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Just some random curiosity. ^_^ If you've got more than one laptop, answer for the most recent of them.

Poll #1025656 Your laptop


It's your primary computer
It's your sole computer
It's just one of your systems
Strictly for work purposes only
is a perfectly cromulent word

For most or all of the time, what OS does it run?

OS X (Leopard, 10.5)
OS X (Tiger, 10.4)
OS X (Panther, 10.3)
Something else

How many OSs do you use on it? (Different versions do count)

Just the one
Three or more

Do you use it for 3D gaming, eg Second Life?


What processor clock speed does it have?

400MHz or lower
Above 400MHz, up to 1GHz
Above 1GHz, up to 1.8GHz (single CPU)
Above 1GHz, up to 1.8GHz (dual CPU)
Above 1.8GHz (single GPU)
Above 1.8GHz (dual GPU)
Above 1.8GHz (quad CPU or better)

Graphics capability (yes, this is vague =:)

Prehistoric (eg Rage 128 or earlier)
Integrated Intel graphics (eg GMA950 in a MacBook)
Somewhere in the middle (Radeon 9700 Mobility or earlier)
Best of breed (eg Nvidia 8600M-GT)
No idea

It comes with you

to the office
to restaurants
in the bath
to parks/arboreta
by the bedside/on the bed

Longetivity - it's experienced

a fall of more than two feet
being left somewhere unattended by accident
having a drink spilled on it
some other fluid accident
being stepped on or run over
horrors you can't even begin to imagine
I don't have (and have never had) a "modern" laptop of any description... but I could always count my Amstrad NC100! 3.5MHz, I believe, and not much in the way of 3D gaming capability... but it does run for 20 hours on four AA batteries, and it's survived most of the things in your last section! =:P
Ooh, cute! You still have it, then? Not that I'd encourage you to do so, but I could imagine there being eBay folks willing to pay actual money for one - it might not be as exotic as a Newbury Newbrain, but still, part of home computing history, and its original diversity of architectures and operating systems.

Closest I came to that was a luggable I picked up at (physical!) auction, with twin 3.5" floppies, and an 8x80 character LCD. No battery, just wall-powered. Came in quite handy a few times, when I wanted to run a DOS game. Sold it for a modest profit, as I felt I could use the money more than DOS. ^_^

Occasionally I feel the temptation to try building up a collection, assuming I had the space.. so perhaps it's just as well I don't. Not that I'd turn down anyone offering a 4000 sq.ft. warren with good net.connectivity. =:)

It's oddly amusing how laptop battery life seems to've remained more or less even, or even marginally improved, once things settled on the clamshell concept - my old Wallstreet (266MHz G3, 320MB) got about 3h per battery, whilst Hyzenthlay (1.67GHz G4, 2GB) sees around 4-5h on a charge. It's all part of the niftiness of technological progress - for the same energy, so much more can be done. True, battery tech's improved as well, but not so much lately - early laptops had sealed lead-acid (eep!), then NiMH, and now Li-ion, but it's been stuck there for a while now, with fuel cells too awkward to manufacture, or simply not yielding much of a benefit in energy density.

I hope someone came out with a Pac-Man for it. ^_^
Oh yes, I've still got it, and it still gets used. No floppy drive, though, and only a serial port for transfer. Luckily my PC is old enough to have one of those! As for value, there are actually an awful lot still around, so they're very cheap by vintage computer standards: it's not hard to find one in good condition on eBay for £20 including p&p.
That cheap? That could be fun to play with, at that price. (Though, with finances as they are at present, I'd be going for an external drive first, I'll admit) I wonder if anyone's come up with a TCP/IP stack for it.. I'd imagine a small footprint one could be conjured up, given how diminutive QNX's was (with embedded deployment in mind).

There's certainly much to be said for a dinky form factor. I'd use the PSP's browser more, if it were actually good, but it's a fairly awkward example of fulfilling a spec, less than the ideal. Still, it is nice to be able to just lie on my back and browse away. Part of the iPhone's appeal, of course - it doesn't do much more, in raw specs, than anything before it. It just does it really well. And again we come back to battery life, with even that able to manage around four to six hours on a charge when actively browsing over WiFi. Not bad, given the processing power within. (Similarly the PSP, with a modified R4000 core at around 222MHz usually, up to 333MHz - I was able to loop Curse of the Were-Rabbit for around six hours before the battery finally groaned. Not bad going, when you think of all the billions of calculations involved, the display, and even just the backlight)
You remain, it appears, the only person who takes their laptop into the bath. *g* (Seriously, what are the logistics of that? Have there ever been any horrifying catastrophes?)
...shouldn't 2000 be grouped with XP instead of 9x/Me, seeing as how 9x/ME are dos-based, while 2K/XP/2k3 are NT-5.x variants (2K=5.0, XP=5.1, 2k3=5.2)?

