The Laptop of Theseus

My laptop battery has died. It was working fine yesterday, but today I shifted slightly on the sofa, dislodging the power cable and the laptop blinked out. It still works when tethered to the wall - but the battery is shot.


Because shipping in non-essentials from China is so easy right now... Nah, I'll just replace the battery. A fifteen quid job rather an a grand for a new machine.

I've had this laptop for about 6 years. It has served its master well and is still fast enough for all the browsing, development, and writing I do. But over the years, it has become Trigger's Broom:

  1. A new power cable when I lost the original.
  2. Newer, faster RAM when the old lot started throwing errors.
  3. Improved WiFi / Bluetooth card - the original never worked well with Linux.
  4. SSD to replace the hunk of spinning rust it came with.
  5. CD ROM replaced with a DVD burner.

Basically, the only original bits are the bashed up case, motherboard, screen and keyboard. And the keyboard has started to stick recently. No amount of cleaning has fixed it. The coating is wearing off the trackpad buttons.

My employer provides me with a laptop - so I'm still able to work. And lucky enough to be employed. I don't need a monster which can play 3D games and live-encode video.

So I should just save money and buy a battery. And a keyboard. And not start lusting after a Dell XPS running Ubuntu. Right...?

4 thoughts on “The Laptop of Theseus

  1. says:

    Keeping tech going and resisting the urge to upgrade is laudable, from an enviro/ethics perspective. It's a shame many modern laptops are so repair-hostile. Which brand and product line is discussed in this article?

  2. I've got a laptop from 2014 that I still use. I have replaced the hard disk with an SSD (the speed improvement has made it massively more useful) and the battery and power cable.

    The RAM can't be upgraded more, though, so it's stuck at 8gb.

  3. student says:

    I think you should wait and buy one of those new Ryzen 4000 APU laptops later this year. The Linux situation is probably sketchy now but should be ok by the end of the year.

  4. Will says:

    I have a dell XPS 15 (2019) and yes definately. This is my second xps and they are definatley worth the hassle of moving and troubles of setting up Linux

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