I have just finished mid-life upgrades on my two year old Toshiba 2590CDT notebook. The original configuration is Celeron 400, 64MB Ram, 6.4GB hard drive, internal floppy, CD, plus standard ports.

The upgrades were required in preparation for a planned move to WinXP and Office XP.

Two upgrades had high payback.

1)Added a 128MB memory option for a total of 64+128=192MB RAM. I decided against the upgrade when I first purchased the system due to cost and no demonstrated need. Options available were 64MB @$99 Cdn and 128MB @ $149 Cdn. This compares to $250 for 64MB at time of initial purchase.

2)Built a 40GB external USB hard drive. Moved almost 2GB of MP3 files from notebook to external drive. Moved 1GB of essential static files from notebook to external. Retrieved 4GB of nice to have archive files from tape to keep them closer. Moved some files from CD to external hard drive.

Cleaned up notebook hard drive. Backed up entire hard drive to external drive, via Ghost and MS Backup.

This system is now running much faster and cleaner, and I should get at least one to two years more useful life out of it. Probably even more if I include the use the kids make of it after I give them the system (after my next major upgrade). I can also start moving safely to test, and recover from, major software upgrades.