As for this laptop... Toshiba Satellite Pro 4600, PIII-900, Windows 2000 Pro, video calls itself "Trident Video Accelerator CyberBlade-XP" and SL flat-out refuses to run on it because of that...

As for condition... both hinges are broken, the wifi antenna wire run through one ofsaid hinges is broken, 13 of the keys are missing the part that goes over the rubber thingies underneath (the ] key is missing that too...) Oh, and sometimes the power cord (that it lives tethered to 24-7) sometimes needs wiggled in back a little to make it get external power.
I was thinking loosely more along the lines of popularity - XP and VIsta are the big ones as far as Windows goes, ne? (Compared to 2000 or Me)

Trident, ooh! Okay, that's well into the prehistoric. ^_^ (Things change - I once interviewed with S3, then a contender in the GPU stakes. Very nice office, but the interview went nowhere. Pity, but I'd've only been stuck in the South Bay; a lovely part of the world if you like concrete)

Ow! Look, I'm going to report you to the ASPCC if you don't do something about those hinges.

I may admit to Ocelot being in less than optimal condition, though.. it's just a hinge/cable problem, but looks very fairy (meant to be "hairy", but I like that typo). It's only a secondary system now anyway, so I've not felt any drive to go plunging into splaying PB parts everywhere.

Wiggling? Generally a very good thing, but not with power connectors. Not just a dry joint?
Well, the hinges seized up first, so I suppose being broken /does/ give the advantage of being able to close the lid... :-P

And in case you wondered, yes, the majority of the missing keycaps are in the path of one of the broken hinges as the screen/lid swings on the video cable that runs through the other broken hinge.

BTW, know of any way to force SL to run on this thing even with the year-2000 hardware? I know I'd need to run it on lowest settings with everything disabled, and it'd probably run slow even then, but it'd still be good enough to go in and give people L$ or reply to a message from them or whatever... I'd even settle for a non-Linden client if I thought it'd do it...
Oof.. it'd definitely be fairly painfully slow, but theoretically, it should work - the catch, as you've probably found, is the client insists on at least 16MB of VRAM. (Ocelot has 8MB, though in my case, that's usually split between the non-functional internal and the external monitor. Trying it on that gave a cool "mirroring into infinity" effect, with the window being flipped vertically each step)

I've not looked through the code much, but perhaps you could manually force a lower VRAM option. With any luck, that'd just mean not being able to cache much by way of textures, whilst still leaving it basically usable.

An alternative, though, might be the AJAX solution mentioned on Boing Boing a week or two back - text only, I think, but it'd be okay for being able to use SL as an IM network.

I wonder if anyone's working on bringing the client to older hardware? Might be worth poking around the developer wiki. Just a pity there are some closed libraries still - I'd love to hack around with a PSP version of the client. =:D

Here's the outcome I mentioned, running SL on Ocelot, with too little VRAM:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
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Ooh, external modems! I began online with one, giving me 1200 baud coming in.. 2400 was just speedy. =:D

And dot matrix printers, how we miss ye. I think. ^_^ I've not bothered with buying a printer for years now, given how much basic inkjets seems to love sucking up after some period of dormancy, and a laser's just not been worth it - I only ever want to print the odd page every month or two. Anything else, I can just keep on Hyzenthlay, or even shrink and shift over to the PSP. But a dot matrix was always ready to go, whenever, other than maybe a couple inches where the ribbon had dried out from being exposed.

Such a pity how Tandy wound up.. once the home of electronics geeks worldwide, then sliced up for any purpose. Last Tandy purchase I made was for some strips of leather and D-rings, I think. ~whistle~
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Probably not too good a SL machine? =:)

Yay CD-only drives! Bunny originally shipped with one, but I went for the DVD option later - a drive of the correct form factor to slip into the right expansion bay, and a PC Card to handle MPEG-2 decoding. (The drive itself being old enough to only work with printed DVDs, annoyingly, so bringing anything off DVD-R meant having to pull it over the network, and its internet ethernet's only 10Base-T. It used to serve as my main net.machine, but Hyzenthlay supplanted it quite handily. Still, I'd like to get a working hard drive into it again - always good to have a spare in case of emergency)

My laptop survived an impact with my dashboard due to a rather abrupt application of my brakes due to an error in my estimate of where to stop (luckily, I was stopping too early instead of too late).
My "importance" answer is a bit misleading because while my ancient and beloved ThinkPads are my primary interface, they're really just terminals—most of the computational power is served by the deskside box.

