Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tiny 6 Year Old External PSU PC

While shopping for a small PC case, I stumbled upon this tiny little PC in the used-PC shop. It's a Hewlett-Packard e-Vectra machine, measuring 3.5" x 9.4" x 10.7" (9 x 24 x 27 cm). That's roughly the size of a telephone directory! Interesting thing is that it uses an external AC/DC power supply (like the Pundit) except this is a very old system. It's a Celeron 533Mhz with 128MB SD RAM, 10GB HDD, slim CD-ROM, and a Win98 license; so I'm guessing circa 2000, making it 6 years old**. I didn't realize they had PC's with external power supplies so long ago.

This photo probably gives a better idea of it's size. The LCD is actually a small 8" screen so that's somewhat misleading, but that pen should give a better idea of scale.
It seems that these machines were mainly sold to the corporate environment but now can be found floating around ebay and second hand swaps. I picked up this system for $75 including the external AC/DC brick. Normally I wouldn't even think of buying such an old processor, but it's tiny size, external PSU, and my recent tinkering with Linux (which runs so happily on such low powered machines) made this a perfect fixer-upper project.

The system booted up fine and surprisingly quick for such a dated machine. It had Win Me installed on it. There is one system fan directly under the vent holes, and the HDD is in the compartment on the left side. The main noise is the HDD whine (it's an old 3.5" 10GB) and the fan noise is audible but not obtrusive. We'll see what can be done to silence this tiny machine... The case has some stickers on it and is discolored, so it looks like a paint job will also be needed... Metallic blue/silver? Maybe something brighter?

Apparently people have been recycling these little machines for a while now; discussed here in the whirlpool forum. Technical datasheet for the E-Vectra (pdf).

** As for being old, when one thinks of a Celeron533 or even a Pentium III system, well to me that's pretty old and in my mind a long long time ago. But when I realized it was only 6 years, I was a little surprised. Certainly six years is no short time, but to think of the amazing progress in processing power over just these few years. What other items do you use that are six years or older? Maybe a refridgerator, toaster, jacket, desk lamp, home telephone, washing machine, DVD player...

Goto HP e-Vectra : a closer look


At 8/07/2006 7:48 AM, Blogger Dimitris said...

mmstac, I always wondered where you live, having easy access to such wonderful stuff. Now I know!

At 8/09/2006 5:53 PM, Blogger mmstac said...

Six years is a long time, a used PC could have travelled far in that time, especially such a small one... :)

At 8/10/2006 12:43 AM, Blogger Dimitris said...

Damn you!

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