Enter Puck

Earthbound is sick. That's my laptop - two years old now. It's been through many unreasonable adventures, and is a little worse for wear. The backlight's flickered out twice (fixed by whapping the left wrist rest), the power plug broke off (fixed with hot glue), a few screws have gone missing (fixed by hoping for the best), and the CD drive is sticking 2mm out of the case (not fixed).

I'd like to be more gentle to the computer, but I also need a machine to take to classes and around campus.

Enter Puck. Puck is a not a moon; it's T41 thinkpad that my family bought at a government auction. As a thinkpad, Puck is built like a rock. As a T41, Puck is also fairly light. Its only weakness is processing power: an 800MHz CPU with 40G HD space is underwhelming.


I'm a little bit obsessive about my computer's performance. To some extent, it's weak (well, a midrange laptop). To some extent, I do a lot with it (programming, remote file management, internet, development). But mostly I like making the computer get out of my way so I can work.

Until recently, I was using XFCE. It's a wonderful desktop environment, with nice integration - all of its applications play nicely together. Earthbound (my laptop) boots to a commandline login. After I enter my credentials, .bash_profile runs startx, which starts XFCE. It works well, except that Earthbound takes fully ten seconds to start X and all the tray applications. I wanted faster. (And yes, I know I'm being absurd.)