Just gave three of my laptops back to IBM (actually, I transferred them to another employee, who will probably just dispose of them through our asset management system).
So for a few days I had 6 laptops, but now I’m down to three, soon to be 2.
Returned: ThinkPad 600X
This old clunker hasn’t been used in years – there’s a power-on password set from when someone else borrowed the machine for a while (who then forgot what it was !!), and I never got around to having the IT dept remove it). This was the first laptop I was issued by IBM – it kept me going for the first few months until we managed to get some decent machines.
Returned: ThinkPad T22
This machine was nice – it was my main machine for a couple of years, upgraded to 768MB RAM and it had a 14″ 1400×1050 screen – my first exposure to that resolution – which I have come to love over the years (a good balance between 1024×768, which is too low, and 1600×1200, which is too high for such a small screen size). After spending a couple of years connected to my Concept II rowing machine doing workout management, for the last 18 months or so, this machine was sitting under a shelving unit beside my desk acting as a server.
I installed the free VMware Server vitualisation product onto it, and built a VMware image to host my server based applications that control my backups, including site and database backups for all my websites, plus my EPG (Electronic Program Guide) information download for my digital set top box / PVR via IceTV. Has worked really well for this purpose. I will be sad to see this nice reliable machine go.
Returned: ThinkPad T43
This was my main machine for the last 2 years after having my T40 stolen while in New Zealand over the ANZAC Day long weekend in 2005 (I was there for work). I’ve not had a great run with this machine – first, it developed a noisy CPU fan which started to drive me nuts with the constant whine. It took me a while to get it fixed, because I new I’d be without my machine for a week or so while it was repaired – and I just couldn’t afford the downtime just then. Was such a relief when it was fixed. Next, I found it to struggle with the speed of the hard drive. Despite installing a new 80GB 5400 RPM drive, which should have been faster than the standard drive it came with, I found it took a long time to boot (much longer than other similar machines), and was often quite slow when under heavy load that required a lot of disk IO. I never did get to the bottom of that issue! The final straw was the screen problems that started developing in the last couple of weeks as described in a previous post. Very annoying. While I’ve enjoyed the 15″ 1400×1050 screen and 2GB of RAM, I’m not really that sad to see it go.
Not yet returned: ThinkPad T41
This has been my “official” work issued machine for the past 3 years … although I only used it for about 12 months before I got the T43 and relegated this T41 to “demo” duties. The 1024×768 screen was a step back from what I had in the T22 previously, but it was a nice fast machine and very light – which made it quite good for traveling with. Of course, I ended up travelling with 2 laptops most of the time, so any weight benefit from this T41 was really negated by the heavier T43. With 2GB of RAM it worked well – and I was quite happy with the design and reliability of this model – so much so that I bought one second had last week !! I’ll be handing this laptop back to IBM on Friday. Ironically, as this machine reaches 3 years old it will be replaced with a new standard-issue laptop, which is currently one of the lower powered T60 models – that would have been nice to have.
New server: ThinkPad T41
This is my personal replacement for the server duties the T22 was performing. To get it operational, all I had to do was install VMware server and map some network drives, and then just boot the VMware image off the NAS drive connected via the Gigabit ethernet connection. Easy as. I decided to buy the T41 secondhand after being impressed with my work issued machine.
New workstation: ThinkPad T60
This is my main machine now – the first laptop I’ve actually “owned” (ie paid for). I’ve had it for a week now, and am very happy so far – it’s fast, responsive, the keyboard is a pleasure to use (although I could have done without the new “Windows” keys – a waste of space in my opinion). Although I was very tempted to buy the new 15.4″ 1680×1050 widescreen version, it was just too expensive, so I went for the 15″ 1400×1050 screen that I know and love so much … and it’s great.
… so this is my recent history with ThinkPads … but of course the history goes a lot further back when you consider the IBM reseller / business partner I worked for back in Adelaide … I used to get new laptops every couple of months as my boss kept selling mine to customers !!! I went through pretty much the entire range of the ThinkPad 380 family over the course of 18 months … and I still vividly remember the first time I saw a ThinkPad 600 that one of the sales people managed to get for himself … what a thing of beauty it was back then ! Ahh – memories.