Sailfish for road work
Monday, August 27 2012
I'd originally bought Flyingfish (the MSI netbook) in order to have a computer I could easily carry anywhere but that would allow me to do real work (something for which an iPad is pretty much useless). It's worked okay for this, but that tiny screen is a serious handicap for anything more complicated than a simple fix of something a panicked client has called me during a vacation to complain about. I can attach it to bigger screens of course, but they're not always easy to find in the places where I find myself working.
So last Friday I took delivery of a better laptop for use in doing development work on the road or at remote offices. It's a 2510p made by Compaq/Hewlett Packard and features the stiffness-cum-lightness one normally only experiences with high-end equipment. This is because stiffness and lightness do not come cheap; the 2510p is built around a skeleton of magnesium and perhaps titanium. It makes for a tough, transportable computing machine for taking on the road. It features desktop-level processing power with its Core 2 Duo processor, and its screen has a generous resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels. Best of all, the computer (already named Sailfish) only cost me $148 with free shipping and looks to be in perfect condition. I even had to peal off those annoying stickers that had been applied to the wrist rests in hopes of touting Windows Vista and various semiconductor technologies. The only downsides of the 2510p are its modest battery life (two or three hours) and the lack of expansion options. It only takes small, slow 1.8 PATA hard drives, a format for which good SSD (solid state drive) replacements are generally lacking.
By the end of today I'd gotten Sailfish into such a usable state that I went one step further: applying some physical decoration to the back of its lid so it wouldn't just read "hp." Looking around for something to cover that lid with, I finally settled on a page from an old road atlas, which I glued down and covered with a layer of yellow-tinting kapton tape (something everyone with a Makerbot has a lot of). Now when I have the Sailfish folded under my arm, it looks as if I am carrying a yellowed old road atlas folded open to northern Ohio.
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