A. needed a laptop to take with her on her upcoming trip home to visit family and friends for a month. The only thing I could come up with was an old PII-266 Dell Latitude system with 2M video RAM (meaning 16bit color, but at 1024×768), 128M memory, a CD-ROM that barely works, and a 4G hard drive.
Installing Windows XP, all available updates, doing system tweaks to improve what performance I could get, and installing Putty, PIRCH98, and Mozilla Firefox took three and a half hours. This was with no problems along the way – the system is just that slow.
Fortunately the Xircom “RealPort” Ethernet card I got off eBay about six months ago works just fine in it, and drivers for the card come with XP SP2. She’ll have to find a modem of some sort in TN, as the modem card that came with the laptop is missing its dongle.
I need to find a better beater laptop, like an old Thinkpad – those things are pretty much bulletproof. Anybody have one sitting in a closet?