My New Old Dell Latitude D620

Out of the kindness of his heart, my good buddy, Andrew, has donated a gently used Dell D620 laptop to my collection. 

Not a super beast of a machine, but that’s not what I need it for.  As you can see, I currently have CentOS 6.5 installed.  I initially started with CentOS 7, but I couldn’t find wireless drivers anywhere for it, so I downgraded to 6.5 on a whim.  As you can see in that first picture, wireless works… out of the box.  Suspend works too!  So if you had any questions regarding the maturity of CentOS 6..  Here’s your sign.  As much as I might like the slickness of CentOS 7, functional hardware is more important.

Btw, output from LSPCI regarding the internal wireless:
Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01)

Also, I just can’t say no to GNOME 2.  I’ve really missed it.  Its simple, functional, responsive, customizable..  Not that GNOME 3 is bad, but there’s a certain quaintness to GNOME 2.  This was the desktop environment that I used with Ubuntu when I first started using Linux, so there’s a bit of nostalgia, too.

No official Chromium (or Google Chrome) support at this point, but Firefox works well enough.  Besides, other than the Google sign-in feature, I wasn’t really using any Chrome-specific features anyway (built-in Flash was nice though..)

So, new possibilities!  With a mobile Linux rig, I can hop on my bike and Linux at the library, or the coffee shop, or wherever.  Not to mention lugging the old Dell desktop that mom gave me to and from Andrew’s place was getting kind of old.

So that’s the good, the bad: needs a new battery, currently has a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive.

New batteries replacements aren’t so bad, ~$20.  DVD-RW drives for less than that.  What’s more intriguing, is that there’s another battery that I can buy that goes where the optical drive goes.  With a fresh new replacement battery and a beefy internal battery to go with it..  plenty of juice for the road.  The hard drive is a little on the small side..  Ultimate replacement would be an SSD.. and I’m sure it would make a huge difference in responsiveness..  But that’s pricey and can wait.

So if this sounds like something that might appeal to you, I highly recommend it!  If you’re looking for a budget (sub-$200) Linux lappy, the Dell D620 is pretty good!


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