IBM Thinkpad R32 - sell or hold?

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 8
Author Content
Steven_Rosenber

Jan 28, 2011
2:37 PM EST
I got this IBM Thinkpad R32 for about $40, and I've since cleaned it up (added a hard drive, replaced missing screws, added power supply, all from other parted-out laptops, so it didn't theoretically cost me anything). I still don't have a battery (though it runs fine off the AC adapter.

It's as old as the rest of my old hardware (2001-2002 era), with 512 MB RAM (I think I have a 256 MB stick somewhere in the boneyard that'll boost it to 768 MB), has a 20 GB IDE hard drive (what I had lying around), and CD-ROM (not RW or DVD). The CPU is a Mobile Intel Pentium 4 at 1.8 GHz.

This is kind of a bargain-basement Thinkpad. It being so comparatively old, I wonder if I should turn it around, or keep it as a backup. I've had a lot of trouble personally "living" in only 20 GB, and by the time I get a bigger IDE hard drive (they're not as available as they used to be) and even a dying battery, I'm starting to put forth money that I might not make back.

The question: sell now (and for how much?) or keep as a test bed?
tuxchick

Jan 28, 2011
3:42 PM EST
A new HD is around $100, and batteries are also around $100. That puts you halfway to a nice System76 or ZaReason netbook with a brighter, sharper screen and way longer battery life. I would look for a deal on some kind of Flash storage, like a 32GB USB stick, and not put any money into the R32 itself. Use it as a nothing-to-lose machine until it keels over. Might be you could a find a used hard drive or battery in decent shape, there are lots of R32s out there that are good for spare parts.
caitlyn

Jan 28, 2011
4:54 PM EST
I agree with tuxchick. If you don't mind buying a netbook which is infected with Redmond's disease I've seen some really nice ones at the local computer emporium for $269, which is way less expensive than the Linux boutique retailers. Just wipe the hard drive and go.
jdixon

Jan 28, 2011
5:04 PM EST
> If you don't mind buying a netbook which is infected with Redmond's disease I've seen some really nice ones at the local computer emporium for $269...

$258 at walmart.com:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Acer-AOD255-10.1-Netbook-PC-with-I...
hkwint

Jan 30, 2011
11:52 AM EST
If you're not afraid of China/Taiwan and importing and you own a credit card, you can have a native Linux netbook for around $80 (ex VAT I think).

AliExpress.

Probably comes from the same factories as where some of the cheap brand-notebooks come from, except without manual, less guarentee and less service. If I had a credit card, I might already have ordered one.
caitlyn

Jan 30, 2011
12:53 PM EST
Hans: Those are available on eBay and some U.S. dealers without having to import them yourself. They are low end ARM machines with processors that clock at 400MHz and typically have a tiny (1-2GB) flash drive in lieu of a hard drive. That 128MB of RAM is not upgradeable. They tend to run slower than molasses going uphill in the wintertime. Think cell phone in a netbook form factor without the phone capability. No, actually, most cellphones are more powerful than those low end netbooks nowadays.
hkwint

Jan 30, 2011
1:01 PM EST
If you look hard enough though, you might find one or two interesting devices - also some running at 1gHz on a Cortex A8 (they are over $200 most of the times though). But upon closer inspection (I just studied the list some more), most is garbage, and many times specs are wrong.

But I'm pretty sure where those at eBay and U.S. dealers come from: You can become your own dealer if you want! Still, buying at Zareason pobably is a better idea - when something doesn't work or breaks. Or wait for the cheaper devices to come to the market, but I'm already waiting for over two years to buy a Cortex-A9 laptop for a little money (like this one!) Not going to happen (at least not cheap) for the next two years to come!

So I've also been thinking about buying an antique laptop, as Steven suggested. I was presented with the problem of wanting to type notes in the train (which has free WiFi it seems) and maybe at conferences, and also contemplating if it would be better to buy a cheap laptop from a toystore or some old Pentium 1 laptop. I'm still not decided, I'm not sure if those old antique laptops will do 802.11b and what their battery life will be. Indeed, new batteries are pretty expensive, and old batteries are probably 'used up'. Cheap 'garbage'-laptops as the ones linked to are maybe too slow, and faster laptops are too expensive.

So next week if I decide to go to FOSDEM in Brussel, I'll probably still use pen & paper!
caitlyn

Jan 30, 2011
1:23 PM EST
I actually don't think ZaReadon and other boutique dealers are all that great. If I buy something at the local big box retailer and it breaks early in it's life (which is when the vast majority of electronic failures happen) I can bring it back for an exchange or refund on the spot. With an online retailer I write in for a RMA, then ship it back, then wait for a repair, replacement or refund at their discretion, not mine. In the meanwhile I am without that system. I still think there is something to be said for local retailers.
hkwint

Jan 30, 2011
5:43 PM EST
It was on our news as yet another electronics store went bankrupt: "If you want to survive, you have to be the cheapest, or you have to provide the best service". Best service also means coming to peoples homes to fix stuff if needed. Sounds to me like ZaReason is somewhere in between.

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