I wonder....

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by ~misfit~, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. ~misfit~

    Ray Greene Guest

    If I do I'll post the results here.
    Sorry to hear about your pain problems, it must be hard to live with
    Ray Greene, Aug 30, 2013
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  2. ~misfit~

    Ray Greene Guest

    Thanks. There's some good info in the Thinkpad forums, surely a sign
    that Thinkpad users are an intelligent bunch :)
    Ray Greene, Aug 30, 2013
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  3. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Heh! <eg> There's always the exception that proves the rule. ;-)

    Being me of course. ;-)

    Actually I never did like (or understand) that expression - it sounds like
    some nonsense that was made up on-the-spot yet, for some odd reason (other
    people wanting to throw insults?) made it into common usage. <shrug>

    Anyway, back to your point. Yes, indeed there are some *very* intelligent
    folks who love their ThinkPads. LOL, there are also people like me who have
    extensive collections of TPs, even though I can't afford to have money
    sitting around. However the NZ buying public aren't very well educated as to
    the quality of a TP and, rather than sell these remarkable machines for what
    is an insult to their quality...

    Ads to the intelligent bunch on the forums; A huge part of the reason for
    that is that most top US 'colleges' like MIT, Stanford, Yale, Havard,
    Princeton, Columbia et al stipulated that students *had* to have Thinkpads
    (which were subject to quite hefty student discounts). IBM ran a programme
    whereby they'd train several students at each college to replace 'FRUs' and
    IBM would supply a stock of the most commonly needed parts. A great system
    for ensuring that the future movers and shakers were used to always having a
    ThinkPad at their elbow or in their luggage - and got used to having any
    problems that might occur getting fixed over lunchtime!

    That's not to say that IBM-era ThinkPads aren't /deserving/ of the loyalty
    that a lot of people feel for them - despite the hefty price tag of
    non-subsidised machines IBM ran the ThinkPad line at a loss. It was one of
    the great marketing strategies of the modern era - make sure that the people
    who're likely to be making purchasing decisions for the next few decades
    equate IBM with reliability and quality. Lose money on your ThinkPad line so
    that, a decade down the line the guys who were using them in college will be
    signing purchase orders for the profitable mainframe line.

    It also goes a long way to explain the extensive 'Frankenpad' culture. These
    same people (who likely didn't end up running fortune 500 companies) want to
    keep on using their beloved (pre-*total* Lenovo takeover) ThinkPads and so
    are focusing their not inconsiderable intellects into ways of extending the
    lives of the 'classic' ThinkPads. You and I are fortunate that these folks
    consider the T60 to be one of - if not *the* last classic TP. We get to
    share the fruits of their labours. :) It's all good.

    Then there are both the German and Asian ThinkPad fanatics who're also
    pushing the boundaries of what can be done with classic TPs.

    Lenovo did rather well out of IBMs forward-thinking marketing. (Up until
    recently the only personal computers that made it into space were TPs. There
    is quite a crateful of them on the ISS...) Even though the really
    in-the-know guys understand that Lenovo designed and built TPs (and
    ThinkCentre desktops) *aren't* the same quality as the IBM versions it
    hasn't stopped Lenovo from becoming the largest computer manufaturer and
    seller in the world. They came from a proposition in an IBM meeting a few
    years after the turn of the century to out-stripping HP, Dell etc. on sales
    this year.

    Ok, drifted off a bit there and also made a few generalisations but Lenovo's
    success was largely built on the reliability and innovation that IBM made
    sure was synonymous with the ThinkPad name. ;-)

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    [Sent from my OrbitalT ocular implant interface.]
    ~misfit~, Aug 30, 2013
  4. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Thanks Ray, that would be good.
    Thanks. Yeah, it is - especially the last decade where, as if the pain
    itself wasn't bad enough, I've been reduced to the stage where I've
    completely lost any trace of what was a thriving social life - and I've had
    to come to terms with concepts like the fact that I can't afford pride...

    Oh well, at least I've got a few ThinkPads (mainly older models and a lot
    areones I've built up from parts). LOL, a couple of years ago when my
    financial situation was slightly better I finally got my hands on one of the
    legandary 15" T43p machines, complete with 7,200rpm HDD and UXGA FlexView
    screen. It was on Trademe, description being it wouldn't charge but would
    run off battery. He'd bought a new adapter as the original had a kink in the
    low-voltage cable...

