It’s that Time Again


Time for a new computer that is! Following in K.Mandla’s junk saving footsteps, I managed to pick up this nice little system at a local charity shop, for €5 :) Did I say junk? I meant, some people’s junk ;)

It’s a Dell Optiplex Gn, and from what I can tell it’s no more than 15 years old. It’s  a system with was previously owned by University of Limerick, and for some reason, no-one thought to wipe the harddrive.

It’s got a 223Mhz Pentium processor with MMX technology, a 1.5GB Quantum Fireball harddrive, a 3.5″ floppy drive, a CD-ROM drive, and most surprising, 160MB of RAM. I expected much less, something more along the lines of Cyrix. It’s PC-66 DRAM, with two sticks, a 32MB and a 128MB. Presumably the 128MB stick was added as an upgrade. It has a Creative Soundcard, 3Com 10Mb Ethernet card and on-board 2MB graphics. Finally, on the harddrive was an install of Windows 95, with Microsoft Internet Explorer! ;)

All in all, not a bad little machine for a fiver. I tried to boot a Clonezilla disk to copy the harddrive, for nostalgia’s sake, but it would only get so far in the boot process. After that, it just gave up, and refused to boot. Seeing as it’s got plenty of RAM, I’m going to blame the Pentium for that. I’ll just swap out the harddrive to back it up.

But that leads me to a problem. If Clonezilla won’t boot, what else won’t? I hadn’t planned to do much with this machine, but maybe it’s time to learn something light, like Slitaz or Crux. Any particular blog come to mind? ;)

Maybe I can use that case, I could certainly do with having a small form PC in my room. The one problem is to try and fit in the PCI cards, seeing as this computer uses one of those riser cards to give access to PCI slots horizontally, letting full size cards fit. Unfortunately, the Pentium IV motherboard in the system in my room, like most computers for the last 8 years, don’t have the slots for riser cards. And I really can’t live with it’s on-board graphics.

So I’m in a bit of a pickle. Perhaps I’ll try to modifiy the case, and use the low form Nvidia Geforce4 MX-440 I have lying around. Well, now that it’s the summer, I’ve plenty of time to spend on it.  :)


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