1. JJ1013

    OP JJ1013 GBAtemp Regular
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    I would like to know if there could be a way to minimize a laptop computer's physical size by slicing unnecesary parts of the motherboard, like "portabilizing" a Nintendo Wii.
     
  2. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    Is it possible? Probably to some extent, but I don't know anyone who has successfully trimmed a laptop motherboard any significant amount, mainly because manufacturers tend to use up as much of the space on their PCB as possible for components that, generally speaking, are probably more difficult to relocate vs parts of console motherboards.

    If you want to attempt it, I would strongly suggest buying some cheapo replacement motherboards (as many as you can of the same, if possible) for old laptops to test how far you can go before doing it on anything you want to actually use and keep.
     
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  3. emcintosh

    emcintosh On the internet, everyone knows I'm a cat
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    Laptops are already designed to be portable, though the development of higher resolution screens is pulling them towards being larger again. If you want to minimise the physical size of a laptop, why not buy a smaller laptop?

    They are likely to be limited by the keyboard, though. I have an 8-inch iPad mini with a keyboard case, and that is really a bit small for comfortable typing.

    If you don't need a physical keyboard, a tablet might suit you better than a laptop. Without a keyboard or trackpad, the size of the device is just the size of the screen.

    If you don't need to use it on the go, just move it between buildings with external monitors/keyboards &c., you could even dispense with the screen in the device and use a Raspberry Pi.
     
    Last edited by emcintosh, May 12, 2020
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Would it not be easier to just make it so all the laptop guts are behind the screen (presumably by extending the ribbon and power cables to the screen along with any webcam (if you want such things) and wifi antenna? Or buy a transforming laptop/tablet thing? If you need X86 processors there are surely some kind of Intel NUC or similar microPC type things you can twist into such purposes.

    That said I could see something happen, not necessarily by slicing bits off the motherboard (they are usually already pretty small and densely packed in modern devices) but by losing optical drives (assuming it is a thing), batteries, and more besides, moving any secondary boards on top of things/behind things and extending leads.

    Good luck boarding a plane with such a creation as well.
     
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  5. JJ1013

    OP JJ1013 GBAtemp Regular
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    The thing I have seems to be some kind of Intel Classmate modification made by the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela called CANAIMA. I will call it "thing" because it is from the government of the Bolivarian Grand Republic of the South American Latin American-talking Country Venezuela & Knuckles (sorry, I had to).

    "Buy". Would you like to check the flag of my country?

    Good idea. But I would have to get an SSD (which I don't have) and get over my case of being paranoic about SSDs because they could last less than HDDs because it is an oversized SD Card and because the memory blocks damage over time. Also, I would need more luck because of the country I am in.


    Also, COVID-19.


    I think it's worth a shot.

    When I get a faster microprocessor.
     
    Last edited by JJ1013, May 12, 2020
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    I have seen SSDs die.
    That was only because the hard drive controller on the laptop and was killing everything that went into it. And another for a lightning strike actually.

    Number of spinning rust drives I have seen die? I will give there are more spinning rust drives that have crossed my path but the number is in the hundreds easily (even since things started to be replaced with SSD), several of those also getting replaced with SSDs to go back into same conditions that killed those and not peep has been heard back about other (other than to say how quiet they are without a hard drive). Judging by the cases when I do see the laptops again and screen replacements for said same I imagine several more have also kept working during spills, drops and whatever else that would normally kill drives as well.

    As long as you don't get one of the very first SSDs on the market, don't get a super specialist one aimed at datacentres (don't know if they even come in SATA or m2 form), and get a reasonable model of one (there are plenty and don't just have to be samsung) you should be just fine. If you absolutely wanted to kill one then you could, however that is nothing I have ever seen a normal person (and I cast that net wide to include high frequency torrents, games, office work including databases, 3d modelling and more) has ever managed to kill one that me or mine ever witnessed.
    The laptop however is likely to have lapsed into uselessness long before writing becomes an issue.
     
  7. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    Yeah, don't worry at all about SSD lifespans. I've got a "cheapo" Sandisk SSD from like 2012 that's well into 600TB+ writes at this point as an OS drive over 8 years and 3 system changes, well over 5x its "rated" write life, and it's still operating just as fine as it was when I got it (with only a few reallocated sectors.)

    SSD lifespans are literally nothing to worry about unless you're rewriting the entire SSD multiple times every single day for months at a time. A potato Corsair SSD lasted for 1.2 petabytes of writes in 2015 before it catastrophically failed after being utterly murdered with writes 24 hours straight for 18 months. If you ever do that many writes to your SSD in the next 10 years, I'll eat every shoe in my house.
     
  8. JJ1013

    OP JJ1013 GBAtemp Regular
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    O.K. How many files did you lose with those reallocated sectors?


