It’s something I have been planning to do for a very long time but this weekend I finally got round to a little electonic house-keeping. As a hoarder I have a modest collection of old components that “might come in handy.” I’ve got two 56.6k PCMCIA cards. Top that.

Inevitably some of this junk is hard drives and, obviously, I have no idea what is on them, so they had to be wiped before disposal. That’s one thing I did. One of them made a noise like a dentist drill. It was not pretty.

Also, I have an old Dell laptop that served me well for many years until it was laid low by a broken hinge. To my surprise it still boots and I was somewhat delighted to discovered it was like an Arch Linux time capsule. Last login? Circa 2007. I’ve got a lot of photos which I’ll post later.

Needless to say the drive on this old favourite is partitioned to within an inch of its life. I think it might even be triple boot. So, i had to have a hunt through there for anything that could be move to our NAS or just deleted.

Generally that meant scouring some FAT32 partitions for media files but my /home directory is a gold mine. I don’t want to do just back that up in bulk, I’d rather pick through and move things I want to keep over to my desktop. The best way to do that is scp but some home network “restrictions” meant that was going to be a headache.

We live in a town house, which is lovely, but the router is on the ground floor so wireless signal in the top floor office is poor. It shouldn’t be that bad but it is. As a result I have my desktop connected directly to the router via some “ethernet over AC” adapters, which works quite nicely. However, for some time I have wanted to add an extra box upstairs and boost the wireless for (what is becoming) my wife’s laptop.

While I am certain I had a Netgear wireless router laying around I have not been able to find it since we moved house. That router would solve all my problems, including transfering my old home dir from the old laptop to the desktop. So, what to do? Dive on eBay and try and find one?

Well, I decided to give freecycle a go and quickly found a brand new boxed Netgear 15 minutes up the road. Since we were heading that way yesterday anyway I arranged to pick it up and spent a few hours setting it up last night.

Now I am all set to finish cleaning up and retire that laptop for good. I’ll also be able to give my occasional server box a permenant home.