You Know You Got an Old Laptop When…

June 27, 2012

its got a Windows Millennium Sticker on it!

A few weeks ago, a commercial client I had done some web-site stuff for had a server failure. Their Windows Server 2003 domain controller crashed and, unfortunately, they found out that their backup system was not working correctly. Their last IT guy was in the process of moving on, so had limited time and as a result, they contacted me to help get them working again for the upcoming week.

After putting in a very long day on Sunday, they asked if I wanted some of their old computers. Never one to turn down a free computer, I loaded up the truck with around 8 Desktops and 2 laptops. It took me a bit to get around to checking out the old computers, but when I did I was mildly surprised to see the laptops were A LOT older than I thought.

Both of the laptops are 12+ year old Compaq Presario 1200’s sporting the infamous Windows Millennium Sticker. These ones are both the Intel version.

Now, I’ve got a few rather old machines, none working, including a few that are probably older than this. However, I don’t generally see anything past a Windows 2000 sticker, so the ME sticker gave me a bit of a pause.

Changes in Laptop Construction Over 12+ Years

I am always amazed at how far laptops have come and it is kind of cool to see these, as well as even older machines, and compare them to modern laptops. According to Wikipedia, this Presario was known for being ‘lightweight’, however its 7 or so pounds feels mighty heavy for its size.

It also had some rather ill-conceived dual latches to secure the display to the bottom case, which need to be opened separately. Probably the one feature that it has that might not be all that bad is fold out tabs on the bottom, like you see on a keyboard, to elevate it slightly. Probably makes typing a bit more comfortable and helps dissipate heat some when raised.

Quick Tear Down

Curious, and admittedly a bit bored, I decided to do a quick teardown, cheating a bit for speed. Nothing crazy or groundbreaking, but it was neat to compare it to a newer laptop, say the recent Toshiba C655D repair I did, as there are a number of differences in case construction/layout, as well as the size of the different components…

Decent bit of Stainless Steel here on top, protecting motherboard.

Motherboard exposed, can see size of heatsink bottom left.

Be neat to see what temperature this ran at, much different cooling from today’s laptops. Speakers at top, run complete width of laptop case.

Intel P3 Motherboard, rather small in comparison to laptop. About half of case is motherboard, other half is hard-drive and other components. Complete with serial port in back.

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