About a week ago i got an old Compaq EVO N610c laptop from my brother to see if it was good enough to run Hydrogen for live usage. Specs : P4 2GHz, 512 Mb ram
I started by installing standard Ubuntu 11.04, applied all the usual audio tweaks and found out that i could get the Jack latency down to about 10ms without running into any X-runs.
Not bad, not bad at all :-)
Next i copied all the Hydrogen songs and the playlist from my main laptop to the EVO, connected my midi keyboard (to simulate the midi drum that would normally be connected to this laptop to trigger sounds and patterns) and i was rockin' !
With all the software in place i wanted to go just one step further and see if i could 'ruggedize' the laptop to make it suitable for live usage. I also wanted to see if i could reduce the setup time (connecting cables) and make it as reliable as possible.
This is what i came up with :
I used a simple flightcase that was sitting in the attic and started cutting away at some firm white packaging foam. I payed special attention to the 'hot' areas of the laptop (HD, fan) and tried to avoid any contact between those areas and the white foam.
(the temperature underneath the laptop went up to about 36 dergrees @ ambient temp of 24 degrees after a couple of hours)
I mounted the power supply in the case cover also to avoid any extra heat being generated underneath the laptop :
The power connector and the USB cable are nicely kept in place. I used a USB extension cord so the laptop never needs to be taken out of the case to connect an external midi device. This minimizes the risk of damaging the power- and USB connectors.
Hydrogen in action :
Update : i added some other bits and pieces here