Thursday, October 21, 2004

On second thought, I won't upgrade the laptop

I posted the other day about possibly upgrading my Compaq Presario 710US. Upon further reflection, I decide it made more sense to replace Gondor, the trusty P3/733 that I built in 2000, and which remains my desktop PC at home.

Gondor will wind up replacing Rivendell, an ancient P2/300, as Judith's PC. I bought Rivendell from ASL way back in May of 1998. It came as a dual boot system with Red Hat 5.1 and Windows NT4 Workstation. The only major changes I've made to it in that time are doubling the RAM to 256 MB, adding an SMC wireless NIC, and redoing it as a Win98SE box for Judith (she wanted to run something or other than wouldn't work on NT4 or W2K). Hardware-wise, it's been solid as a rock, but it's really long in the tooth. I can redo Gondor with XP and it'll be fine for Judith's use -- web, email, light word processing. She ought to be able to get at least two more years from it.

Replacing Gondor as my main box will be a resurrected Bagend. It was originally built in 1999 as a P3/450. After I decided to host mail for onsite, it became my mail and fileserver running e-Smith. Then, about two years ago, it got zapped in a power surge which blew the motherboard and who knows what else. I was able to shift the hard disk into a scavenged Compaq Deskpro, do a little reconfiguration, and get back up and running, and that's how it's been ever since. In the meantime, the rest of Bagend has been stuffed in my crawlspace.

I intend to pull Bagend out and strip out the motherboard and power supply. The floppy and CD-ROM drive may still be good, along with a case fan. Once it's gutted, the following components which I ordered tonight from Newegg are going in:
  • Asus A7N8X-X Socket-A motherboard.
  • AMD AthlonXP 2600+ "Barton" core CPU.
  • Antec SL400 power supply.
  • Asus Radeon 9200SE 128 MB video card.
  • NEC 8x Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW drive.
  • Maxtor 80 GB ATA-133 hard disk.
  • 512 MB of Crucial PC3200 DDR RAM (one stick).
The OS will be SUSE Linux Professional, 9.1 for now, to be upgraded to 9.2 when it comes out in November.

If for some reason Bagend's case is not usable, I'll gut Rivendell instead and use it.

This is far from a high end system but it'll be a huge improvement over what I've got now, and should last me several years. I mainly use my desktop for web, email, remote system administration, and light use of I should be able to run DOOM3 on it, though. :-)

While I was ordering the computer parts, I tacked on a Netgear FS108 8-port 10/100 switch to upgrade the core of my LAN. The LANMaster T12 10 meg hub I have is solid, but slow.

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