Vintage Typewriter Hunter Multimedia box

I noted in my last post that I was pondering loading a fun Linux onto one of the Core 2 Duos for the Type-In, I meant AMD Turions, actually:

Weapon of Choice: 2008 HP Pavilion dv6815nr
2.0 GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60
4gb DDR2 SDRAM, 120gb SSD, 1280×800 15.4″ WXGA screen
Nvidia GeForce Go 7150m

This HP Pavilion dv6815nr is one of the machines I picked up in the last haul of Free Laptops, and this one is only about 10 or 11 years old, so it’s still beefy enough with a 64-bit processor and 4gb RAM that it can run a decent modern OS like Ubuntu Studio. The reason it was free was thanks to a bad Nvidia I/O chipset, notorious for rendering 1 in 7 of these DV-6000 unable to talk to the wireless card, requiring a motherboard replacement sometimes within weeks of shipment. There was no recall on the units, so the original owner probably never knew why the machine wouldn’t connect to anything – HP never sent out notices, so they probably just thought (rightly, I suppose) that HP’s are junk and shelved it for a decade. This one still had the protective sheet stuck to the top lid, so I assume it had almost no use by the previous owner. It’s in great condition aside from not being able to have wireless internet, so I decided to turn it into a portable electronic repository of Typewriter Data to take along to type-ins. I don’t need Internets for that!

I’ve loaded all of Operation O.O.P.R.A.P. onto it, plus all of the age lists and typewriter history documentation I have in PDF. Gigabytes of it, lots of Gigabytes.

If I need to look something up, it’ll be right there at my fingertips. PLUS, I loaded it with a bunch of typewriter movies including The Typewriter In The 21st Century, California Typewriter, and Populaire (although I couldn’t get the English subtitles to embed into the digital file for some reason), so I can play some movies at type-ins!

I’ve got more space on the drive, so maybe I’ll toss the entire IBM Selectric video repair class series on there and whatever else I can think of.

Come to think of it, I should set up a database on there for collecting type-in attendees names and emails, so we can blast out notices for local type-ins. We’ve never bothered to do that for some reason, though I don’t know why..

Evil Nvidia chipset!!

Updated: February 1, 2020 — 3:03 pm


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  1. I love running Linux on anything, but it is especially fun when someone gives me an old PC and tell me it won’t run anything, and I load LXLE or some similar light Linux distro and they see me using their old not working PC. I only keep a Windoz box around for rare occasions when a Linux distro will not work for something I need to do in Windoz (like run Allen-Bradley or some other proprietary W-only package)

    Good idea on the log-in at Type-Ins. We had visitors who were interested in getting a typewriter or just interested in more. If they signed-in and left an email address we could alert them to available typewriters or as in one case, help with repairs.

    1. heh, yeah – I ended up pulling the hard drive out of that Pentium 4 Dell, replacing it with a 32gb CF card, and loading Slacko Puppy on it after I found an old PCMCIA wireless card in my parts bin. Works a lot nicer now than with XP, and I couldn’t think of anything I really needed XP for anyway. :D

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