I also seem be unable to damage a laptop in an ordinary way. No drink spills, but I did in an NEC Versa by sneezing a rather large volume of Alka-Seltzer Cold & Flu onto the keyboard. Likewise my only laptop-dropping incident was the time I slipped on black ice, dropped an 80c86 Compaq luggable onto the step and then fell onto it...

(here via footpad, by the way.)
Hello! *nose*
Did you have to explain the cause of the Versa's demise to anyone? ^_^

The second incident sounds positively crunchy. Don't suppose it actually managed to survive, did it? Laptops can be surprisingly rugged.. I once had Ocelot folded closed, on the bedroom floor, when one of the Little Angels™ wandered in somewhat absent-mindedly, promptly stepping on it.. though even that was probably less hair-raising than Hyzenthlay's fall off a friend's table, about 3' to the hard wooden floor, with various bits of equipment around, including a nicely pointy printer server. I thought the display at least would be toast, but that escaped miraculously unharmed, with not even a scratch to testify to the excitement. (The printer server case had a couple bits knocked off it, as I recall) Bad enough at any time, let alone only a few weeks after receiving H, so I still had that New Laptop Glow. =:)
Hm, LJ's email-a-comment and I don't seem to be on speaking terms anymore. I wonder what I said to offend it.

Did you have to explain the cause of the Versa's demise to anyone?

Thankfully, no. I had enough trouble explaining it to myself. ^_^

And the luggable did survive. There was some hinge damage that kept the screen from standing upright unaided, rendering it even more unportable than it was to begin with -_^ but it worked for several years afterward.

You remain, it appears, the only person who takes their laptop into the bath with them. *g* (Seriously, what are the logistics of that? Have there ever been any horrifying catastrophes?)
I'm quite delighted to see I'm no longer the sole moist network addict. ^_^

I just keep Hyzenthlay on one corner of the bath, which gratifying has flat edges about 1" wide, such that it's sitting on a large right angle. Connectivity arrives courtesy of the WiFi router in my room, power through the AC adapter, plugged in just outside, so there's only 24V DC actually within the bathroom. (I could just run off battery, given I see around four hours on a charge, but (a) watching video cuts that in half, (b) I sometimes have baths longer than that =:)

I did once get a tiny splash on Mouse, the old iBook - more of a large drop of water than a tidal wave. A quick removal of the battery and some drying later, and all was well. Ironically, Hyzenthlay's delete key doesn't currently work, not because of bath water, but a drop of condensation in the bedroom as I slept one night. (Seems there'd been some condensation taking place by the windowsill, which eventually found its way around the boxes there, ultimately succumbing to the allure of gravity. So little there was almost no trace of it on the keyboard, but a few droplets on the case itself)

Ocelot and Bunny have both taken nice drink spills, though. ack. Not something I'd recommend experiencing. Still, in both cases, taking them partially apart and dabbing up any visible liquid, then letting everything dry for a couple days, yielded perfectly functional PowerBooks.

Wonder what I'll call the MacBook Pro, when I can lay my paws on one.. sort of tempting to transfer the monicker, if I sell Hyzenthlay in the process. Maybe "Frith", given that may be my reaction to seeing its SL performance. =:)

This thing goes nearly everywhere. It's my main computer for everything. I use it for work and I DJ on it. It will come to Burning Man for the third time this year.

One year I was DJing at an outdoor party and it started pouring rain. At one point, sheets of water ran across the table and got the thing soaked. I frantically tried to turn it off, but it froze in the on position. I yanked out the battery and waited for it to shut down. I let it sit and dry out for several days and it booted up just fine. It's been dropped and banged. It is covered with stickers. The monitor has only one stuck pixel and it was repaired one week before the extended warranty expired.

It's a great machine, and I will be sad when it finally decided to crap out on me.
*twitches* It's really too tempting in polls that don't apply to you (because you haven't got a laptop to begin with)...
It's a good thing you put this up now. Two weeks ago, this would regard a P3 machine :)

Nice little questionnaire though. I've got several vintage machines I utterly adore, such as my 486 Compaq Contura. It's so tiny!

Ah well, I could go on about old hardware. I should focus on finishing my page about all of this. :)
I still sorta wish I had Raccoon, but I think that got lost in a move sometime - nothing remarkable, just a PowerBook 5300c. A bit thick, but otherwise quite dinky - lovely for use on the bus. But eventually, its 640x480 display became too small, with webpages gradually assuming greater resolutions, and Bunny came into my life. ^_^

Wish I'd had the chance to play with a Newton properly. Cool device. I was particularly impressed by the PCMCIA slot, so you could easily add a modem or ethernet. For now, I'll just make do with Hyzenthlay.
I'm surprised you didn't put in a category for "School/Classes" in the "It comes to" section, since that's where my laptop tends to go with me.