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My new HP tank-top

April 28, 2013


I Found this HP Pavilion dv6000 in the garbage well over a year ago. I didn’t have an AC adapter for it so I left it in my storage locker. Later I sent it off with another binner who said he had an adapter; he didn’t, and I finally got it back about a month ago.

As soon as I acquired an adapter I began playing with it. The casing was very clean and unmarked. There was no internal hard drive, but it booted a variety of live media. I was especially pleased to see that it booted Ubuntu with no problem, making it the first computer driven by an AMD processor to do so. It still had its wireless card, which was recognized by every distro I tried.

It had a much faster processor, and about twice as much RAM, as my little Acer Aspire One 533 netbook.

The HP also had a standard ratio screen — much better than the the Acer’s 10.1-inch netbook screen (1024 x 600 resolution) which was, height-wise, 40 pixels off standard ratio. I had found that a number of Linux applications, including GIMP, but mostly KDE applications, such as DigiKam, would draw windows 1024 x 640, and somewhat important buttons such as “Save,” would be stuck down in the right-hand corner — in that 40-pixels below the bottom of my Acer’s screen.

The HP was more a tank-top than laptop, but I had a bike trailer.

I bought a 250 GB Apple Toshiba SATA laptop hard drive from another binner for $5, or $10 dollars. I cajoled a binner with more hardware experience into helping me install the hard drive, which he did with the aid of an adapter doo-dad. In gratitude, I gave him a bag of $13-worth-of-nickels.

The old six-cell battery didn’t hold more than a ten-minute charge anymore.

Research showed that brand-new it was only rated for two hours. Luckily I found Leading Age Computer, a store at Kingsway and Joyce, in the Collingwood neighbourhood of Vancouver, which was selling a suitable twelve-cell battery replacement for the dv6000 for a mere $60.00, taxes in.

This battery alone may weigh as much as my Acer, and it’s twice the thickness of a six-cell, but it’s gives the dv6000 over four hours of life on a full charge

I installed Ubuntu 12.04.1, because my experience with 12.10 on the Acer made me remember all the better qualities of 12.04. Now that it’s installed I’m remembering that 12.04 is not without blemishes. But I know I can successfully un-install Unity from 12.04, which absolutely wasn’t the case with 12.10.

The specs:

OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 32-bit
Memory: 2.9 GB
Processor: AMD Turion(tm) 64 X2 Mobile Technology TL-60 × 2
Graphics: Unknown (to Ubuntu)
Disk: 240 GB

True there is a vertical blue line (sometimes lines) that sits about two-inches in from the right side of the screen, but I knew that was there from the first distro I booted — I’m told it has to do with the graphics card, which in this HP, is soldered in. Anyway, I believe HPs have poor build-quality by design, so any or all of it could go poof at any moment. So far though, I’m pleased.

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