What am I going to do with the Vostro?

First thing I want to address is that I find it pretty crazy that in the last few days my blog actually received a little traffic. I even got a comment! It sounds crazy but I didn’t even think about someone reading these posts and it turns out I received some visitors! That’s pretty exciting to me.

Back to the Dell Vostro. I’m still using it! I’m getting more and more comfortable with Linux and its still been quite an enjoyable experience since I swapped to the XFCE desktop over the standard Cinnamon Linux Mint flavor.

I did make a few changes though. At work I happened to stumble across something a customer didn’t want that I had a use for. A T6600 Core 2 Duo. A really cool feature about the Vostro is that its very up-gradable and the upgrades are very convenient. In this case the processor is right behind a single door and the T6600 happened to be compatible and a substantial upgrade to the stock T5870 that came with it.

So here I am with an upgraded processor. The CPU doesn’t always chug when I open something now, its quite a substantial improvement and its very welcomed from what it was previously. The Intel 965 could use an upgrade but sadly that can’t be done unless i’m going to break out a lot of solder…. yeah that’s not going to happen. Its staying in and I dont think it would work if I tried to replace it. I originally thought this had the 8400m in it. It doesn’t.

I do have a few ideas what I’m going to do though. I’ve tried a few games (very low intensity stuff i.e Runescape, Stardew Valley) and these seemed to run okay. Even Runescape 3 which was surprising. It took a lot of effort to install because of my unfamiliarity with how Linux operates but with enough googling I got it done. Also, by “okay” I mean Runescape ran. Not well, and at the bare minimum settings, but it was playable.

What surprised me was Stardew Valley. I figured this game could run on some low end hardware being as even visually its very similar to a SNES game, but it runs awesome on this machine. I was floored. To me, that’s really cool.

I think i’m going to download a few emulators and try those out and maybe finally play Final Fantasy VI (III here in the states).

That’s all for now. I’ll try to blog about something other than the Vostro next time. Perhaps this HP 8200 Elite that I’ve butchered might receive a post.

It seems i’m turning this blog into more of a journal, and that’s okay by me.

 

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A few days with the Dell Vostro 1510 in 2018.

So… Its been a few days.

I’ve run into a bit of a dilemma with the Vostro Laptop. Originally I thought this was the configuration with the Nvidia 8400m. Turns out that isn’t the case. After opening the back of it to replace the 10 year old thermal paste that was on this old CPU (runs much cooler now, by the way) I recognized there was only two chips. One for the Intel 965 and the T5870 CPU. There was another spot next to it that had nothing soldered to it.

That’s where the 8400 GS was supposed to be.

Although this is a slight dilemma, it isn’t a game changer obviously. The main issue with this is that the driver support for the Intel 965 is terrible for Linux and pretty much every operating environment. The hardware isn’t great either and it makes boot times for this machine obnoxiously long. Though that isn’t helped by this disgusting HDD I currently have installed in it (I replaced the 320gb Hitachi drive with a 640gb one).

Another change that i’ve done along with swapping hard drives is actually upgrading to 4gb of ram (it had 3gb before) and I reinstalled Linux Mint 18.3. This time, instead of the main distro I installed XFCE because its not as resource intensive. This helped out a good bit.

The only other upgrades i’m interested in doing is upgrading the HDD to maybe a cheap 60 or 64gb SSD for the boot times and I’ve read that a Core 2 Duo T9300 will work in this machine. I see a few of those on ebay from China for about 10 dollars and that might be an interesting upgrade but I don’t think the CPU is the main bottleneck here.

I still love this machine, I have a battery on the way and that should be here tomorrow so perhapsĀ  I can use it somewhere that’s not near an outlet because currently the battery will only last 10 minutes before the laptop shuts down.

I am learning a good bit about Linux asĀ  I go though. The main thing being installing programs, the terminal is actually not a bad way to do things but it’s quite different than Microsoft’s way of installing software.

Still, ill try to keep this blog up to date with my experiences using a 10 year old laptop in 2018. I’ve typed the last two blogs on the Vostro and its serving me just fine. It should be something that I can take with me and not worry about dropping it or throwing it out the window. Its much different than anything else I’ve used.

Using a Dell Vostro 1510 with Linux Mint in 2018.

I don’t know if I’ve explained this in my previous blog posts but I work at an Office Depot. We sell a lot of computers and I see a lot of customers bring in theirs for repair. Even though that is no longer my department, I’m still asked to fix quite a few. I’ve always really enjoyed super old laptops and desktops and wondered what it would be like to use one for a while.

My current daily driver is a desktop with a i7 2600k, 12gbs of ddr3 ram (weird configuration, I know.) and an AMD R9 290. I also own a current laptop that I rarely use with an i5 8250u and 8gb of ddr4 ram.

