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Something from (almost) nothing.

Posted 08-22-2013 at 02:02 PM by linuxpokernut

I was gifted this little laptop by my brother. He works for a computer repair shop and this was "garbage" from a customer...
minip@minip-ThinkPad-X40 ~ $ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor	: 0
vendor_id	: GenuineIntel
cpu family	: 6
model		: 9
model name	: Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1300MHz
stepping	: 5
microcode	: 0x5
cpu MHz		: 600.000
cache size	: 1024 KB
fdiv_bug	: no
hlt_bug		: no
f00f_bug	: no
coma_bug	: no
fpu		: yes
fpu_exception	: yes
cpuid level	: 2
wp		: yes
flags		: fpu vme de pse tsc msr mce cx8 apic mtrr pge mca cmov clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 tm pbe up bts est tm2
bogomips	: 1196.18
clflush size	: 64
cache_alignment	: 64
address sizes	: 32 bits physical, 32 bits virtual
minip@minip-ThinkPad-X40 ~ $ free
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:       1275420     505980     769440          0       3048     156132
-/+ buffers/cache:     346800     928620
Swap:      1300476          0    1300476
As you can see, its not the best but certainly not ready to meet the mighty trash heap yet. It was in pretty bad condition, but I knew I could find a use for it. There was no power adapter, no optical drive, no hard drive, and a locked bios. So I got to work...

First order of business, it needed power. $10.64USD on for the adapter. Not bad at all IMHO. I decided to not purchase a hard drive for it, and use a flash drive instead. I had a PNY 8GB micro drive, it cost about $7USD, perfect for the job. I tried a couple of live distros on it, but most would not boot. After a bit of trial and error, I decided on Peppermint 3. Slackware is my preferred operating system, but Peppermint 3 was much more suited to this application.

All I needed now was to get the OS onto the flash drive. I could have put the .iso on the flash drive and then cleaned it up, but decided when working with such a limited space to just use a USB DvD reader to install it. Installed without a hitch, and was on the desktop in a reasonable amount of time (for USB 1.0).

The last thing I did to get it running the way I wanted was a quick
sudo apt-get install fluxbox
The peppermint desktop takes up too much memory on this little thing, and fluxbox is my preferred window manager anyway.

I have a 16GB microSD card in my android that I use for storage. I put all kinds of Dungeons and Dragons (pen and paper) manuals on there and and now using this laptop to play AD&D with my son and brother, and for basic document printing and internet access. For under 20 bucks I have a nice little 'toy' thanks to open source.

The best part was going to the college district to buy dice and get pizza with the kid! All in a days work I guess.
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