There are actually a few things you can do for a dinosaur laptop (other
than waiting for the asteroid to appear in the sky). Here are my top
- Squeeze in as much RAM as possible. If you have a spare SIMM slot,
put in the largest-capacity module you can find. You may have to throw
away what's already in there--likely a 16MB module--and replace it with
a 32MB or 64MB one. Memory was so expensive five years ago that vendors
often skimped on it, but now that prices have plummeted, you should
pack in as much as possible. (You may also look around for a chip doubler--a SIMM two-for that lets you put a pair of chips where there's only room for a single.)
- Get a huge, honking hard drive.
You should be able to dig up a compatible 10GB or 20GB drive. What's
great is that it'll run at 4,200rpm (compared to the 3,600rpm drive you
currently have), which will result in better performance. Save all your
precious data, swap the old drive out for the new, and fire it up
(crossing your fingers that the OS sees the new drive). Take note:
You'll have to preload an operating system onto the new drive or load
it on the fly.
- Accelerate. You'll want to configure Windows to run your hard disk and graphics card at their maximum speeds.
drive: Go to the device manager, select the drive letter, and pick the
Settings tab. Check DMA for best performance. For Windows 2000, go into
the hard drive's properties, open Disk Properties, and check Write
- Graphics card: On your desktop,
right-click and select Properties. Select the Advanced tab, then click
the Performance tab. Push the slider all the way to the right.