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Short Story: So I'm Selling My Desktop...

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by BB88, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. BB88

    BB88 Kilobyte Poster Gold Member

    ...As the title suggests, I have/am trading in my Desktop PC for a Netbook! "Are you mad?" I hear you say, well yes, a little bit, but aren't we all.

    My Desktop PC was/is of reasonably decent specification. 64GB SSD, 2x1TB HDD in RAID1 as a store, 2x2GB DDR3-1333, and an AMD Phenom X4 3.6GHz. I've recently sold my GFX card, as I got bored with playing Diablo III, and I have an Xbox 360 anyhow - which I don’t play at all, just use it for Netflix.

    I purchased a Samsung NP-NC110 yesterday for what I thought was a good price, £249.99. Upon driving home from the store, all excited, and somewhat bemused at why I had just wasted £249.99 on a Netbook, when I have a perfectly decent Workstation at home, I started to curse at my damn impulse buying habit that I have.

    Now when I first powered it on, I didn’t really know what to expect. Sure I had a play around in the store, and liked the keyboard it had, and the track pad it had. It was the best of the bunch. Was it really going to live up to what I needed to use it for?

    In short, no it wasn’t, it was painfully slow in comparison. I haven’t used mechanical hard disks for a while, and I couldn’t believe how slow things took to open and install. The Windows 7 Starter Edition had to go straight away, bloated with all the rubbish software that nobody wants or uses anyway. So I grabbed my External Optical Drive, whacked in a copy of Xubuntu 12.04.1, and fired it up again, this time expecting something good.

    The LiveCD felt sluggish to me, even for Xubuntu standards, but I placed this down primarily to the 1GB of RAM, as this is where the LiveCD loads everything up to begin with. After the installation had completed, I still wasn’t happy. Things were slow, and I had a few issues with drivers, mainly graphics, and it turns out the bloody hardware wasn’t fully supported, yet.

    So, again, back came out the External Optical Drive, this time placing in a copy of Windows 7 Professional, without any of the bloatware, just a nice clean install from the VLSC. This seemed to take forever to install, including all the latest updates and software that I use. Had I just wasted £249.99 on something that I wasn’t going to be able to cope with?

    I went to bed and woke up the next morning feeling rather disgruntled, but I had an idea. What if I put in my 64GB SSD from my old Desktop PC and see if this makes any difference? So I began searching the internet for disassembly instructions for my Netbook. These weren’t easy to find, or they all seemed to cost something stupid like £30.00, and I wasn’t prepared to waste any more money, yet. So, off to YouTube I went. Nobody seemed to have posted a video on Hard Drive Replacement, but I managed to find the predecessor, of somebody making it look ridiculously easy might I add, removing the bottom of the case.

    So I ventured in to my toolbox, and found the appropriate tools for the job and began to follow along with the video. It wasn’t as easy as he made it out to be. I struggled for around 15 minutes, as the sides seemed very weak to me, and I was trying to be extra careful and not damage anything. After successfully removing the bottom of the case, a deep realisation suddenly dawned on me. That LAN port doesn’t look right; it’s at a funny angle. Had I just shorted the board, or broken a critical component?

    I could feel the sweat on the top of my brow, as I tried to carefully push it back down on to the board. Bit by bit, I managed to get it back to where it needed to be. So I thought, well I might as well try replacing the HDD with the SSD now. This was the easy part. After swapping out the drives, and putting the case back together, I was saying a silent prayer, hoping that it would fire up.

    So I plugged in the AC/DC adapter, and started it up, immediately going in to the BIOS. Success, my SSD was detected, and a huge sigh of relief was felt. I went about reinstalling Windows, and installing all my Critical applications. It took literally 40 minutes to get everything sorted, opposed to the stock HDD, which was a good 3 hours.

    I’ve since ordered a 2GB stick of DDR3 SODIMM RAM for sub-£10.00 to add a bit more to it. This should be a piece of cake to install, as there is a slot easy accessible with one screw.

    I would need a Netbook for my upcoming travels, so it makes sense to get used to using one on a day-to-day basis. The only downside I can see right now is that I can no longer run any VMs. I guess it’s time to raid work and scope out a redundant server!

    Anyway, here’s a picture of my current home setup.

    Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, MCSA: Office 365,, 70-410, 70-680
    WIP: PRINCE2 Foundation, MCSA: Server 2012, PRINCE2 Practioner
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Can't the netbook drive a decent sized external LCD ?

    Not a great home setup, but no reason why a dual core netbook with upgraded RAM and an SSD can't be a perfectly good laptop for most people.

    I was going to do the same for my travels, but now I've got my ASUS U36JC no need for a netbook, this is small and light enough, I just need to replace the HDD with an SSD and I'm good to go.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  3. BB88

    BB88 Kilobyte Poster Gold Member

    Yes it has an HDMI port, which I connect up to a 32" Samsung LCD for various things.

    I've got Spotify for all my music needs, and just connect the speaker output in to the Auxiliary input on the amplifier, and I'm good to go.

    It serves a purpose for everything I need it to do, so cannot complain.

    Also, I should be able to flog the Desktop for around £300.00, so I've made a bit of cash as well.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, MCSA: Office 365,, 70-410, 70-680
    WIP: PRINCE2 Foundation, MCSA: Server 2012, PRINCE2 Practioner
  4. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    I've got a little black metal Asus netbook I use all the time. Its got a normal HD and suits me fine, really rate it. Perfect for travel. Should be good once quad cores etc become common
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  5. RichyV

    RichyV Megabyte Poster

    I tried something similar some years ago.

    Took my Wintel desktop to bits and sold them all off separately on ebay.
    Bought a MacBook Pro laptop.

    Never had the problems that you experienced; it looked great, was fast to respond (and didn't slow down over time, or feel the amount of software installed on it was bogging it down) and everything was fine and dandy.

    Lasted just over 2 years in the end.
    The MacBook was just as good when I sold it on as it was when I'd bought it (other than the tech being somewhat older, of course...) but so many things are Wintel based that it was just a constant struggle to get the software I needed without a Windows PC. And laptops have always been a compromise and have very little upgrade potential, but are also expensive.

    Good luck with the "test", hope it works out better than it did for me...
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
    Certifications: B.Sc.(Hons), MBCS. MCP (271,272), MCDST, MCTS (680), MCITP:EDST7, MCSA:WIN7, MCPS, MCNPS
    WIP: 70-686, then onto MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure via MCSA: Server 2012...
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Yep I was tempted by a macbook pro, but few things put me off :-

    1. Pricey
    2. Office on Mac has no VBA
    3. No Visual Studio or other stuff without using VMware or Parallels

    Guess there is bootcamp but not sure how good it is and still doesn't resolve point 1.
  7. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    Nice little setup there... I guess like you said, you were aiming for portability.. I could never do without a desktop unless my laptop is powerful enough. Back in the day I would said I need my pc for VM's, but the fact that I am building a lab, I think that factor is going away. Now its more of a gaming thing for me. I also recently starting working with Ubuntu, dual booted my PC with Windows just in case but haven't touched Windows in a few weeks.
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV

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