I have a Dell Inspiron 5100 purchased in July 2003. It has worked pretty well duing these years. Lately, say last one year or so, I have had problems with it. The performance went down considerabley.
Taking cues from here and there, I went for memory upgrade and put on a 1 GB RAM chip. It did help but not as much as I would have liked.
then in July 2007 we went in our new laptop HP Compaq 6710b. Its working nice and fine, no problems.
Now, I do have this Dell laptop at home and want to put this to some good use. Selling it doesnt seem like very good idea,
a. because its not going to fetch any interesting money
b. its got a bit of emotional value for me (it was my first ever laptop)
c. I can always use a second system at home for experiments etc.
Last few months, I have tried to do a bit more research into getting this system to work better. The people around the place have suggested to do a BIOS upgrade. When I tried for the first time, it turned out that I had a really really old BIOS on this laptop and it wont be upgraded directly.
I had A06 and the current version was A32. So, I was forced to upgrade to A22 first and then only I could goto A31. I read about it on Dell Forums and have to thank dallascowboysworldchamps for the suggestion to the way forward.
A gentleman on one of the google groups (http://groups.google.com/group/alt.sys.pc-clone.dell) suggested that I should install a software for monitoring my cpu fan. Available at http://www.diefer.de/i8kfan/ this software seems to work.
It reports that my CPU temperature is fluctuating between 57 and 62 degree celcius and its regulating fan speed according to the temperature.
Overall, the system is performing much better already.
Lets see what comes next. I am thinking of installing Ubuntu on this laptop once again...