What Can You Do with a $40.00 Laptop? Tonight I'm living my dream of writing curled up on my couch in front of the fireplace with a laptop on my lap connected to the Internet. Isn't that why they're called "laptops"? I bought an old Compaq 486. Not too big, not too clunky. Tiny screen, but a good keyboard. Modem (anyone remember 144 bps?) and a network card, which means that I can lug this baby from meeting to meeting, check my email, take notes, and impress my colleagues with what I'm sure will become the ultimate in geek toys--the refurbished 486 laptop. It does as much as a Palm Pilot, but does it better. It cost me $40.00. Its disk had been reformatted and it only came with a floppy drive--no CD-ROM. How does one install a recent version of Windows when one doesn't have a CD-ROM? That problem was easily solved by one of my geek friends who simply used a utility to break down the CD-ROM contents into disk-sized packets for easy copying. Life will be even sweeter when I complete customizing the laptop case to reflect my Mellow Kittiness. It's already been done by one brave geekette.

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