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(FastCo Design)   IBM ThinkPad turns 25, gets credit for transforming laptop design from thick beige road-warrior devices to sleek black Starbucks-ready devices   ( fastcodesign.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, ThinkPad, ThinkPad 700C, ThinkPad line, ThinkPad design, IBM ThinkPad, new ThinkPad models, ThinkPad design aesthetic, ThinkPad laptop  
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550 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Oct 2017 at 10:12 PM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



33 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-10-05 07:54:44 PM  
I love my thinkpad. Thinkpad nipple 4 life.
 
2017-10-05 08:10:01 PM  
Best part of the Thinkpad was the awesome Thinklight.
 
2017-10-05 08:13:34 PM  

bdub77: I love my thinkpad. Thinkpad nipple 4 life.


It's the one thing I wish my current Lenovo has. But that thing was such a good deal I can live without it.
 
2017-10-05 09:32:57 PM  
Think Pads are my company's standard issue. They tried some Surface tablets, but the Think Pads hold up better and have more power. Just got a new one a couple of months ago. SSD and Windows 10 - it boots very quickly. The backlit keyboard is nice and even though I kinda didn't want a 15" machine, it does have a numeric keypad, which is nice.
 
2017-10-05 10:19:10 PM  

bdub77: I love my thinkpad. Thinkpad nipple 4 life.


I've always thought of it as a clit mouse.
 
2017-10-05 10:39:25 PM  
I used to write on an old Thinkpad. Excellent keyboard.
 
2017-10-05 11:09:01 PM  

Englebert Slaptyback: I used to write on an old Thinkpad. Excellent keyboard.


The 2011-era T420/T530 was the last with the nice keyboard. Except they put that keyboard in the 2017 limited-quantity Anniversary Edition.
 
2017-10-05 11:19:49 PM  

jaytkay


The 2011-era T420/T530 was the last with the nice keyboard. Except they put that keyboard in the 2017 limited-quantity Anniversary Edition.


This was in the early 2000s. :-)

I have the damn thing tucked away somewhere. No idea why. Maybe it's the SelectBay (?) 100MB Zip drive.
 
2017-10-05 11:52:22 PM  

Englebert Slaptyback: Zip drive


click
click
click

/ Only computer media I have ever used that could not be trusted
 
2017-10-05 11:55:54 PM  
The thing that's stopping me from buying the 25th anniversary Thinkpad is that they didn't put the LED on the top, though I'll admit that I'm disappointed that they went with GTX940M for discrete graphics as well. I'll probably end up with a T470p if I buy a new model this year.

My personal laptop is a T420 that I've had fully kitted out for years. It remains and amazing tool above and beyond anything else I could. That thing can have a total of up to four internal hard disks (Ultrabay, mSATA and Expresscard) or an extra 2 cell battery (Ultrabay again) or USB3 (Expresscard; it's old far too old to have them natively) *or* an honest-to-god 4x PCIe slot (again, Expresscard), which I've used to rig up a big boy GPU. They can have 16GB RAM and they have swappable CPUs, so I was able to rescue an i7 from a dead unit and upgrade a lesser model I got off Ebay for $70. And, as noted, they're among the last models  to have the real Thinkpad keyboard. They're incredibly sturdy but they're also easy (I can strip one to individual components in about 5 minutes) and cheap to repair and there's zero subjective difference between a 2011-era mobile CPU and a contemporary one given the same amount of RAM and disk subsystem.

For field service work, I don't think there's a better general purpose tool. Even if I switch to something newer, I suspect I'll be keeping my T420. Even just having the ability to clone two drives off my still-operating notebook is a good enough excuse to keep it around; I wound up doing that while standing in a datacenter just a few weeks ago.

I have nothing but respect for Thinkpads, even if I do believe the newer models have more compromises than they're really worth. At least mobile i7s finally have support for 8 threads now, so I finally have some reason to at least consider a new one.
 
2017-10-06 12:07:08 AM  
I will shed a tear when my W510 finally gives up the ghost.
 
2017-10-06 12:11:34 AM  
My W541 is a beast.  I prefer desktops and build my own, for laptops I like Thinkpad.  If the W wasn't so new, I'd think about getting the anniversary one.
 
2017-10-06 12:19:36 AM  
On my T440s right now......  it's the one with the absolutely horrible trackpad...  ugh.

I know there's a way to replace it with the one from the 450...but...lazy.
 
