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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cheapest way to upgrade your laptop -- using USB!

I'm using an aging T41 IBM ThinkPad for work, I don't mind working with this dinosaur since it has proven to be robust enough to sustain my daily battering.

Since Windows is popular for crashing every once in a while, the T41 Leveno system installed make sure that Windows will not be corrupted. It just freezes everything and with just a reboot will bring back it to life -- even Windows doesn't seem to know it had crashed either thus it wont run all those recovery utilities that makes a simple crash worser.

But since this is a dino-laptop, finding peripherals for it are hard. That's where the USB devices comes in handy.

Disk space is one of my major concern, I use much of it for development especially when working with C# server applications so I bought a USB to IDE cable for 400 pesos and plugged-in a normal 80Gig SATA SeaGate HD for desktop.

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As a bonus it can also 2.5 (laptop) HD, the only cons is you have to carry around the extra power strip since desktop PC eats up more power that what USB can usually provide -- but its cheap! So cheap that I afford to just buy another HD any day if it gets full or if it crashes. I also found out that you can plug this during boot up so you can install/run another OS into the desktop HD.

Here is a video (kinda blurry) where detects the HD on USD a physical HD with 3 partitions rather than as removable disks.

Here is a screen shot of My Computer window, I'm using Vista Drive Icons for a cooler effect ^_^

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As I said, I use up a lot of HD so I still ran out of portable storage most of the time, so I also bought a 1Gig USB MP3 player for emergency cases. This also comes with Voice recorder, Video Player, built-in Radio plus I can play basic hand-held games like Tetris and it only cost 1200 pesos. That beats iPod shuffle by folds -- plus I can add additional 2Gig via it's built-in micro SD slot!

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With all these USB drives I quickly ran out of USB ports on my laptop but no worries, I just bought a 4 port USB Hub so I can fit in my USB mouse and bluetooth dongle at the same time and it only cost 150 pesos. There's a cheaper circular orange version which only cost 80 pesos but I fancied the neon yellow color ^_^

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So what's next? I'm planning to buy a USB TV tuner (1300 pesos) so I can watch my favorite sport's program whenever I'm stuck at the office and it can also record or output my desktop into a normal TV during office film showing sessions. I can even plug an additional LCD monitor and upgrade my dual desktop into a 3 way view desktop! ^_^

PS: If you want to go this path with your laptop upgrades just visit first CDR-King, they have lot's of cheap USB devices where I also bought most of the stuff I featured here. If you're a USB fanatic like me, just blog it post a link under comments so I can link it with this post.

USB poweeeer! ^_^


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