“As Is” Gamble Pays Off Big

October 21st, 2006

I bought a 20 GB laptop hard drive off of eBay a week or so ago. I was looking for the cheapest way to get a Dell Latitude C600 back on its feet. It is a pretty snappy machine considering that I got it for free. It had no hard drive or even hard drive connectors, only one stick of 64 MB RAM, a pretty nice battery, and no wifi. So I had my work cut out for me. I ended up paying a total of twenty dollars and some cents for this hard drive. It was sold “as is” which basically can mean one of two things on eBay:

  1. I am selling a lot of products and am in too much of a hurry to test them all
  2. or

  3. I am a scammer and can sell broken crap without my buyers having any recourse

Fortunately for me the laptop arrived on the same day as the proprietary dell adapter for IDE drives. When I plugged it in it was recognized by the BIOS. I booted up Slax from a CD and the NTFS filesystem still had files on it. They all looked like the usual Windows 2000 files. I repartitioned the drive and formatted it. I ran badblocks on the drive and it didn’t find anything wrong. It looks like I got lucky! Now comes the difficult decision. What distro should I put on here. It’s a 700MHz Pentium 3 CPU. I plan on buying 256MB of ram for it, but so far I don’t have more than the 64MB it came with. At the moment I am leaning toward Arch Linux because it seems customizable like Slackware, but looks like it might be updated more often. I am apprehensive to switch away from Slackware, but I figure I ought to experiment with something new. I’m afraid Ubuntu would be too slow. But that’s probably more Gnome and KDE’s fault than anything else.

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