Updating old Windows XP laptop to SSD

I keep an old tank of an IBM laptop around running Windows XP in order to talk with some legacy hardware.  A spare SSD (solid-state drive) after upgrading a different computer and thought I would install it in the beast to try and eke out a bit more performance.

First I checked the performance of the existing hard drive, a 320 GB, 7200 RPM magnetic disc model.  It should be somewhat fast at 7200 RPM compared to the original 5400 RPM drive the computer came with.

I don’t really follow computer performance, so I wasn’t sure if this was good or bad, but at least it’s a point of comparison.

Moving the information over to the new drive was trickier than I’d expected.  The computer is an IBM (now Lenovo) ThinkPad and the drive has a hidden recovery partition tucked away on it.  Last time I did something like this, I used Clonezilla and it went smoothly, but this time the software complained about the new 80GB SSD being too small.  I shrunk the partition with GParted and tried again but it still complained, possibly because of the Lenovo recovery partition named SERVICEV0001.  I wound up backing up the old hard drive with the Lenovo recovery software and then restoring the backup to the new SSD.

Running the HD benchmark showed a nice improvement.

The old drive was oddly superior in Burst Rate, perhaps because of a built-in cache.  Anyway the computer feels a bit faster.

Switches on hot air popper coffee roaster

The Poplite popcorn popper I’ve been using as a coffee roaster lacked even a simple power switch.  I ordered a couple of suitably-rated toggle switches and wired them in to control the power to the whole shebang as well as to switch off the heater while allowing the fan to keep blowing.  This should (1) allow for cooling of the beans in situ and (2) help cool the device between batches to prevent the thermal cut-out from kicking in.

The wiring inside the popper is really simple (check out the diode bridge around the DC blower motor) and I managed to wire the switches correctly by just eyeballing the scene.  Looking forward to using it.  By the way the chimney extension I made out of sheet metal works nicely.