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12 Jun 2018

‘Jayelatitude’, or ‘The Scraptop Rises’.

Wow, two posts, this close together! I must be on a roll.

So, a few months back, I was at our local electronics recycling shop, and saw this pile of old laptops. All of them were $15.00 each, missing hard drives, batteries, and power adapters. By old, I do mean about a decade old — late Dell Latitude D and early Dell Latitude E series machines, several HP laptops, and a few other brands mixed all in to the pile.

Since I did that stint of supporting Dell machines back in 2007-2013 (of which I’d like to tell a few stories about sometime), I figure that hey, I can pick up one of the early E-series Latitudes, as I can source parts, and probably pick up a Dell-specific Windows 7 install disc if I decided to go that route.

$15.00 lighter and several pounds heavier, I have a cherry red Latitude E6500 in my bag to work on. I’ve since bought a platter based hard drive, power adapter, and battery, so all in all, I’ve spent about $55.00 on this machine.

It took me a little to pick out an operating system I think I could tolerate, and with that, I installed MX Linux at the suggestion of a fellow Mastodonian.

Why MX? No systemd.

I’m considering picking up a low cost solid state drive – something that’s 32 GB would be perfectly fine for this machine, because it’s really only intended for when I want to go out somewhere and work on writing a little bit. I took it out one Sunday to go write at a place over breakfast, but never did complete that mission, simply because the restaurant was so packed that I didn’t want to be that jerkbag that sat at a table for 45 minutes, pecking away at a keyboard when someone wanted to sit their group of three down.

It should, thankfully, get me back overall into writing, by giving me something I could do this while out, though. I had hopes for my Chuwi Hi10 Pro to be that machine, but those fell flat with how shoddy both the keyboard and the tablet both were. It’d have been lighter in weight and easier to port around, but those advantages mean nothing when the hardware lacks reliability and easy access for repairs — issues my Latitude laptop doesn’t have.

I’ve affectionately named it Jayelatitude, after a portmanteau of my first and middle names, and the line of laptop.

Maybe I’ll post a photo of it someday. 🙂

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