    Straight away my mind went back to something I'd read on the forums - about
    how a problem with the power could blow a tiny surface-mount fuse (F2) which
    would prevent any power from coming in from the power jack - but if you
    charged a battery on another machine it's run just fine.

    I took a punt on it. His lowest price was $100 as the screen was worth that
    (and it had the good HDD and was full of RAM...) Within two hours of getting
    home from picking it up I'd cannibalised a T4x mobo that had a lose GPU for
    it's F2 fuse and piggy-backed it onto the top of the existing one - and now
    have a pristine top-of-the-line T43p running as well as the day it came out
    of the factory!

    It pays to read forums.thinkpads if you have any spare time. I've picked up
    a few good scores like that simply because I recognised the symptoms in the
    auction and could link it to a known problem. ;-)

    Oh well, damn! The extra PKs I had today (new script day, finished up the
    few left from the old one) are finally worn off. Time to rest before I start
    cramping up.


    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    [Sent from my OrbitalT ocular implant interface.]
    ~misfit~, Aug 30, 2013
  5. ~misfit~

    Ray Greene Guest

    According to someone on Slashdot 'proves the rule' in that usage means
    'tests the rule', apparently it's an older meaning of the word.
    That's your bit of intellectual trivia for the day :)
    Well that was a good advertising technique, I imagine one mainframe
    would cover the cost of an awful lot of laptops.
    I don't know what their gear was like way back when though, but in the
    last ten years or so I wouldn't have touched any of their other

    Thanks for the history, it's always interesting to learn about these
    I did a search for Frankenpad on the weekend and I was amazed at the
    number of hits I got. People have sure put a lot of work into them.
    I'm not sure if I would go to that much trouble though. I might just
    get a T61 and leave it as standard, it would still be a good machine.
    I don't think Lenovo have much competition any more, there's really
    only them, HP and Dell. I'm an HP fan myself, well of their commercial
    range anyway, but the quality is slowly declining. The Dells I've seen
    have been OK but not enough to make me change from HP. Mind you HP
    weren't up to much until they bought Compaq.
    Best of luck to them, they'll need it to make a profit from building
    PCs these days.
    Ray Greene, Sep 2, 2013
  6. ~misfit~

    Ray Greene Guest

    Life sure can be crap sometimes. I was laid up once with a bad back
    injury that I thought was going to be permanent. The constant pain and
    inability to do stuff wears you down all right.
    Good score all right, you can do well when you have some inside
    knowledge and know what you're looking for.
    I've learned a lot already from the Thinkpad forums, I'll be checking
    them out before I spend any money.
    Bugger. Best of luck with that for the future.
    Ray Greene, Sep 2, 2013
  7. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Thank you. I should have worked that out actually, I'm aware of the
    etymology of 'prove' and 'proof'. :-/
    Yep, that was their plan.
    I now Jack and Shit about mainframes. ;-)
    It is though huh?
    It would - but it would be lacking the two defining characteristics that
    make the ThinkPad great (IMO anyway - and I guess in the opinions of a few
    others); The 4:3 aspect ratio and the IPS "FlexView" screen. The latter more
    than any other single feature set a high-end TP apart from the competition -
    and was discontinued with the T60 (except perhaps I think one of the later X
    series may have had a FlexView? X61T? Yes, that's it <g>).

    The three classic Frankenpads are the tricked T60 - usually with a T61 mobo
    and a UXGA FV screen... This is the main one and I'd love to do this
    someday. However it entails not only finding a 14" 4:3 T61 as a mobo donor
    but finding it at a time I can swing the funds, then 'tricking it out' with
    the fastest CPU and 2 x 4GB SODIMMs before DDR2 gets *too* expensive....

