Netbooks (current generation)

Most current netbooks have x86-compatible Intel Atom chipsets (allowing for example to run Windows or possibly ?Mac OS X).

A netbook with 6-cell battery can be had for $340.

Older Notebooks and Tablets

Toughbook matrix.

Some current ebay items:

  • Bunch of CF-T2 units ends wed @9:15
  • A bunch of CF18 Toughbooks - Fully-rugged! These things rock! Selling around $300, maybe less with auction management.
  • 2004-era fujitsu tablet (P4-M) - $183 w/shipping. A nice deal if you just need something to get you through the next year or two, after which the market will be very different. As a 12 inch wacom tablet, this would make a killer photoshop machine, connected to a large secondary monitor.

Hard drives for 3 T2s

Idea: buy a lot of 5 160GB drives (1) or (2) for $50-$70. See this seller’s history.

As backup, buy lot of 7 40GB drives for $50 (5). More lots, lower capacity: (3) and (4)

Software

Moblin is a really desirable Linux platform, which supports only systems with intel graphics chipsets. Anything from Pentium-M onward should work.

Ebay watches

cf-t51 (June/July 2010)

There are a bunch of these sweet toughbooks with no HDD caddy for cheap on ebay right now, some with core duo processor, some with P-M. The drive caddies are ridiculously expensive, so I want to try to find a low-cost alternative.

Cable

caddy-cable.jpg

The main problem is the connector cable, which should be a standard SATA pinout but may have a proprietary connector on one end (pictured above). I just ordered a caddy ($70!) (Sat Jun 26) and will get several core duo 51s tomorrow. My hope is that I’ll be able to fashion a cable, perhaps by soldering a new harness onto a standard SATA connector cable.

For the rest of the caddy, I plan to use duct-tape and silicon gel, perhaps prettying it up with a nice sticker.