I have added a 1GB stick of ram to it, but other than that the hardware is unchanged.
I am solely running Mint 12 on it as well. It was upgraded to Vista for awhile, but after getting my desktop I reverted it back down to XP to try and get some better performance. I don't think this affects anything since I reformatted the entire drive, but it is an old machine and I have seen some pretty odd things happen to supposedly formatted drives before.
As for the partitions, I didn't do the default since I read it isn't the best way to do it, so here is how I set up my drive:
/boot | ext2 | 256 Mb
swap | swap | 2 Gb
/ | ext4 | 10 Gb
/home | ext4 | 35 Gb
There is till some space free that I could stick in somewhere, but from what I read this shouldn't be too bad but feel free to smack me upside the head if I screwed the pooch with that setup.
Onto my problems:
I have a been having several issues with my wireless card. I have a Broadcom 4318 and have followed several tutorials and fixes and such to get it working. Right now it does work, but I have to run this in order for my laptop to realize that I have a wireless card and that it can use it:
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sudo modprobe b43
That's fine right now, but I have a couple weeks of classes left and am rather worried I won't remember that line for terminal and end up being stuck without internet while using my laptop on campus so if there is a more permanent fix so it will apply that itself or not need to have it applied to use the wireless card I would be thrilled to learn about it.
A small note on the card, until that line is run, it doesn't even show up as being there and being off, the computer acts like it doesn't even have wireless built-in.
My next issue is probably the one that worries me most. With Mint, my laptop seems to treat my laptop's battery like it is a lightbulb. It either has energy or it doesn't and I have no method of figuring out whether it is plugged in or not until my laptop suddenly shuts down from critically low power. I saw a message somewhere that said something along the lines of having 3 minutes of power left at 99% charge. I know my laptop is old and the battery is pretty weaksauce, but it wasn't that bad off a few days ago.
The last time this happened I hadn't flicked the power switch on my power strip, so I sat there for a few moments trying to figure out how I wasn't plugged in. So after I flicked the switch and powered it back up, it was magically at 100% battery. That is an impressive recharge timespan from supposedly near empty to full and I am only assuming I am plugged in because it is sitting at 100% battery and not freaking out on me about dieing still. In the power icon it only refers to the battery and I do not know if that is normal or if there is some sort of icon there that would indicate it is plugged in kind of like the internet icon next to it does with wired/wireless connections or where to look for this.
This last issue bothering me seems to only happen when I have my cooing pad plugged in when I turn on the laptop. There are odd popping noises and I realized it is my cooling pad suddenly going from its normal level to a balls-to-the-wall burst even though it is only a single speed fan powered via USB. This doesn't happen when I plug it in after I start up, but if it was plugged in when I start it up. I have been waiting until after it is on to plug it in so I don't have the issue, but figured it'd be best to check and make sure I didn't miss some sign of horrible impending doom.
thanks again everyone, and I apologize for the length.