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Compaq Presario PC rescued from road verge

November 28, 2018 — BarryK

I have been away for a few days, minding my sister's dog and house while they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Took the dog for a walk every morning, and noticed rubbish being put out on the verge. This is the annual rubbish pickup run by the local Shire Council, and this being a somewhat posh neighbourhood, there is some nice stuff amongst the "rubbish".

Anyway, walking the dog, Myf is her name, 12 years old, takes her time. As we meandered past the rubbish, I spotted three computers -- then someone else pulled up in a car, and grabbed two of them, and a monitor. I managed to pick up one computer, and two USB keyboards.

When I lived at Perenjori, several years ago, I had accumulated about a dozen computers and as many peripherals. Don't want to do that again, however, a couple extra for testing EasyOS would be nice. I was hoping for a PC with nVidia graphics, but this one has Intel on-motherboard graphics.

Got home this afternoon, and highest priority was to fire it up. Works real nice. Here is a photo, setup on my desk:


Remarkably dust-free inside, just a bit of debris on the bottom, and the top, as you can see in photo, was dusty -- and sticky. vacuumed the inside, used Jif on the top, now looks almost like new. The Dell keyboard was one of those rescued, nice old-fashioned long-press keys.

Here are the specs:

Compaq Presario SR5840AN
Intel Core2 Duo CPU, E7300 @ 2.66GHz
1.99GB RAM, 500GB HDD, DVD drive
Intel GMA 3100 graphics
Windows XP Professional 2002, Service Pack 3

It is so sad that people think a computer like this is only fit to throw out. Those specs are excellent, and I booted EasyOS off a USB stick, runs really nice. Actually, Windows XP runs quite snappy too.

It has four USB2 sockets, but I could buy a card if I want USB3 -- though, as I learnt with my main midi-tower workhorse (on right-side of above photo), cannot boot off a Flash drive plugged into a USB3 adaptor card (mPCIe).

The next day, walking Myf, I spotted a Epson XP-400 scanner, and Canon MX310 scanner/copier/printer, and lugged them back. Haven't tested them yet. Actually, I wanted another printer for testing, as someone recently reported a printer failing to print from EasyOS. I think the Canon is an inkjet, don't want to buy ink cartridges, but should be able to test printing without actually printing anything! 

How old is this computer? I didn't check the BIOS date, but the Core2 Duo CPU was introduced by Intel mid-2006. This is a 64-bit CPU. I compiled EasyOS for a Nocona CPU, which is the first 64-bit CPU from Intel, so no problem with running EasyOS on the Core2 Duo. There is a sticker on the side of the chassis stating that it has Windows Vista Home Premium -- which is interesting, as Vista was released in 2007, after XP. Interesting that the owner decided to install XP. Windows 7 came out mid-2009. So, the computer was probably manufactured in 2007 or 2008, so it is at least 10 years old.  I reckon it will be good for another 10 years, running Linux! 

Tags: tech