Why would I want to downgrade to a laptop like a Dell Vostro 1510 with 3 gbs of ddr2 ram and a Core 2 Duo T5870 that launched in 2008? I don’t know. Its chunky, the charger is really messed up. Not to mention this bad boy gets HOT.

Theres something about this thing thats attractive to me. I have several old machines laying around that I never really do anything with. A friend of mine gave me this laptop and said it didn’t work. I took it from him and realized very quickly while it was stuck in a Windows Vista boot loop that the drive in this thing was toast. I just so happened to recently come across a used 320gb drive that didn’t have a home and promptly installed Linux Mint. That sounded like a good idea.

The problem is, I don’t know how to use Linux.

I’m here to learn. I’ve never really had a reason to use Linux. Honestly I probably still don’t. However, its light weight and easy to run on older hardware. So, when I got this thing breathing again I decided why not try it out.

Whats even more strange is I quite like it.

It runs great on this old laptop and comes with LibreOffice which is a free ware Microsoft Office program thats actually quite good and seems to be (and claims to be) very compatible with Microsoft Office. I decided to take my resume that was created in Office 365 and try to open it on this laptop and viola! Its formatted correctly!

That seems to be a running theme here. Even though this laptop is 10 years old, everything seems fine. Though this hard drive I put in here is probably even slower than the one that came with it, things are snappy enough. Video playback is pretty good, and typing on this feels wonderful (minus a few keys that are sticky, but that can be remedied with a proper cleaning).

It cant all be rainbows and sunshine and there are a few cons with this machine. For everyday use, its awesome. Its missing some modern day i/o like usb 3.0 and an hdmi out, but it has plenty to get by. This thing even has an SD card reader! Another problem I ran into was the wireless not working out of the gate and that was very concerning because like I said, I’ve never really used Linux before. A bit of Googling later, turns out you can actually install drivers on Linux through the terminal. I just copied and pasted something I found on a forum for this specific model while hardwired into my router and bam! Wireless!

Overall, this thing is awesome. CPU usage may reach 100% opening Firefox and it may get hot, but I really think if I didn’t play games, this thing could be something that I would use daily…

I might just try that.

 

Screw titles.

I think I’ve decided that the main goal of this blog is to just be able to come back to it in a few years and cringe. I’m pretty sure that’s an admiral goal and an achievable one. For that reason i’m glad that I can’t access all the old things I had written as a kid on Myspace. I don’t think my face could tolerate all the contortions.

Anyway, a topic change is in order. I’ve already stated I don’t really understand the purpose of a blog and that i’m going to treat it kind of like a bunch of public diary entries. Which is cool I because that way I don’t have to worry about anyone digging it up later and reading it without my permission.

So uh, ghetto diary entry number one will be as follows:

I made it through work and its 1:30 in the morning. The air conditioner is on. My lights are bright. I’m drinking a Coke. It has bubbles in it. I like bubbles.

That’s pretty good if I say so myself. Yeah… perhaps i’m not the best at writing in a diary.

Introductions.

I really don’t know where i’m supposed to go with this, but typing on this keyboard is pretty satisfying so i’m just going to type some stuff out to take the edge off.

There’s a lot I don’t really understand about this website in the way of formatting and such but to be fair I’ve already stated I don’t know what i’m doing about six times and I haven’t even said anything.

Okay. Introductions. Hi. My name is Killakriq. If you can’t pronounce that it’s totally fine. Its a reference to something obscure in an already obscure game which literally has no implications on anything that i’m writing about. Other than that I graduated about six months ago with a B.A. in History with a minor in Philosophy. The ways it has helped me since graduating are immeasurable (kidding, I work at OfficeMax).

Blogs though? Like I said, typing on a mechanical keyboard is soothing and I figured typing gibberish into a .txt file is pretty lame to just delete it. Whats the next best thing? Post that gibberish online. I don’t even know how long blog posts normally are. I don’t even read blogs. Did I mention I don’t know what I’m doing? I did? Good.

I did try the Youtube thing. That ended about as well as you would expect. The main reason for that is that in my house only one person knows when I’m recording and the rest would assume that I’m a lunatic and i’m talking to myself. On a normal day this would be fine but when i’m seriously trying to crack jokes at a monitor it gets pretty awkward. I figured starting a blog could be a happy medium.

I guess really this is going to be about my life and work as things happen. Kind of how like LiveJournal used to work if anyone remembers that. I’ll try to add humor but since i’m an edgy millennial it probably wont work and i’ll probably just offend someone. Probably just because sarcasm doesn’t translate through text well and i’m kind of a jerk.

Hopefully there will be many more rambling and pointless posts in the future.