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It followed me home!

Can I keep it?!?!

I have this habit of bringing home strays. I have a hard time seeing perfectly usable equipment hit the recycling pile and go out the door. (That is not to say that I cannot abide it, but it does give me a pang when still-functional-but-very-old gear goes away.)

The latest refugee is a ViewSonic V1100 TabletPC. These were not particularly well-liked machines when we got them in 2003 – as evidenced by the fact that the appearance of this one on the recycling pallet was the first time I’d seen any of it’s kind in a couple of years. Their 866 MHz PIII processors were not quite up to the task of handling “Windows XP Tablet Edition” and responding crisply to the motions of user’s stylus. So of course I had to give it a shot.

I spent a good chunk of Saturday getting the machine up to date with XP SP2 and 96 patches from Windows Update. It runs OK, but it’s still boggy. I realized that the V1100 came with only 256MB of RAM standard – and this is a stock unit. 256MB is the minimum I would consider for Windows 2000. For XP you really want to be at 512MB or above. I tracked down a 512MB add-on from Kingston. We’ll see if tripling the RAM to 768MB helps. (Yes, not only do I rescue old technology from the junk heap, I even invest money in it.)

Perhaps this is a last geeky hurrah before the baby arrives. Who knows. But for the moment I am having fun tapping and scratching. I am just dumbfounded by the fact that its handwriting recognition engine has an easier time with my grade school cursive than my block-printing. I figure that it has more to do with tracking the motions that form the letter than the look of the finished product. So, we’ll see what becomes of this odd little information appliance. Maybe I just have Kindle envy.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
0ccam
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:22 am (UTC)
I do the same thing with old stuff. I invest too. But this year I stopped doing that. Most of the old stuff is now just too old. So I need to keep an eye out in the future for stuff that was new now... :)
webwyrm
Dec. 11th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, perfect timing...
I just brought Old Bess (a 2000 Pismo PowerBook) home from having her hard drive and memory moved into the body of another one- raising the philosophical question, what parts of Old Bess defined her?

I really hesitated having them (Technology Revealed, a great Mac-friendly shop right here in Milford) perform the Frankenstein maneuver-yes, the lid hinges were mostly shot, and the screen was getting that "Pismo pink" glow, but the bezel still had the little pen marks I used to estimate screen views back when I was making many web pages on her, and I remember the events that left some chips in the plastic of her case, and her rubbery parts were almost pristine (the new bod's got some serious abrasions in its rubbery bits).

Yes, some of us still love our older tech, and I *know* her sound/power board only broke after she realized my eyes had strayed (I ordered a new MacBookPro for YDN work she was just too old to run) - I think she was testing me, to see if I would extract her drive (and student grades I had not had the chance to transfer to the iMac) and let her go, or shell out nearly $300 to get her fixed...
Once again, it is confirmed for me that there are no inanimate objects... and that I am a dreadfully sentimental old geek...
webwyrm
Dec. 11th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh, perfect timing...
I've seen some odd spell-check suggestions over the years, but "imam" for "iMac" has to be one of the most not-even-close-in-definition ones..

then again, some do call the Mac faithful nearly religious in their ways... hmm.

(yes, I know I am still avoiding grading!)

netcurmudgeon
Dec. 13th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
Re: Oh, perfect timing...
"imam" for "iMac" has to be one of the most not-even-close-in-definition ones

Now that's priceless. :-)
netcurmudgeon
Dec. 13th, 2007 02:10 am (UTC)
Re: Oh, perfect timing...
I am a dreadfully sentimental old geek...

That's the best kind. Last fall I pumped all new batteries (BIOS, bridge, and main battery) into my 80486DX/40 IBM ThinkPad 360c Wingnut. I still drag Wingnut out every once in a while and spin him up. Windows 95 on a 640x480 screen seems so quaint!
webwyrm
Dec. 11th, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
I forgot to say...
Regarding the Kindle, I've been pretty immune to electronic book gadgets over the years, but I have to say, this one definitely piqued my interest. If nothing else, the capacity to brachiate through Wikipedia anywhere is a *powerful* tease for me. I can get lost for hours in there...

Keep me updated with the TabletPC's progress. Fewer years ago than I should admit, I got an old eMate (Apple's first education-targeted portable from 1997, sort of a cross between a Newton and a laptop) running again, partly to play with the handwriting recognition elements. I eagerly await the day (it's back in the rumorsphere again) when Steve will get over his issues surrounding his killing the Newton and get an Apple tablet in production.
I forgot how to do LJ hypertext- here's the link if you want to see more about eMates:
http://the-gadgeteer.com/review/apple_emate_300_blast_from_the_past_review

netcurmudgeon
Dec. 13th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
Re: I forgot to say...
Well, the additional memory showed up today. That seemed to smooth things out a bit, but the poor thing is still fundamentally underpowered. And heavy. But, I'm making a go of using it as an on-line reading tablet. Film at 11. :-)
(Deleted comment)
mapmakr
Dec. 12th, 2007 02:42 am (UTC)
what next
Do you pass on the repaired strays to homes that can use them (Homes in this case = charitable institutions)
like Connecticut Historical Society???
netcurmudgeon
Dec. 13th, 2007 02:06 am (UTC)
Re: what next
The ones that have found new homes have gone to people in need. I usually have a couple reserve machines for loaners (ie: matociquala has borrowed my laptop Sawzall a couple of times when her Ethel has been in the shop). If you know of someone who needs help . . .
webwyrm
Dec. 13th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC)
Re: what next
Ditto me on that- I sometimes have the opportunity to re-home Macs, and they usually go to underfunded people, especially potential switchers-from-Windows. These days, they are mostly G3 models of iMacs, both "gumdrop" and "monitor-on-a-stick" morphs... most can handle Tiger (OS 10.4) or older flavors of OS X or OS 9.
Anyway, let me know if CHS or other charitables need a Mac... I may have some in coming months.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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