I’ve been fixing up and passing on my remaining old laptops. Here’s how they turned out:
- Pinebook Pro - fresh install of Debian (with special firmware) on SD card, I wiped down the keyboard with a wet cloth and then it wouldn’t turn on. I opened it up to see what the issue was, couldn’t get to the keyboard and couldn’t see any obvious problem, put it back together again and plugged in the DC barrel jack. It made a sharp bang, and there was no ♨ magic smoke ♨ but I leant over and caught the unmistakable smell of dead computer. Bricked due to hardware failure.
- Asus C201 - fresh install of PrawnOS. All works remarkably well, except due to battery failure it only runs when powered directly from mains. Sent off with a note explaining that the WiFi module doesn’t work due to non-free drivers.
- Lenovo 110S 11iBR - fresh install of Debian with MATE desktop. I got a new charger and installed non-free
iwlwififirmware to get the WiFi module working.
None of these are particularly fast machines by 2022 standards, some GNU/Linux distros go a long way to keep aging hardware useful.
I’m not too sad to see the first two go, but the latter was my main machine on the go for several years. I covered the shell in stickers from various left-wing parties and movements.1 Over time some of these groups have changed their logos, which turned the laptop into an object of nostalgia.
I haven’t begun decorating my current laptop yet, and still debating whether or not to leave it clean.
Inspired by someone I used to know who plastered her water bottle with stickers. ↩