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Old 30th Nov 2012, 01:00   #1
great white
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Toshiba satellite P30 revival..."The Tank"

As in the subject line I've got an old Toshiba that just won't die.

It's a tank. Both physically and Software wise. A big, clunky, "push through anything" tank.

P4, 3.0 Ghz, but 512 MB ram. Meh, it does the job. Cpu always run low percentages, ram is always maxed and into heavy disc access.

It checks email, surf's the net, plays videos and DVD's, runs photoshop CS and does pretty much everything else I ask of it with little or no complaints.

I'll probably put more into it than it's worth, but money is not what this is all about. Just a little fun with an old friend.

It slows down from time to time, but that's usually my fault and a quick clean up gets the speed back up (at least what speed it had).

I've had it apart more than a dozen times. It's been ripped off the table by the power cord more than I can count (and resoldered inside). It's bounced down a flight of stairs. It's been literally around the world more than a half dozen times. The built in Ethernet adapter has died and is now a Belkin usb unit. Ditto with other conflicts that have been disabled.

Yes it's big, yes it's heavy but it's the one I reach for when I need it to work.

I like the speakers (Harmon and they sound really good in the context of a laptop), I really like the big screen and I've got a nice Kensington briefcase/carrier for it that I use every day even when the laptop isn't in it.

So I'm going to upgrade the old beast a bit and modify it. Time for some fun.

First up is RAM. It's running the original 512. Yup, it works ok but compared to modern machines it's sloooowwwwww!

50 bucks gets me the max 2 Gb PC2700 DDR it will support.

Next up is a backlit keyboard. I've always wanted one, usb lights suck. So I order up a Toshiba M505 backlit keyboard. 30 bucks so I'm not out much if it can't be made to work. Looks to be the same format and size as the P30. Some keys are moved around, but I can remap those if the keyboard works. I'll need to wire the leds up myself since the P30 doesn't support a lit board.

Some lighting and painting will come along also. Haven't decided on what yet but I'm 47 years old so it will be something fairly reserved yet unique. "Classy" at least.

Some cooling modifications will also be in there. I have a few ideas for that.

I'd like more USB ports, I'll have to dig around the board and see what's supported.

It's running the 5400 drive. A 7200 or maybe a SSD will come along eventually although theres probably not a lotof sense in ssd since the old beast is a pata interface. Storage isn't a big concern; I keep everything I need besides the programs on a 1 TB compact external drive and the current 55g drive is only 55% full.

Bigger battery will also be needed eventually (more piles in the case if it can be had) or at least a new one. It's almost always used plugged in, but the battery dies off within 20-30 minutes when called upon to support. I treat it more as a UPS and make sure I don't run too long on it if I'm doing anything important.

I'd like to find a way to get HDMI out of it, but there's no way to do the card change and most TV's support the PC out now anyways. It does support S-video, but that is dying out also it seems.

A better sound card would also be nice, but he proprietary nature of laptops gets in the way once again.

I'd also like to up the wifi a bit (N would be nice), but not sure what it will support.

Adding internal GPS would be nice, but not essential. Bluetooth would also be nice.

For a laptop, there's lots of room in the case so some additions may just be possible through internally wiring some USB access or by some other means.

OS will most likely stay XP SP3. I know it, it supports all my stuff, doesn't need custom drivers for the older hardware and it just plain works for me. The vista and W7 machines we also have just never feel right to me...never quite as easy to use or just seems to "restrict" you in some way.....

So, that's where I am; big dreams and waiting for parts.

We'll see where it goes and how well "The Tank" takes to it.

I just can't bring myself to chuck it out just because it's "old tech". Heck, I've still got a Compaq Armada 1750 that I use and just won't die. That one is even more of a "tank" than the Toshiba, although it just carries my tuning software for the diesel these days.....gotta love being able to still use a serial port for my older interfaces!

Yeah, I guess I'm just and old sentimental fossil....

Last edited by great white; 30th Nov 2012 at 23:43.
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Old 30th Nov 2012, 09:56   #2
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Work begins on the "case":





The basic form finished, clay work begins:







Once the clay work is done, it's into the mold compound to make the negative. Then the fiberglass work begins.

The plan is to have the front "scoops" as air intake and the case will exhaust out the back.

Kinda big, but it's already a monster of an old laptop and I'm going for a bit of an automotive style look to the front....

Last edited by great white; 30th Nov 2012 at 23:30.
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Old 30th Nov 2012, 14:25   #3
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ignore

Last edited by tp148; 30th Nov 2012 at 19:29.
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Old 30th Nov 2012, 17:22   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tp148 View Post
Hi you should probably read the forum rules,

First post should contain pictures of modding in progress....
Understood. I sent a revised post with pics but this is the one that was posted. Second post has been submitted and has pics. Waiting for moderator approval.

Last edited by great white; 30th Nov 2012 at 23:31.
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Old 30th Nov 2012, 23:09   #5
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Alienware style mod. Nice.
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Old 30th Nov 2012, 23:45   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pranja View Post
Alienware style mod. Nice.
Just buying an M17x would be nice!

The size and weight isn't a big concern for me, but the $3000 price is...
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Old 1st Dec 2012, 18:31   #7
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Work continues:



Still thinking about what to do with the center area.

I'm thinking a center "bar" like a car grill with a lighted "Toshiba" logo. I also may put some micro sized switches under it to control the LEDs I'm adding in the case and the key board. Possibly a pwm type dimmer....i don't want LEDs on full bright (or maybe not on at all) all the time.
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Old 1st Dec 2012, 23:20   #8
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Well, I started out with an "Alienware" theme, moved on to trying to make a car grill but somewhere along the way an alien face came out of the clay:



I was going for an automotive "grill" look using a cadillac cts-v as a model, but it seems the alien inside cannot be denied!

Lol.

Last edited by great white; 2nd Dec 2012 at 20:27.
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Old 2nd Dec 2012, 20:32   #9
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Well, all those days of sculpting and adjusting are over and the clay is now just a great big ball on the table.

But, it did not sacrifice itself in vain:



Mold is done!

It's a little rough, but easily fixed. The details I needed from the pour are almost perfect. The bottom will need another pour to level it out but that's about it.

Then it's on to laying up the fiberglass.....
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Old 3rd Dec 2012, 01:06   #10
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oh lordy lordy lordy!!! an old tank being remodled into an ALIENWARE tank reminds me of that idea i had to watercool an alienware laptop.... hmmm.. *goes off in a lightningstorm as month old nuerons fire up and spew dust*
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Old 3rd Dec 2012, 11:02   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siliconfanatic View Post
oh lordy lordy lordy!!! an old tank being remodled into an ALIENWARE tank reminds me of that idea i had to watercool an alienware laptop.... hmmm.. *goes off in a lightningstorm as month old nuerons fire up and spew dust*
Not impossible:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhw1n1N0hD0
http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=39547
http://hackedgadgets.com/2006/10/28/...cooled-laptop/ Interesting inline pump
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Old 3rd Dec 2012, 11:15   #12
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already seen 'em diff. is i aint gonna use no ghettofied resin block. mine'll be made fer dat crud, with a bit of a better pump if can find one. just gonna need 40 or 80 mm wide rads.... alll depends on how i restyle it, if i do that right anything goes. initially wanted to replace the gpu but hehe thats abit of a pipedream. specially considering the laptop market isnt as easy to undrstand as desktop mrkt. just gotta buy a fairly spec'd alienware and open her up.
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