2017-10-06 12:54:18 AM  
As a repair Tech it was the ThinkPad's that I could never get out of people's hands.  Most of the sales folks had them and they'd bring them in just festooned with viruses and malware and hard drives making grinding noises.

"Can it be saved?" I got asked alot.

"If it can't be saved then don't tell anyone and I'll just keep using it."

I have never in my life seen people that will hang onto a machine that had more problems.  A dude with a Dell dropped the smoldering ruins on my bench and tell me that if I couldn't get it up and running perfectly in 20 minutes he'd make the boss buy him a new one.  Had another guy with a Toshiba ask me what would need to be spilled on it and where to destroy it but keep the data intact.

"Bring your ThinkPad into the office and I'll check it out."

"Oh no....if they see it they'll take it away and make me get a new one."
 
2017-10-06 12:57:53 AM  
www.computinghistory.org.uk
Used to work on these all the time in the 80s when I was a systems engineer.
 
2017-10-06 12:59:14 AM  

jaytkay: Englebert Slaptyback: Zip drive

click
click
click

/ Only computer media I have ever used that could not be trusted


And those things were a model of reliability compared to the Jaz drive.  But hell man it was 1GB!  So what if it was a 50/50 crap shoot whether you could get your data off of it, it was one gig!
 
2017-10-06 01:12:47 AM  
OH such lies! All IT old school techs know it was the awesome Mac Portable that opened the market for portable computing! And it's 16 pound weight provided the user with an awesome weapon in the event they were attacked by ninjas. And mature tech lead-acid batteries meant that they rarely caught fire or exploded. Relatively.
 
2017-10-06 01:40:37 AM  

pehvbot: And those things were a model of reliability compared to the Jaz drive. But hell man it was 1GB! So what if it was a 50/50 crap shoot whether you could get your data off of it, it was one gig!


Travan tapes were also way up there on the list of tech that sucked. And the Orb. Remember the Orb? Consumer removable storage was all pretty much shiat, so maybe the real test should be "Did Syquest or Iomega make it in the 90s?"
 
2017-10-06 01:56:58 AM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-10-06 02:01:39 AM  

little big man: I will shed a tear when my W510 finally gives up the ghost.


W700 here.  '09.  Made sure it had enough jammed into it that I currently have it running Windows 10 flawlessly, and better than some of my friends' desktop models.

Of course, it weighs like 10 pounds, but there is something nice in knowing that if someone tries to steal it from me I can use it to beat them to death and still be able to use it to immediately post to Facebook.
 
2017-10-06 02:20:27 AM  
You can have my TI 99/4A when you bring in two guys and a handtruck and careful pry it and all it's peripherals off my desk very careful.
 
2017-10-06 02:50:38 AM  

paulleah: You can have my TI 99/4A when you bring in two guys and a handtruck and careful pry it and all it's peripherals off my desk very careful.


I had the tape recorder backup thingy.  Compared to my current i7, that TI 99/4A sucked.
 
2017-10-06 04:07:10 AM  
call me a Luddite, but when disaster strikes, and electrical service is a thing of the past, you'll all come running to Pointy to work out your math problems! To two decimals. Maybe.

img.fark.net
 
2017-10-06 05:01:25 AM  

Mad_Radhu: bdub77: I love my thinkpad. Thinkpad nipple 4 life.

I've always thought of it as a clit mouse.


What, guys can never find it?
 
2017-10-06 10:01:59 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: little big man: I will shed a tear when my W510 finally gives up the ghost.

W700 here.  '09.  Made sure it had enough jammed into it that I currently have it running Windows 10 flawlessly, and better than some of my friends' desktop models.

Of course, it weighs like 10 pounds, but there is something nice in knowing that if someone tries to steal it from me I can use it to beat them to death and still be able to use it to immediately post to Facebook.


My W700 died last week. I'm seriously thinking about getting another. I've got an SSD and 2 decent sized HDD's in it. It's a shame that decent used ones are so freaking expensive.
 
2017-10-06 10:45:02 AM  
img.fark.net
Think Different.
/Yes, it works.
//USB Wi-Fi sucks.
///There's a patched BIOS that's supposed to remove the mPCI whitelist-- I just need to flash it.
 
