Linux, Loss, Laptops, and Lower Costs. Oh, and value too.

Last year was also when things started going wrong with my Toshiba notebook.

On the surface it might seem like a tragic loss, but I find it hard to get upset since I’ve had the computer for two years now, which is pretty much how long I expect any of these things to last. It was (still is, I guess) a Satellite P200-AB1 with a Pentium 4300 dual-core chip that came with 160 GB hard drive and 1 GB of installed memory. The latter I boosted to 2 GB when Best Buy or Future Shop — can’t remember which — had a deal on notebook memory. The whole thing cost me $700 plus donations to the government. My first notebook, many years ago, was a Dell Pentium 150 top of the line unit that set me back nearly $8000 (that’s eight thousand dollars) when all was said and done. My new top end price for a notebook is $800 or less. And I won’t pay for the ridiculous extended warranties.

Anyhow, just before Christmas, it started making occasional strange noises (never a good thing) running rather hot at times, and on at least three occasions over less than a week, something in the hardware just shut down. Once, I got up for a coffee and came back to find the unit completely powered off even though it was plugged in and the battery was charged. Most recently, the screen just went black. Powered right off. This despite the fact that the notebook was still running and I could SSH over to it from another machine. It was obviously time to retire the unit while I could still do it gracefully. Sure I could take it in, wait two weeks while I get it repaired, assuming it was worth the cost to do so, but I need my notebook. It’s my work and an important part of how I earn my living. I really can’t afford to wait two weeks. So I went shopping.

Read the rest of the story. 

 

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