Upgrading the Junk Computers
Last night I upgraded two old computers that I had on my hands, leaving me me no time to write a post, but here’s the post about the upgrades, as promised.
Given that both these machines were quite old, spending money just to upgrade them was out of the question. Fortunately there are quite a few old, but better than what’s in the machines, computer parts lying around the house. First on my priority was to upgrade the RAM, as neither machine had enough RAM to run a LiveCD without being painfully slow. Fortunately, some old DDR Kingston RAM turned up, back from when I upgraded the RAM in my desktop, giving my a full gig to install on one of the computers. The HP became the lucky winner of these two 512 meg sticks of RAM, in order that I will be easily able to run LiveCD’s on it for experimentation.
So I pulled the piece of 256 meg ram in the HP (only two slots for RAM, as shown above in the photo), and installed the Kingston sticks (yellow below), then removed the modem card.
But this wasn’t the only piece that went into this machine. I also put in a Intel Gigabit ethernet card, and a very old ATI All-in-Wonder video card.
I installed the ethernet card to allow me to try out using multiple network cards at once (that one combined with the one built in) something I’ve yet to get working in Linux, and the ATI All-in-Wonder, assuming I can find drivers, should allow me to play around with Myth-TV - although as far as the video card aspect goes, I’m actually using the onboard video still (the All-in-Wonder is seriously old).
The Dell had less done to it. As you can see in the picture above it also had a single stick of RAM, once again 256 megabytes. I yanked the modem card, having no use for one in either machine, and stuck the original stick of RAM from the HP into it, giving the Dell a total of 512 megabytes of RAM.
Following the upgrades, both machines booted with few problems, the Dell stopping the boot sequence to complain about the fact the system clock hadn’t been set (stupid motherboard battery) and the HP had to have the video card set to the onboard, otherwise Ubuntu LiveCD had kernel panic. My only disappointment was the fact that neither machine could take my old AMD64 CPU - meaning I have to stick to 32 bit operating systems.