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scrottie (4167)

scrottie
  scott@slowass.net
http://slowass.net/

My email address is scott@slowass.net. Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Tuesday January 01, 2008
10:32 PM

CF-R1 drive crashed; should I buy a P1120 or fix the CF-28?

[ #35265 ]

Appealing to group think, something that sometimes works here. I love my Panasonic Toughbook CF-R1. It's old enough that APM works, zippy at 800mhz, and tiny at two pounds. Plus it's kind of tough. No fan to clog, keys pop off and right back on for easy seaseme seed removal. But parts are a bitch, as are repairs. Replacement LCD panels cost $500, if you can find them, and I spent a week calling and requesting quotes to find that. It takes a funky 3.3volt only HD (with no 5volt connection required) but a lot of drives can be shoehorned in reportedly. This is the only machine that's survived being toted everywhere for more than a year. I have some that look like hell, with parts falling off all over and keys worn through. After years and years of use, it's little 20gig drive died. Yeah, I have most of the data backed up mostly recently. Never as good as it could be. Anyway...

I also have a CF-28 fully rugged Toughbook (like you often see in police cruisers) that needs a new backlight. It's easy to upgrade as parts are accessible. It also has two PCMCIA card slots (plus an extra hidden one) plus two mini-PCI slots. Battery life is pretty rotten even with the big battery. It's heavy. You could fit a Trojan army in its expansion bay and I'm not used to even having a CD-ROM drive so I don't see it as a real selling point. Of course, when I got this machine, I really wanted it, and my CF-R1 was laid up with a broken screen and I wanted something that wouldn't have that problem, but I missed my tiny CF-R1 and got it fixed anyway and abandoned the CF-28.

Or I could get a Fujitsu P1120 on eBay pretty inexpensively. Someone has them for $250. I should pick up one just to have it around. It's also two pounds, but at 2.5 pounds with the extended life battery, it'll run for a solid six hours, which is better than twice as good as the CF-R1. It's also 800mhz but it's a slower 800mhz with the Transmeta. Screen is smaller and less likely to break even if the CF-R1 does have paper thin magnesiam on the back of its screen. It takes normal drives. It has WiFi built in, freeying up the PCMCIA slot. Taking normal drives, I could easily adapt it to take solid state drives with an IDECF adapter. Someone even has a dual CF adapter that makes one the master and the other the slave (sorry, don't have the link, HD crashed). I could run software RAID on solid state drives -- w00t! And though it weighs as much as the CF-R1, it's physically smaller, making it more pocketable. I've been carrying an external battery for the CF-R1 to get more run-time. I'd carry another internal battery except that software suspend would lose my state.

So I could fix up the CF-28 Toughbook, fix up the CF-R1 (perhaps even with a larger drive), or I could buy the P1120. But I'm very low on funds.

Gah. I also need to put the money into a machine that I'm going to be happy with as my development environment, as it takes time I don't have to move everything, and I have quite a lot of software that isn't in any apt or rpm repository.

Thoughts?
-scott

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  • I had one of those fujitsus for about five years. Great machine, wrote some great code on it, but it's not strong enough for multitasking. It can take a hell of a beating though and keep ticking.