Anže's Blog

Python, webdev, and surfing

16 Oct 2013

Programming on a 5 year old laptop

the laptop

In two months my laptop [1] will be 5 years old. In human years that’s probably around 60 years.

My laptop is a grandpa.

It also happens to be the only computer I’ve been using over the years. I don’t own a desktop PC. All the work I do is on this laptop. The poor thing has probably spent more hours crunching data than sleeping.

What I find incredible is that it’s still perfectly usable. The old Core 2 Duo processor can still handle almost every task I throw at it.

I don’t even have to use a lightweight DE. Gnome Shell 3.10 works smoothly and I’ve even been able to play games from Humble Indie Bundles.

I had to exchange the battery two years ago, but the current one works great. It’s life actually increased when I upgraded the kernel to 3.11. It now lasts for an hour and a half, up from one hour with 3.10. This is thanks to dynamic power management that finally got included in 3.11. I can now even use the open source drivers without overheating my graphics card.

The laptop is working better than ever.

The display has a good resolution even for the standards of today (1680x1080). Even 5 years ago I didn’t understand laptops with less than 1000 pixels of height and it’s quite scary it’s still quite common today.

The case is a bit bumped and dented (it survived a few falls), but I wouldn’t say it shows it’s age. I’ve been taking good care of it.

I bought an SSD two years ago and it really helps with startup times - I’d probably go crazy without the SSD many moons ago. And this was the only upgrade I made. I did consider adding some more RAM, but DDR2 is too expensive. I’ll just have to make do with 4GB until I switch to a laptop with DDR3.

I bought this laptop for a bit over 1k Euros. This was 200 Euros more than I payed for my car in roughly the same time. Even though it was a big investment back then, it was worth every cent. I’ve used it to do homework while attending college, I wrote my thesis and my first game on it and I even scored my first freelancing gig with this glorious machine. I’m using it right now to write this blog post!

Kudos to HP - they really know how to make durable laptops.

Even though my laptop is still perfectly usable I’ll need to start looking for a replacement soon (I take my time with this, it took me 1 year to pick out this one). Do you have any suggestions?

[1] HP EliteBook 8730W

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