    But there is also:

    The SATA-modded T43/R52/X41. All of these came out with native SATA support
    but, as SATA HDDs were still in short supply and they were all the last of
    their 'lines' IBM fitted a bridgechip on the motherboard so they took IDE
    HDDs. This solved two problems; The short supply of SATA HDDs was avoided
    and it kept the TPs backwards compatible with the earlier models in their
    lines. There are a bunch of folks who've cut the SATA feeds to the
    bridgechip, removed the IDE connector and fitted a SATA connector. I have a
    couple of T43s and an R52 and I intend to do this one day myself. I'm only
    lacking suitable SATA connectors to fit to the mobo and enough time when I
    don't have a long list of more urgent jobs vying for my low-pain time. :-/

    The third most common Frankie is I think the FlexView modded X32. X32s
    themselves are really quite rare but is a great machine. I have one pristine
    X32 that I maxxed a couple years back when I had a few dollars [1.8GHz
    Dothan, 2GB RAM 320GB HDD] that is my 'carry machine' and a working
    motherboard that is a drop-in for an X31 shell, of which I have
    half-a-dozen. However the donor TP is also quite rare; It's the X41T. I
    recently took the X41t off my Trademe watchlist as it was depressing seeing
    a few listed and not being able to afford them. The machine itself is pretty
    crap (for a TP) but it's panel is nice - albeit standard resolution. (There
    was the very rare SXGA+ X61T FV that would make a great Frankie with the X32
    [if it's doable...] but it's a fine machine in its own right.)
    I read recently that, while they're the worlds biggest supplier of PCs they
    actually sold more tablets et al than PCs last year - mostly in China.


    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    [Sent from my OrbitalT ocular implant interface.]
    ~misfit~, Sep 3, 2013
  8. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    It does though! It's exhausting - which makes getting stuff done doubly
    difficult. Not only do you have the pain to contend with but also the
    Yeah, there's a wealth of knowledge there. I find this link handy;

    Good for searching the site - better than their own search engine.
    Thanks Ray. :)

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    [Sent from my OrbitalT ocular implant interface.]
    ~misfit~, Sep 3, 2013
  9. ~misfit~

    Ray Greene Guest

    Wow, too many options! :)

    I might do the T60/T61 Frankenpad if the right donor units become
    available, but I need something fairly soon as my home PC is dying and
    I've been looking for an excuse to replace it with something portable.
    My T60 is used for other things, and I want to go 64-bit so a T61
    would be a good choice.
    I think that's the way of the future. A guy was showing me his new
    Samsung tablet today and it's a brilliant bit of kit, especially given
    the size. I think that in a few years there won't be much call for
    desktop PCs.
    Ray Greene, Sep 3, 2013
  10. ~misfit~

    Ray Greene Guest

    It's better than anyone's own search engine :) Thanks.
    Ray Greene, Sep 3, 2013
  11. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    I've got this T60 dual-booting wih 64-bit W7 but, yeah, the major benefit of
    64-bit is the ability to handle more RAM and the T60 is limited to 3GB.

    If you ever source donor T61s I'm keen to have one. Oh, did I mention that,
    if you're going with a T61 board with an nVidia chip it (the mobo, not the
    machine) needs to be manufactured after 08/08? before that they had a
    massive percentage of failures due to poor solder formulation and the layers
    of the GPU daughter card de-laminating. For a while they were doing no
    questions asked replacements, even out of warranty. However they've stopped
    that now.

    (Personally, if I make a T60/1 Frankie (and get the choice) I'd prefer a
    planar with Intel graphics. No worries about the nVidia issue and also runs
    much cooler - I'm actually in the process of swapping an ATI X1400 T60
    planar for an Intel graphics one in a UXGA IPS T60.)

    The other benefits of the T61 planar over the T60 is SATA II/300 speed
    (important if you're wanting to go SSD) and gen 2 PCIe. It's just such a
    shame they didn't make the T61 in 4:3 15" with an IPS screen. Then there'd
    be no need for making it. Mind you there's a certian satisfaction to having
    'made' something that isn't available to anyone else.

