Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Astrotrain, I hardly knew ye....
RIP Astrotrain 200? - 2007
I did hardly know it. It had been sitting on my desk for quite some time. We had it around to test stuff for Mac OS X. One day we went to power it up to try something, and for whatever reason, it would never power up. My manager told me to surplus it, but I....I had other plans.
I was going to pay to get it fixed and do some playing with OS X. I'd had Mac-lust for some time, and I figured that this would be the chance to do something about it. I'd take it and use it for a bit and see how it went. Well, it sat there for months and months, with nothing ever being done with it. Until a couple of weeks ago. I saw it sitting there, and just for giggles, thought I'd try to power it up. So I did, and, much to my surprise, it came up. So I took it, put a clean copy of OS X on it, and brought it home.
Sadly, the version of OS X I put on it was more than it could bear. It was rather sluggish trying to do anything with it. And, in spite of all the bells and whistles on it, I got bored with it rather quickly. So my new play thing lost its shine pretty quickly.....
Until last week when I was waiting on a co-worker. I had nothing to do while he finished some stuff up, so I grabbed the aforementioned laptop and tried to see how Ubuntu Linux would install. It installed beautfully! And, I was in love. It's something I'd wanted to do for sometime....Linux running on Apple hardware. And so, I decided that that would be my "play" machine; the one that I would bring home and experiment with.
And play we did. I got to do some cool things. Honestly, there were some things I didn't like -- the lack of functionality in the trackpad (I wanted to "tap" it to emulate left-clicks, and, more than that, I wanted to use it for scrolling purposes. I also did NOT like the one-button mouse layout, which meant I had to use F11 and F12 for middle- and right-click capability, respectively). There was also the lack fo java and flash for it. But, it was still cool, and hey! I could watch DVDs on it. So, having not problems for a few days, I made the brilliant move to bring it do DC with me. You know, instead of bringing the one that hadn't sat on my desk for several months in an assumed dead state.
The train is where the problem began. I was in the dining car blogging, and had to get up to go to the restroom. When I came back, the whole thing was frozen. I assume it was from the bumps and shocks from the train. So I powered it down, then tried to bring it back up. I could hear stuff happening, but saw nothing. Tried a couple more times to no avail. Gave up and put it away. Got to the hotel, powered it up, it came up fine. Was able to do quite a bit on it till I watched my X-Files. Then it froze again. After that, I could sometimes get it to power up and could do a little bit on it, but inevitably, it would freeze and go a long period where I would try to boot it up and see nothing. Today, however, even after letting it sit untouched for a while, there were no visible signs of life. Audible, granted, but nothing visible. It may just be a matter of getting a new display, but they ain't cheap. I imagine that's especially true for a mac.
And so, it is with great sadness that I declare Astrotrain, my play laptop of ~3 weeks, dead. I'm not sure what to do with it. It will travel back to work with me, where it will probably sit on my desk for a while. I don't know....
Posted by Brian at 11:12 PM