Toshiba C850 – A Little Story about Linux

Edit (4 Jun, 2020): This Toshiba c850 originally had 2GB of RAM. It actually upgrades to 16GB. Yesterday, I put an additional 8GB of RAM in it, for a total of 10GB. It now runs like an absolute dream. What a little beauty! With this computer, you don’t have to upgrade RAM evenly. You can put in 2GB and 8GB — but the 8GB has to go in first.

Let me tell you a little story..

Let me save you thousands of dollars and years of frustration and grief..

Right now I am using the Ubuntu distribution of Linux on my old Toshiba c850.

You can see that even in 2012 this computer had a pretty average review on cnet.


This computer originally had a HDD (which is a spinning hard drive), but it died (I blame Windows) and I put in the cupboard for years.

About 2 years ago, I put a 250GB #SSD in it and installed Linux, just to play around with Linux; even though my daily driver HP was running fine. I’ve been playing with Linux for about 13 years, until I made the switch 100% in late 2019.

This week my HP died which runs both Windows and Linux. I can fix it, but it needs a fan. But until that one is fixed (or until I buy a new computer), this little old averagely rated Toshiba with pretty low specs is helping me out in a pinch.

Now I am getting to my point; the thing I want to say..

I would rather use this old averagely rated (in 2012!) Toshiba ANY DAY OF THE WEEK, than to use a brand new Windows computer!


This old thing boots in about 10 seconds because I put a solid state drive in it (which has no moving parts). Everything I open or click on opens IMMEDIATELY.


It’s amazingly fast. 100% responsive. No grinding, no fan noise, quiet as a mouse, everything is running like a dream.

No viruses, no bugs, no bloatware, no back doors, no spying on what I am doing, no random updates grinding the guts out of my HDD until it fails.. none of that..

I could actually get away with just using this PC for good — except I am a huge multitasker. I am a guy that is usually working on a website and has video editing software open, working on images at the same time, a couple of YouTube tabs (to get tips and help on my projects), etc.

This little Toshiba can only do so much. But I am VERY proud of its performance for what it is. It’s a true soldier!

With this little Toshiba, I can only do one thing at a time. ie: Only browsing, or ONLY graphic editing or ONLY video editing. But that’s ok, because it does that task perfectly without ANY complaint.

If it died tomorrow, I’d still pat it and say: “You were with me through thick and thin”, and lay it to rest with a tear in my eye.

I just thought it was worth the time to take a moment to let you know how good Linux actually is.

To be clear, I am insisting that even if someone put a brand new Windows laptop in front of me right now, I’d still rather just stick with this old Toshiba with Linux and a SSD (solid state drive).


If all you do is browser stuff online and watch videos, do not go and buy a $1000 or even a $2000 computer. All you need is a $350 Celeron or even an i3 (intel).. whack Linux on it and you will get at LEAST several years out of it; probably even a decade like I have with this Toshiba.

If this nearly decade old computer with only 1.8GB RAM (which is TINY) can run Linux like a dream in 2020, I PROMISE you that the latest “$350” computer of today with 4GB of ram will be perfectly fine for you. If you want to go ALL out, maybe you can spend a whopping $500. But you don’t need to spend more than that if you’re running Linux.

If you’re a content creator or rendering videos etc, you can probably get away with an i3 CPU, but I’d recommend at least an i5 CPU for around AUD $700. Remember to always get a SSD not a HDD!

But most people I know don’t need all that power because they just browse around online.

The ONLY thing I strongly recommend (at the risk of sounding redundant) is to make sure the computer has a SSD (solid state drive). 250GB is more than enough for most people.

Anyway, that’s my story 🙂

I hope I will save people between $1000 and $1500 in 2020. You don’t need to go and buy a $2000 computer.

You ESPECIALLY don’t need to use Windows.

I now consider Windows to be an abomination.

I know that many people will catch onto that in 2020 and beyond.

Oh, or you could go buy an Apple for $4000.