Resurrecting an old laptop

Just so you know, this isn’t a review. It’s just a discussion on what I did to make some old hardware useful again.

I’ve made mention from time to time the Toshiba Satellite A75 that I have that has been a backup machine for me for years now.

Well, with my 3+ year old System76 laptop on its last legs and suddenly developing a short in its screen connection, I decided to blow the dust off that trusty old Toshiba again and use it as a stopgap until I get something newer.

The problem is, this Toshiba Satellite is from 2005, has a single core 32-bit Pentium 4 processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and a 60 GB hard drive. Needless to say, it’s a bit out of place in today’s world, so I had to put some thought into how to best optimize this machine’s return to productivity or it’d be pretty painful to use.

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What I’m doing lately in technology

Real life gets crazy sometimes, and blogging outside of the quick and sometimes poorly-thought-out rant takes time, so I haven’t been updating here anywhere near as often as I’d prefer.

So I thought I’d pound out a few quick paragraphs on what I have going on lately in terms of technology… what I’m running where and why.

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Linux Mint 9: A First Look

The folks over at Linux Mint have just released their newest, latest and greatest, Linux Mint 9 “Isadora”. This time, though, instead of having a single LiveCD to Rule Them All, they offer a LiveCD, LiveDVD and an OEM CD that does not create a default user account. Since I don’t have immediate access to a DVD burner here, I’ll be using the LiveCD. Let’s take a look, shall we?
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Peppermint OS: a review

What do you get when you combine the flexibility, versatility and ease of maintenance of Ubuntu, the blinding speed and simplicity of LXDE, and a focus on social media and the cloud?

You get Peppermint OS, that’s what! Brought to you by the same developer responsible for Linux Mint 8 LXDE Community Edition, and for resurrecting Linux Mint Fluxbox CE as well, Peppermint OS is a lightweight, fast, stable implementation of what Kendall Weaver’s vision of the perfect Linux distro might be for speed and the web.

And I think he’s onto something.

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Linux Mint 8 LXDE CE Review: LXDE Done Right

Trent and I were both looking forward to the release of the Linux Mint LXDE Community Edition for various reasons. Luckily for us, Kendall (maintainer of the Linux Mint Fluxbox CE) pointed us to the .iso for RC1, which is what we’re using as the basis for this review. Since we both have feedback on this CE, we’re trying a Trent Says/Joe Says model. Enjoy!

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Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition is out!

I’ve been following the development of this for some time, being a longtime Fluxbox enthusiast, and a relatively recent Linux Mint convert. This combines two of my favorite things in the Linux world, Fluxbox and Mint!

According to the official announcement:

“This release has been built with the emphasis on a lightweight and yet fully functional desktop centered on the Fluxbox window manager. Even though we strive to provide out-of-the-box readiness for all your hardware and common computing tasks, Linux Mint Fluxbox CE is easily configurable to run on lower-spec hardware with the tools needed for doing so readily available.”

Here’s a little version of their screenshot of how it looks out of the box (click for the full size image):

Considering the wonderful performance I’ve noted with the regular Linux Mint 7 and 8 releases on my aging hardware at home, I’m guessing a release optimized for performance with Fluxbox as its default window manager will be screaming fast.

I gave the release candidate a whirl the other day on my old Toshiba laptop in VirtualBox, and I was surprised at how fast and snappy it was even virtualized.

I can’t wait to get this installed natively on that laptop to see how it performs!

Anyway, I had to give preliminary kudos to Kendall for what is looking like some really great results from all of his hard work lately! Thanks to him for picking up that ball and running with it!