    (That said there's a guy on teh forums who makes and sells 'ultimate' T60/1
    Frankies [with an LED backlit UXGA screen, an option that Lenovo didn't
    offer], he seems to turn out one a week or so. He somehow bought up new-old
    stock of the correct T61 planars - lucky bastard!)
    Yeah - although I like to have a keyboard. (LOL, I make enough typos with a
    proper keyboard!) Also I game a little - albeit with hardware that's a few
    years old so I'll be into desktops too for the forseeable future. (I tried
    consoles and didn't like them.) I guess that also being an invalid - at home
    all day every day - I have no need for a pocket-sized computer.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    [Sent from my OrbitalT ocular implant interface.]
    ~misfit~, Sep 4, 2013

  12. For Games and adaptability the desktop PC will never die.
    Frank Williams, Sep 4, 2013
  13. ~misfit~

    Ray Greene Guest

    I just priced RAM for a T61 - around $400 for 8GB!
    Old RAM prices are a killer. I think that's going to make that project
    a bit too expensive. Along with a decent sized hard drive, a USB 3
    card and the possibility of needing a new battery on an old laptop I
    might not get much change out of $1000. I could put together a very
    nice desktop machine for that price...
    I read that the later Nvidia cards had that problem solved. You can't
    go wrong with the Intel chipsets though.
    That's half the fun, it's like building a hotrod. But not as cool...
    Yes I saw that, he had set up a good wee sideline building them. He
    didn't seem to be having any problem selling them either.
    It'll be a year or two before they catch up with PCs, but it'll
    happen. It's where all the development effort is focused, and PC
    hardware has just about hit the limits for useful improvements that
    can be made.
    I'm not a gamer, I don't know if they even have any decent games for
    them yet, but you can hook up a keyboard and mouse and external screen
    no problem. I can even do that on my Samsung phone. It looks pretty
    awesome on a 40" TV screen :)
    But I'll be sticking with a PC for the meantime. I'm comfortable with
    the technology, and I find that I don't use my phone for much more
    than email and occasional web browsing.
    Ray Greene, Sep 6, 2013
  14. ~misfit~

    Ray Greene Guest

    It wasn't that long ago they said that about CRT monitors :)
    It wasn't that long ago that I took a trailer load of them from work
    to the tip. A couple had never even been used...
    Ray Greene, Sep 6, 2013
  15. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Indeed - that's why I said after 08/08 above. Any mobo manufactured after
    August 2008 was fine.
    True. The Intel graphics in the T60 is rather limited but the T61s
    integrated Intel graphics is about 2 x as powerful.
    I agree that it's half the fun. Yeah, you can't go showing it off in the
    main street like you can a hotrod (without being branded crazy). However I
    think it *is* as cool - in a geek-chic way.
    No, there are plenty of people (relatively speaking) who know just how
    awesome a well-made T60/1 FrankenPad really is and are willing to pay more
    for one than they would pay for a new i5 or i7 consumer-level machine.
    It'd be a bit of a freak-out to answer the damn thing if it rang while
    I'm comfortable with PC tech too. My phone is mainly used for phone calls
    and texting and it's not a smart phone per se. I suppose it's best described
    as 'mildy gifted', it's capable of basic web broswing and email - it's just
    a proper PITA to do so on it.


    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    [Sent from my OrbitalT ocular implant interface.]
    ~misfit~, Sep 6, 2013
  16. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    The latest FrankenPad - courtesy of a group of Chinese TP fans:


    Although whether it actually gets outside China remains to be seen. I've
    just spent an hour or so with Google Translate reading the Chinese site.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    [Sent from my OrbitalT ocular implant interface.]
    ~misfit~, Sep 10, 2013
  17. ~misfit~

    Ray Greene Guest

    I finally remembered to check back here...

    That's a pretty amazing project. You have to admire that level of DIY!
    I hope it works out, I imagine the guy would make quite a few sales.
    Ray Greene, Sep 15, 2013
  18. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    It *is* amazing and just goes to show the level of commitment that some
    people feel for the classic 4:3 ThinkPad. To design and build a whole new
    motherboard for a T4x ThinkPad that takes an i5 or i7 and has much more
    modern I/O is awesome!

    If the project ever comes to fruition and is readilly available (*and* I can
    find the funds at the time) I'd be in for two of them (or the possible later
    T6x 4:3 version). I say two because it would probably be unlikely to happen
    again and so I'd want to have a back-up. ;-)

    (Then the T43p and T42p 15" UXGA TPs I have would get a lot more use than
    they do now! Or perhaps both of my T42ps, the 15" UXGA FlexView and my 14"
    SXGA+ T42p.... One 'home' unit and one mobile....)


    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    [Sent from my OrbitalT ocular implant interface.]
    ~misfit~, Sep 15, 2013
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