard with four user-programmable keys and speakerphone
    Touchpad pointing device
    Sound Blaster Pro-compatible with 16-bit stereo Compaq
    Premier·Sound™, integrated speakers and microphone Software MPEG1
    Intelligent Manageability for lower total cost of ownership
    Optional Pass-Through or Ethernet Convenience Bases
    So, as per the thread title, what could I actually do with this? I bought it mostly because it was pretty cheap (initially) thinking of maybe using it for experiments, but with a reformatting and installation of Nano98 or even MicroXP, it could serve some other purpose. Updates for the bolded parts are surprisingly cheap (I'd thought parts for "legendary" hardware like this would cost a lot more), so they can also be acquired if necessary.
    "Come visit sometime, okay? We'll always be here for you. We... we all love you."
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  2. #2
    Old 400Mhz PC/Laptops can still be of use, even today.

    If it had more than 320MB of RAM then XP could of been installed and working but on 160MB: no chance. It'll be a snail.
    Windows 2000 is your best bet. Since it is an old computer, it is more error prone than other new ones. Therefor you must get an operating system that HAS some kind of an anti-freeze mechanism (good example is the task manager that first came with windows 2000).

    What it CAN be used for:
    • audio conversion (flac to mp3, etc..)
    • old gaming platform (dual boot with 98 and could be able to run any old game without DOSbox)
    • looping tasks (for intance, plug in a usb and it will perform X task; thus becoming an automatic work statsion)
    • downloading torrents at low speeds without seeders (since it's a laptop it could usually run non-stop and complete the torrent (s) faster. good for seedpoints as well
    • a small server (multiple uses*; off the top of my head: you could use it to start your main computer from a distance using a magick packet)
    • document conversions (pdf to doc, ocr scanner)
    • printing station
    • burning station (CDs :)) )
    • backup computer
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  3. Who Said Thanks:

    SBfreak (10.02.13) , anon (10.02.13)

  4. #3
    I would to play X-com: UFO Defense on that laptop!
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  5. #4

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    u can't use it for anything...just give it away to some poor kid in Africa (if you install an up to date antivirus will probably use all cpu & ram)
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  6. #5
    Moderator anon's Avatar
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    The bad news is that I bought it and it didn't turn on. The good news is that the charger alone is worth nearly twice what I paid.

    I will see if I can make it run after my holiday, and if not, sell the charger, and the actual machine as scrap.
    "Come visit sometime, okay? We'll always be here for you. We... we all love you."
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    Put some small linux distro on it and use it as a firewall.
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    ^my thoughts exactly - nics would be an issues though...
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  9. #8
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    Put LinuxCNC on it and use it to control a CNC-Mill.
    Then, build a CNC-Mill
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  10. #9
    mammamia11's Avatar
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    i would have used it for a router if it works
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  11. #10

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    storage? i would put old series, movies there...why not?!
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  12. #11
    Moderator anon's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the ideas! Sadly, I'd need to get the thing running first.

    I've already downloaded a service manual and tried to open the thing to see if I could do anything. There were some loose screws and something square made of metal(?) loose inside, which may have very well caused short circuits, but even after removing them the thing still won't start up. Plug it in and press the standby button, and it might turn on for a few seconds, then die. Push that slider thingy (which is supposed to be a power switch?) and it'll remain turned on, but won't do anything: screen is dead, all LEDs remain lit. The power supply and motherboard are receiving power correctly (although the USB port and rear fan are dead), as verified by a tester.

    Ah well, maybe I got scammed, but at least I didn't lose a lot of money. And if I can't get it running I could sell it for the spare parts.
    "Come visit sometime, okay? We'll always be here for you. We... we all love you."
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  13. #12

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    send it over and ill try to fix it ...maybe u can use some parts for another old machine to "repair",.. i always keep my old lappies just in case....u never know
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  14. #13
    In my country we have a saying: "Sunt prea sarac sa-mi iau lucruri ieftine" which translates roughly to: "i'm too poor to get cheap stuff".
    So, with this in mind, what were you trying to achieve by buying it?

    I don't get it: didn't the buyer said it was operational?
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  15. #14
    Moderator anon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Razor View Post
    In my country we have a saying: "Sunt prea sarac sa-mi iau lucruri ieftine" which translates roughly to: "i'm too poor to get cheap stuff".
    Here it goes by the name of "cheap things are expensive".

    So, with this in mind, what were you trying to achieve by buying it?
    Nothing in particular. I saw it at a low price and thought "why not".
    "Come visit sometime, okay? We'll always be here for you. We... we all love you."
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    Quote Originally Posted by anon View Post
    Here it goes by the name of "cheap things are expensive".
    In german you would say "Ich kann mir das sparen nicht leisten."
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