My Dell Latitude E7470 laptop finally died today. Maybe it's a bit strange to feel sentimental about a carefully crafted piece of metal, but I poured my heart into that computer. The battery had been acting funny for the past few months, incorrectly displaying in the motherboard BIOS. It also caused a lot of headaches by causing kernel panics and slow charging. Today the BIOS didn't detect the battery at all, causing screen flickering and unreliable power status. I could barely open the BIOS. I've already replaced the battery two times before, but I think the battery connector must have been damaged or degraded over time. In any case, I think it's time to move on. Since my latitude served me so faithfully these past few years, I want to dedicate this short blogpost in its honor.
I received the laptop around 2018 from my dad as an enterprise toss-out because the battery had swollen to the point of almost breaking the case. He managed to save it from garbage and gave it to me knowing I would repurpose it (which I did). I immediately ordered a new battery and replaced the busted battery making the commercial laptop as good as new.
My latitude was powerful. It housed a Skylake i7 CPU with 2x8 GB RAM, a 256 GB M.2 SSD, and a vPro Intel wifi chip. I used it for all sorts of intensive tasks such as software and kernel compilation, higher-end games and game development with Unity, Electron apps, and heavy OpenGL usage. The CPU handled whatever I threw at it like a champ.
I also used it for most of my OS hopping and experimentation. I've run almost every operating system I've ever used on it: Windows 10, Archlinux, Artix, Manjaro, NixOS, FreeBSD, and of course OpenBSD.
The latitude and I have been through a lot. I've replaced its battery twice. The keyboard had to be replaced after I accidentally spilled water all over it. I bought a new AC adapter after someone ripped the stock charging cord while it was plugged into the wall. I've reapplied thermal paste to its CPU and heatsink. I even swapped out wifi cards with a spare because I wanted to try a different network interface. The latitude endured it all with no complaint.
As much as I loved that computer, I knew it was wearing down. Regardless, the latitude will always hold a special place in my heart.
Farewell, latitude. You will be missed.