Bizarre flea marker find
I like to go thrifting. There aren't many thrift shops around my place, but there always are flea markers. You can buy all kinds of stuff, from clothes to ancient meteorology equipment.
I'm not very much into fashion or meteorology though, but I do like old computers and everything related, like mice, keyboards, all that sort of stuff.
Going around I noticed a nice looking laptop. It looked nothing out of the ordinary and had a Windows ME sticker on the back. I thought, hey, what better time to try to fiddle with Windows ME than now?
So I got it, brought it home, gave it a wipe and tried to install Windows ME on it. It already had Windows 2000 but it had some weird issues, I couldn't open any context menus and everything felt like the Enter key was stuck.
After fighting with the weird external CD-ROM that had a rusted connector, Windows ME was finally installed. Naturally the screen was some tiny unreadable resolution so I figured I'd go find some drivers.
And this is where the weird begins.
There was no information about this laptop. None. Nothing came up in the search results, except some Nikon camera that had a similar name. I thought maybe it was because I searched up the model number instead of the model name, but there weren't any markings anywhere else on the thing besides that number on the back.
Okay that is weird. But what now? I couldn't find anything, no specs, no drivers, not even pictures. I even tried searching in other languages, and I only came upon one guy selling one just like this a year ago or so.
Luckily, I had copied the contents of the disk over to my external drive before wiping it, so I found a folder that had drivers for Windows 2000. Though, even after several attempts they still didn't work with ME. I guess 2000 it is.
While installing Windows 2000 I had an idea. What if I e-mailed the manufacturer themselves and asked them about the thing? That could work. So I sent them a letter and got to finishing the Windows 2000 install. The drivers from the hard drive worked and I thought that was the end of it.
The manufacturer did get back to me though. They didn't give me any drivers, but they sent me a rather detailed spec sheet. Finally, I thought. Mystery solved. Or is it?
I would like to show you the spec sheet... except I can't. Apparently its confidential information, provided to me only and I am not allowed to distribute it, even in text or in any modified format.
Did I get hold of some secret technology from 2000 or something? None of my questions were answered, and now I had even more. And don't worry, I actually did send another e-mail to actually clarify whether or not I was allowed to share. I wasn't.
With this machine's limited presence online and the whole aura surrounding it I feel like I have something special on my hands.
Anyway, thank you for reading. This article is a little verbose and not quite something you're used to seeing on this site, so if you have any suggestions or comments, let me know! I hope this was somewhat interesting, I liked sharing the story.