2017-10-06 11:52:27 AM  
 
2017-10-06 12:12:00 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Bimmer Jones: [img.fark.net image 800x733]
Think Different.
/Yes, it works.
//USB Wi-Fi sucks.
///There's a patched BIOS that's supposed to remove the mPCI whitelist-- I just need to flash it.

Seems like a lot of work when I can pick up a refurbished MacBook Pro from Wal-Mart for $500:


The problem with "modern" MacBook Pro's is that since 2010 some have the hard drives and RAM soldered to the mainboard.  That ThinkPad will hold three goddamned hard drives and have a larger screen.

On top of that I'm seeing a dearth of MBP's with video problems that Apple knew about and offered warranty work for them but the owners never saw a problem and thusly never took part in it.  These machines get put into heavy use by the second owners and they just shiat the bed and become unusable.

For $500 you can get yourself into that ThinkPad with an SSD and two 1TB old-style hard drives and have money left over.

Apple used to mean something when it came to hardware.  We were talking elegant and bulletproof stuff that they stood behind.  You knew that G4 tower was going to run for so long that you'd have to replace a fan and the power LED on front.  You knew you could set up a 7200/75 and leave it and count the uptime in months.

Now it's the same crap like we had in the 90's with "Bill and Ted's Excellent Peripherals" for the PC market.
 
2017-10-06 12:13:56 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Bimmer Jones: [img.fark.net image 800x733]
Think Different.
/Yes, it works.
//USB Wi-Fi sucks.
///There's a patched BIOS that's supposed to remove the mPCI whitelist-- I just need to flash it.

Seems like a lot of work when I can pick up a refurbished MacBook Pro from Wal-Mart for $500:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Refurbished-Apple-Silver-13-3-MD101LL-A-Mac​Book-Pro-with-Intel-Core-i5-Processor-4GB-Memory-500GB-Hard-Drive-and-​Mac-OS-X-10-11-El-Capitan/51564652?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=4​800&adid=22222222228040541660&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=m&wl3=83355885409&wl4=pla​-88856510937&wl5=9060587&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=117089605&wl11=on​line&wl12=51564652&wl13=&veh=sem


Not to mention the plethora of Linux distros that will work on a ThinkPad without undue issue.  I have a
stable of garage sale computers that I've made useful with low footprint distros like the late lamented
#! for under $10.
 
2017-10-06 12:42:02 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Seems like a lot of work when I can pick up a refurbished MacBook Pro from Wal-Mart for $500


True. You have to be a bit of a geek to do this. The ThinkPad T420 I used is widely available from $225, depending on spec and condition (I rescued mine from a pallet of hardware for recycling). It's also a fairly easy model to give the Hackintosh treatment since the community has packaged a bootloader and the various UEFI shims and drivers needed to get macOS running. I had a SATA SSD lying around, so my investment consisted of a $10 USB Wi-Fi adapter and a couple of nights of not watching TV. If you have to spend any sort of money (say, $250 for a ThinkPad, $100 for an SSD, $50 for a mPCI Wi-Fi adapter), you may as well buy a real Mac.

/Ever notice that musty smell old ThinkPads get?
//Still better than getting a whiff of a Dell Litterbox 6430u
 
2017-10-06 01:59:31 PM  
img.fark.net

I remember my first Thinkpad ( I think it was a "t" series?).  Found it online in 2002 for a steal. Ever since then, I have been loyal to Thinkpad/Thinkcentre until recently. Mostly because there was always some company getting rid of stacks of them for cheap.

They also looked so serious and professional.
 
2017-10-06 02:56:33 PM  
Oh the money we wasted on those.  3 in my wife's and my post secondary career.  Came across one from 1999 the other day.  No USB, dead power supply, but it had a CD Rom and docking station.  Got a hernia lifting it too :)
 
2017-10-06 03:09:51 PM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: ArcadianRefugee: little big man: I will shed a tear when my W510 finally gives up the ghost.

W700 here.  '09.  Made sure it had enough jammed into it that I currently have it running Windows 10 flawlessly, and better than some of my friends' desktop models.

Of course, it weighs like 10 pounds, but there is something nice in knowing that if someone tries to steal it from me I can use it to beat them to death and still be able to use it to immediately post to Facebook.

My W700 died last week. I'm seriously thinking about getting another. I've got an SSD and 2 decent sized HDD's in it. It's a shame that decent used ones are so freaking expensive.


Ditto on those counts. I also got the 10-key pad, so it's a wider screen. :)

/e peen
 
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