Rick Hurst Web Developer in Bristol, UK


about the laptop

I bought this laptop a couple of years ago from Time Computers (UK). At the time as far as features went it was the best spec for the money. My old desktop PC was very under spec and limping and I needed something for web development with would run at 1024 x 768 resolution, and something I could drag between home and work (hence shelling out for a laptop) and this was the only affordable* option at that time. The advertised spec was:-

Pentium III (mobile) 600MHZ
128 MB RAM
12 GB Hard drive
15″ TFT monitor 1024 x 768

When I first got it I discovered it had a Celeron in instead of a Pentium, and after much phone calls and arguing with clueless call centre staff  “we wont change it because a Celeron is exactly the same as a Pentium ” (!!) they agreed to take it back and change the chip. They helpfully did a nice fresh install of Windows 98 SE while they were at it, wiping all my programs and settings. Luckily I had expected as much so had backed up and removed my data before I shipped it back. By this time I didn’t trust Time at all, and although the BIOS record now shows a Pentium, i’m still tempted to rip the lid off and have a look to see if it really has been changed.

It is in fact a re-badged FIC A430 Notebook.

I’m happy with it in general, I have used it for development for a couple of years with no major problems**. A slight annoyance is the keyboard which is a bit floppy/bouncy and has a space key which you have to really hit to get it to work. This doesn’t matter too much as I always plug in an external keyboard when doing any proper work on it.

I’ve now got three operating systems on it, win98 se, win 2kpro and the latest being suse Linux 7.2 professional, freshly installed yesterday and the subject of this log.

* not really affordable!
** apart from those self inflicted as a result of “experiments”