    I think I will end it on this idea:

    Stream the laptop's screen on my Nintendo 3DS while the laptop's on my backpack, and use my iPhone as the hotspot for W.L.A.N streaming. Finally, have a huge enough fan to get out the heat in order for the laptop to not melt, get a new battery because it's broken enough; it starts draining faster at 80% and then it turns off at 66%, and GET A NEW PROCESSOR BECAUSE IT'S ANNOYINGLY SLOW.
     
    Last edited by JJ1013, May 13, 2020
  9. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    Literally none? It's not like on a HDD where that indicates failure, they mean different things for SSDs. Every SSD will have reallocated sectors regardless of use eventually, some even when brand new.

    Reallocation for flash storage just means the Flash controller detects potentially bad sectors and "hides" those sectors from the rest of the drive. It will then use "spare" storage (which is included on every SSD, called "over-provisioning") to replace those bad sectors.

    Again, you literally have to work to actually kill an SSD these days.
     
  10. JJ1013

    OP JJ1013 GBAtemp Regular
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    Would an old computer know how to react to hidden/broken/dead blocks, or do they need a device driver?

    Or does it use a so-called NAND?

    Also, I assume an encrypted filesystem would make an SSD "literally work".
     
  11. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    It's all done via the flash controller on the SSD itself, the PC side would never touch any of the dead sectors, regardless of it's age or type.

    Regarding encryption, no, you're not performing any additional writes to the drive when you're encrypting it, and decrypting data to read it doesn't write back to the storage device, so literally no difference. Some SSDs actually have self on-board encryption, which is when data is processed via a chiplet onboard the SSD itself before any data is written to the NAND.
     
  12. JJ1013

    OP JJ1013 GBAtemp Regular
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    I forgot to detail that when I say "encrypted filesystem" I'm talking about an ext4 with L.U.K.S.
     
  13. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    Doesn't matter, there are no encryption methods that write data to the disk, then encrypt them, and then write more. All encryption takes place via the CPU, before it's written to a disk.
     
  14. JJ1013

    OP JJ1013 GBAtemp Regular
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    Huh.
    Guess that's why an automatic L.U.K.S encrypted installation adds a swap partition.

    Congratulations. You managed to tone down my paranoic brain cells.

    I think I will get a SanDisk SSD, when me or my parents can.

    In the case of MicroSDs, would you recommend SanDisk, too?
     
    Last edited by JJ1013, May 13, 2020
  15. Latiodile

    Latiodile Profesionnal Scalie
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    you'll need a bag with ridiculous airflow, because that laptop will die in a matter of hours no matter how low powered it is
    and if the laptop is from anywhere in the past 5-8 years, cpu nor ram will be upgradeable, especially on smaller models of laptops
     
  16. JJ1013

    OP JJ1013 GBAtemp Regular
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    It's an Intel Classmate modified by my country's government and renamed to "CANAIMA".

    Also, the fan will not go inside the bag. It will go outside the backpack. Or at least, in the last bag of the backpack. I should open some holes for the fan there, and probably nobody will notice it's a fan. I wouldn't like people to steal my stuff.
     
    Last edited by JJ1013, May 13, 2020
  17. Latiodile

    Latiodile Profesionnal Scalie
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    yeah that thing's stuck with an intel atom, you'd have to professionally resolder something new as all atoms are BGA
     
  18. JJ1013

    OP JJ1013 GBAtemp Regular
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    1.10 GHz. Didn't know that was s#(;ty until I played a Sonic Triple Trouble fan remake. And it's a minilaptop. <dissapointment> Hahahaha. </dissapointment>
     
  19. Latiodile

    Latiodile Profesionnal Scalie
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    if you weren't in an... unfortunate... country, i could easily suggest a ton of very usable cheap older laptops, but since you're also concerned about size, i'm limited on options as my most recommended laptop is 17" and nearly 2" thick
     
  20. CMDreamer

    CMDreamer GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Doable, yes. Convenient, don't think so.

    If you want something small, then buy a netbook, many would say.
    But a netbook lacks many features a "normal" laptop has, most of them are capability of using a better CPU, more RAM (most of them are limited up to 2 GB by limits from the motherboard).

    Trimming a motherboard laptop means that you are willing, beside making it smaller to some -limited- extent, to leave out/modify some features/connections on it, like the USB ports, HDMI, Ethernet, headphones/microphone, etc. And that's no easy task for a single motherboard model.
    Getting to the point of being able of portabilizing a Wii, means that many Wii motherboards have been damaged too far from repair, with a single laptop motherboard you don't have that possibility, unless you buy many of the very same model, and that makes it far from viable.
    But you can try, why not?
     
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