Ancient Craptop Linux Experiment

Sometime in 2016 the Linux Action Show podcast on a yarn decided to run both a modern and then a contemporary version of Linux on ten year old equipment.  As luck would have it along with my other eccentric hobbies I also have a classic computer collection.  One of the computers in my collection that I ran across recently is a Dell XPS M1530 from late-2007 (specs).  I bought it as not too crappy but not so great home laptop suitable for browsing the internet, doing my home finances, et cetera.  Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I guess, I have decided to try to use this laptop as a modern browsing computer for a little while.  With a 2.6 GHz Intel Core2 Duo and 4 GB of RAM it shouldn’t do too bad, especially with the 4 GB of RAM.  I’m going to run Linux Mint MATE18.1 to give it a fighting chance.  Ubuntu and Cinnamon require a bit more graphics and CPU horsepower and while the 4GB of memory should allow it to hold its own to some extent, the ten year old processors and graphics cards will suffer.  MATE on the other hand is far lighter weight and more streamlined.

Probably the biggest hiccup is going to be the battery.  This is the original battery from ten years ago.  I doubt that it is going to hold up well to being unplugged.  That’s okay though, I’ll be able to leave it plugged in while I’m using it without much inconvenience.  I’m not going to make this my primary laptop or anything so if I can only use it while tethered to the couch then so be it.

I’m currently finishing up patching the system, getting printers setup, and doing software installs for things like Chrome.  I look forward to playing around with this in the coming weeks and reporting on it.  In fact I’m writing this very blog post in FireFox on it right now while the OS patches continue to progress…

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