Just remembered – my other “new” laptop arrived today too !!!
I bought a reconditioned T41 ThinkPad from IBM (probably ex-staff machine), to use as a server.
I’ve been running an old T22 for the last couple of years as my always-on server, which runs my backups and my digital set-top-box EPG (electronic program guide), plus various other scheduled tasks which I run overnight. Alas, I’m going to need to give that machine back to IBM shortly, and I really didn’t want to go back to running my desktop machine as a server – it is rather noisy and creates a LOT of heat (my indoor thermometer reports a steady increase in temperature in the room by when that machine is running – can add as much as 5 degrees to the room temperature !!!).
I was considering running a new Mac Mini or AOpen Mini PC (about the same size as the Mac Mini), but they were both quite a bit more expensive, and potentially noiser than this laptop. I also get a free screen with a laptop that I wouldn’t get with the other devices. The T22 runs the free VMware Server software and runs a virtual machine across the network off my RAID NAS box, so it doesn’t matter that laptop drives are typically slow. I use the VMware remote console software to control the machine from my desk – I have the T22 currently sitting under a shelving unit in my study – only pulling it out if the physical machine needs a reboot.
I wouldn’t normally buy second hand, but I’ve used T41 machines for a while and I know they are very good and very well built. IBM provide a 3 month warranty and a new battery – and also fix up any physical defects (other than scratches and such). It’s a pretty safe way of buying a cheap laptop.
I haven’t even set the machine up yet … been too busy with my T60.