Pre-Y2k laptop awesomeness

In the 90's I remember my father buying a Dell Latitude LS series laptop and thought it was the coolest PC I'd ever seen. At the time the Pentium 3 processor with 128 MB of RAM was a pretty sweet machine given it's a laptop AND had an integrated 56k modem. All I needed then was a local access number and I had internet anywhere! Eventually(6 years or so) it became 'obsolete' and he gave it to me as a hand me down. I LOVED this hardware and to this day think the physical dimensions gave the laptop a design before its time. It had no optical drive and inspired a project to learn about PXE services to install Linux over a network. I replaced the powercord, hard drive, battery, and rigged up a pencil eraser 'power button' to keep it going. Sadly, a lesson in heat dissipation made a transistor blow on the motherboard and 'she' was no more(I had a lot of stickers invested on the back of that screen). First thing I did was hit up ebay to find a replacement(in much better shape) but after I received it in the mail I pretty much forgot about it. Lately it has become my newest project and I find myself attempting to use it as my primary computer as much as I can. That being said, lets keep in mind the hardware in play. This is a laptop created in 1998. This is before social network websites, before flash media, before broadband internet(wasnt sure what ethernet was when I first saw the NIC). Windows '98 was the OS of the day, the internet was primarly used for static html web pages, POP3 email, and FTP. Playing an mp3 was about as multi-media as we got back then, so there's not a plentiful amount of computing resources to work with compared to today's desktop replacement laptops. That being said, this laptop is light in weight(even for today's standards), has a battery life of roughly 2 hours(incredible for the era), and has a keyboard I still use as a base comparison for any laptop I see. Like I said, I LOVE IT. So what to do in this multi-core processor/multi-gigabyte memory world we now live in? In one word, Debian. I built a new PXE server, installed Debian Squeeze with the lxde GUI, threw in an Atheros AR5001X+ PCMCIA wireless card, and viola - my infatuation is reborn.

Old school sexyness

A lot from a little