And hello number 455. I actually drew two comics recently so I’ve now got another 15 pages to go before I run out. This is probably the longest amount of time I’ve had a backlog since the early days. And by all means, I’ll have it longer this time. Or so I hope.
Anyways as we all know, over the past few months I’ve been selling a substantial amount of stuff on ebay and it still doesn’t cease t amaze me how stupid people can be. But this next tale actually goes back a number of years, way before even the start the start of NW, back when the PS1 was still in widespread use (Maybe it still is in widespread use, but seeing as the PS2, the most popular console of all time, can play Ps1 games, I’d be more than slightly doubtful).
So my friend good friend (my good friend, might I add, who actually introduced me to the world of video games over course of many years) had a PS1 that didn’t power on. He was gonna chuck but I figured I’d take a look at it, since sometimes you can take something apart, put it back together, and have it magically work again (happened to my brother’s Dell X200, I’m still flabbergasted about that one). So I took the thing apart and while it didn’t magically start working, the issue with the thing was simple enough for my junior-high mind to diagnose: somehow the solder around the power connector had burnt off, so the thing essentially wasn’t getting any power at all.
Well easy enough. I bridged the gap with aluminum foil and some duct tape and the thing worked.
Machine’s actually sitting in my room now, I don’t know if it STILL works, though. But fast forwards a lotta years and I got a free Dell Latitude C840 from a friend that was missing its power supply and acting up. The unit uses a 90W power supply with the same connectors as the ones on my CpT and C600, so I tested the thing with 70W adapters to find that the power was really flaky. The thing would randomly shut down without a battery or loose the power in general. Initially I figured this just might be a problem with using a 70W adapter (but my D830 which needs a 90W adapter will work fine with a 65W unit) so I bought an adapter for something like $10.
Didn’t work. So obviously the next solution is to take it apart and put it back together or hope to find an easily diagnosable problem. Turns out it was the same thing. The solder around the power jack had burnt off, so sometimes the connector would stop touching the mainboard. Aluminum foil was a big too cumbersome for this job, so I bought a $5 soldering iron from Frys (which turns out to be the absolute crappiest iron I have ever used) and got that thing working again. Sold for freaking $350.
Now here’s the dumb thing. This is a 2000/2001 15″ laptop powered by a Pentium 4-M, which is a derivative of a processor that honestly shouldn’t have been made at all. At 1.6GHz it’s significantly slower than the 1.4GHz Pentium-M in my 500m, and with 256MB of memory and 30GB of 4200RPM HDD power, it’s an absolute piece of crap. The only thing going for it is that the battery still runs for about two hours. That’s simply amazing. Did I mention it weighs like 8 pounds? Anyways, all that for a “measly” $350. Let me show you what you can get for $350.
It’s a 2007 e1505. It has a Core 2 Duo. Two freaking cores for $350! Not to mention a DVDRW drive, 80GB of HDD, 1GB of memory, and hell the guy’s tossing in a free laptop bag! What a steal! My D830’s less than twice as capable and cost like $1500. That’s 4 times as much. Granted, it’s of a significantly better build quality, but I think I get my point across!
Moral of the story? If you want a laptop for $350, you can get some pretty powerful shit. Don’t get a C840.
So I bought my D830 pretty hastily and now I’m paying the price. When I bought the thing, I honestly didn’t consider what the crap I’d be doing in college, but what I had been doing in high school instead. And that was leaving the laptop on a desk, plugged in, just about always, only taking it to school maybe once every two weeks and when travelling. So I got a workstation computer which is perfect for that task. And I’m not just flattering myself, I honestly think it makes a really nice workstation, 15 inches are really nice to use for extended periods of time at a desk.
But I’m giving up on the pen and paper here and taking a notebook to class now, and that means moving the machine for a round trip several times a day. It’s not terribly heavy or large, but those shitty auditorium desks are really small and I’ve got a lot of peripherals to plug in and plug out. Subsequently moving my main machine around isn’t terribly practical, nevermind the 15 inch element. So my 500m, which was to be retired, got a small upgrade here and there and a new lease on life. And so it’s been going like this for the better part of six months. It’s quite suited for the task; the Inspiron 500m is one of the last Dell Inspirons to be built on a Latitude chassis, and can subsequently accept the media-bay battery from my D830 (Dell’s D-series has been going on for quite some time now), giving it something on the lines of 6+ hours of runtime. Pentium M is pretty damn sexy.
But y’know, things coould be better. The Inspiron 500m is on its fifth year (used it longer than any other computer I’ve had in the past now) and, all in all, just an Inspiron. So I thought about it and I just got $350 for essentially nothing and I’m looking to turn that into a tablet.
That’s right, btw. A tablet PC.
So I’m going to turn $350 into something like this.
I’d consider a Dell, but Dell’s only tablet was released last year and it’s an overpriced piece of junk. The aforementioned is an IBM ThinkPad X41T. Dothan Pentium M, only slightly younger than my 500m, and the tablet of tablets of its generation (at the same time, the X61T is the tablet of tablets of the current generation). And yeah, it’s about $600, and that’s at the lower end of the spectrum. Well I only have $350, but now comes an experiment.
Essentially what I’m going to try to do is to get a house from a quarter (I’m sure you’ve heard this story of this dude who trades a quarter for some piece of junk and trades that junk for a sofa and then for a car and for a house or something cool like that). I figured if you can sell a C840 for $350 and buy an e1505 for $350, why can’t you sell the e1505 back at a higher price, buy a slightly better computer, do the same thing and BAM. You’ll make up the difference in no time. This might be a tedious process, but hell I’ve got nothing better to do, and side projects are always something to look forward to. Then I can start getting some real tablet practice on the go and browse the internet on the same 12″ screen. That’ll be great.
So we’ll see how it goes. I’m planning my first step-up to be an HP TC1100 which may even get me straight to $600 if I’m lucky.
End of entry. That took fucking half an hour.