Monday, 2 March 2009

Is it time to ditch your old laptop?

Gateway MX6958 LaptopAs I type away the thought occurs to me that you and I are looking at the exact same current laptop: the rip roarin' Gateway MX6958. I bought this factory refurbished laptop on ebay in July 2007, and I'm wondering if it isn't time to start looking again. With 1.6 GHz dual core and 1Gb of RAM, this baby isn't exactly the youngest girl at the ball. However, she's not the oldest either, and this laptop has been performing quite well for the last couple years.

But recently I've had to perform a few fixer-upper maneuvers. In the autumn of '08 I replaced a SATA hd. In the past I've had to flash the BIOS to get the OS to boot, and now I'm dealing with a failing CMOS battery. End result = my laptop doesn't always boot, and I'm constantly backing up my data to external disks.

"But Andrew" you say, "just replace the CMOS battery and all will be forgiven." It's not so easy. Do you know just how many CMOS batteries exist for a laptop that's no longer in production or supported? Not too many. I found one on ebay a couple weeks ago but can't seem to reconcile the $20. Besides, who trusts a guy selling used CMOS batteries on ebay? As wasteful as it may be, I'm closer to just buying a new laptop.

I'm always told that technology is changes too rapidly for someone to keep the same computer for more than a couple of years. This is a facade. The truth is that they just don't make 'em like they used to...


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