Decided to give my old but but still reliable Lenovo ThinkPad R61 yet another new lease on life (I upgraded the memory and battery previously) by installing a new SSD and installing Linux Mint on it.
A bit of info on the laptop:Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB DDR2, all Intel chipsets (graphics, audio, ethernet & wireless)
The machine is basically used for the Internet (email and browsing) plus a bit of graphic work for posting images to Google+ and my own WordPress powered websites (I use "Pinta" mostly).
I bought it used (from Play It Again PC-used enterprise computer reseller) a couple of years ago, upgraded the battery and memory (from 2 GB DDR2 to 4 GB) and installed Linux Mint/Cinnamon on it. It ran like a champ. Of course it would, Linux distros love these old ThinkPads especially the ones with all Intel chipsets.
So I removed the old 100 GB/7200 RPM HDD and installed a new Samsung EVO 850 120 GB SSD. Removing the old HDD and installing the new SSD took less than 5 minutes.
I then installed Linux Mint/Cinnamon 17.1 and, once installed, I "tuned" the system for running Linux Mint on an SSD according to the following page:https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/ssd
As the author states at the beginning, the instructions are "best practice" settings rather than an all out overly complicated "tuning" that really isn't needed for a general use machine.
All in all, the installation of the SSD, Linux Mint and the tuning took less than an hour and even though the old R61 hardly has a SATA 3 interface (SATA 2) my trusty old ThinkPad runs like a new machine. Boot time went from 40 seconds (from GRUB) to 9 seconds and login (from login screen to desktop) went from 15 seconds to less than 5 seconds. And as you would imagine, opening applications is much faster than before.
Understanding that any new drive, HDD or SSD can fail within a short time of installation (an infrequent occurrence but it happens), I should get a good 10 years of life out of this SSD; that is if I actually kept the ThinkPad that long which is doubtful to say the least. Still, for a $70 investment (cost of the SSD), I figure I can keep the ThinkPad for another 2 years or so and still have a nice, fast experience.