This Space for Rent

New laptop

My little brother, who just moved out here, just gave me his old junk laptop ; a Toshiba portégé 7020CT (a PII/366, but NetBSD says it's a Celeron/200; I suspect the power-saving mode I've got it in has something to do with it.) This junk laptop is approximately 4 times as powerful as my previously most powerful laptop, which is a Micron Transport Trek with a P/233 (and which eats power supplies, so I don't use it anymore)

This laptop is fairly old, but it's still newer than the version of pcmcia card services in Mastodon, so it didn't actually talk to the outside world when I moved the system disk off the power-eater Micron. I blew away /boot and the swap partition to get 366 mb to put enough NetBSD onto it so I could have it talk to the network (but not the external pcmcia cd-rom drive my brother also gave me.)

I don't know if it's sad or good that this machine is so much more powerful than my other laptops. Mastodon doesn't need much in the way of computing horsepower (except during fsck, which takes forever on a 20gb disk attached to a 486/75), so it's not as if I'm starving for the increased horsepower of the modern unit. But I am starving for hardware that doesn't have dead batteries (my Thinkpad 701c, the NEC 486 laptop, the C1X picturebook, the apple notebook I've got (a 68000/10 with 2mb of memory), or the ancient Acer P75 that I bought, sold to my friend Michele, and was given back several years later when she upgraded to some Dell PII/600 laptop), dead power connectors (the Thinkpad 701c, where I have to carefully wedge the power connector in and never move it if I won't want the machine to just shut off in midflight), hard drives with a bad case of stiction (the apple notebook), or various hardware misfeatures (the Micron that eats power supplies) that make a notebook unusable (I'll not even talk about the HP Omnibook; it has a working battery, but the IDE chipset and bios are so broken that it makes the 701c seem like a state of the art machine.)

I'm sure that the portégé has some problems with it (aside from the masses of catfur that covered every surface), but even if it does it's still a long step upwards for the laptop computer division at Chateau Chaos.

It may even be enough to provoke me into upgrading the Mastodon kernel to 2.6, so I can stuff in a new version of pcmcia card services, a new kernel (provided I can get gcc 2.4 to (a) compile as a.out, (b) produce a.out binaries, and (c) work with all the gcc 2.7 inlive assembly that's liberally spread around libc 4.8.4.