So I got the new battery for my old laptop by UPS today. I remember this machine always had really good endurance away from AC power, something like 5 hours one road trip, but I thought that was just an exaggeration. After all, it's a rare modern laptop that gets more than 3 hours, even without wireless.
I unplugged at around 11 or 11:30pm, and it's now almost 1am. The screen is at maximum brightness and the wireless network card has been used for moderate web browsing while I was typing the previous two posts. I still have more than 75% of the battery left. It may be a slow, bulky, beat-up machine, but it's going to be a great traveling computer for exactly those reasons. Makes me feel good to know that old technology doesn't necessarily mean bad technology, and that the money I spent back in high school is still a good investment.