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Resurrecting an old laptop

Yesterday I dug out my old Gateway E-475M laptop and fixed the touchpad which hadn’t worked since I replaced the USB and Ethernet ports about eight years ago. It turned out that all I needed to do was remove the keyboard and reattach the ribbon cables. I don’t know why I didn’t do that years ago.


The last time I’d installed Linux Mint on it, I’d gotten a kernel panic error and I put it away. I’d been reading about MX Linux recently and everything I read about it was very positive so I figured the Gateway would be a good machine to put it on. I’d also been wanting to create a new Multi-system boot drive on a larger USB stick so I put MX Linux 17.1 along with Mint 18.3 (Cinnamon, KDE, MATE, and XFCE) on a 16GB flash drive.

Then I booted the Gateway to MX Linux live environment and installed it. The installation was very straight forward, intended for new Linux user, and went without a hitch. I liked that it had several apps preinstalled that I would have installed anyway such as Conky and VLC. I liked that it had several Conky scripts to choose from and I found one that nicely displayed most of the information as my own script. I will have to take a close look at that script and see if I can incorporate some of it.

I’ve been using Mint’s Cinnamon desktop almost exclusively since I started using Mint many years ago and before that Gnome on Ubuntu so it may take me a while to get used to the XFCE desktop. I do have Mint 18.1 XFCE running on an old laptop but I don’t use it much.

I’ll play around with it some more and see if it grows on me. I’ll likely put it on a virtual machine once I become more knowledgeable on how to configure and use them.

It feels good to bring new life to an old computer. I guess I have a soft spot in my heart for older hardware and I’m reluctant to put it out to pasture while is still has some functionality.




This evening I wrote a short bash script to pull the necessary information for the battery, CPU, and network interfaces and writes the information to a text file. It combines the commands listed on my Conky Configuration page into a single script and provides the user with a text file from which to copy the device names and paste where necessary.

I had initially planned to include it at the beginning of the script to install my conky configuration but I’m thinking it might work better as a stand alone script. I’ll pretty up conkyinfo.sh and make it available from my Dropbox. I may still incorporate it into myconky.sh. That’s still a work in progress.

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