Okay, they're not really new, but they're new to me
Gateway 7422GX Laptop. The specs are here
(if you're interested).
I got it from my downstairs neighbor for $100, who bought a few years ago during his last year in college. After a semester the machine got bricked because XP got a virus and wouldn't boot.
Step 1: It was a college guy's computer, so I had to clean off all the Cheetohs dust and finger smudges.
Step 2: Peeled off the AMD, ATI, and Windows XP stickers.
Step 3: Installed Vector Linux. The only challenge was getting the Broadcom wifi to work, which required ndiswrapper. Everything else went smoothly.
Step 4: Popped off the Windows keys and spraypainted them black (they now match the rest of the keyboard, they're just blank).
With 2 and 4 I'm not trying to make any kind of statement; I just don't like corporate logos on my stuff, e.g. if I can avoid it I don't buy clothes with any logos or other similar markings.
Step 5: The lid was pretty scratched up, so I got a friend of mine to cut a piece of sheet metal to size for me. I then spray painted that black and attached that to the lid. Then I strategically placed some masking tape in various places, and sprayed the rest of the lid the same color.
Step 6: The fan seemed to be running a lot, and the screen flickered when I moved the monitor. So I Googled and found a guide on how to fix these problems. For the screen flicker, the inverter needed to be secured better and kept from touching the inside of the case. For the fan problem, cleaning out a lot of dust, lubricating the fans, and putting new thermal paste between the processor and the heat sink solved things.
It's now sitting on a side table right next to me. The GLMatrix screensaver is running. I'm still not a laptop guy, but it is nice to have around.
HP Pavilion 514n desktop which somebody left out for the trash. The specs are <a href="http://support.gateway.com/s/Mobile/Gateway/7305GZ/4204sp49.shtml
"[/url]here[/url] (if anybody is interested).
Step 1: Used VL Live CD to make sure all the hardware was working. Everything was fine.
Step 2: Wiped XP from the hard drive, nuked the "restore partition" (which was corrupted anyway), created several ext3 partitions.
Step 3: Installed VL 6.0 Light, which runs very smoothly on it. I ended up installing Xfce, which is what's running on it now.
Step 4: Added some RAM, bringing the total to 512 mb.
I'll probably give the HP to a local school where I help out with the computers some times. I guess I'm keeping the laptop.
Once again (or twice, depending on how you count things), Vector Linux has come through for me.
My thanks to everyone on the VL team who made this possible.