I do have a spare ready to take over if needed. Old hardware could always die very suddenly. It's a frugal solution, both cheaper and more ecological than buying new.
If anyone here is planning to do the FHD upgrade, be very careful with power, you need to remove the battery/power cable and press the power button a couple of times to discharge all capacitors etc, otherwise you will blow a microscopic fuse (I did!) and it's near impossible to replace it. I just soldered a bridge between the contacts! I just can't do anything wrong again or I'll fry something.
It is most likely due to poor quality batteries. The "cells" in a 9-cell battery are 18650 batteries, which vary in capacity from 3400mAh at the high end, to counterfeit ones that are labelled to have 1200mAh capacity, but in reality have only a fraction of that. Lithium-ion batteries also have a limited shelf life, so even good quality aftermarket batteries will have a fraction of the rated capacity if they have been sitting in a warehouse for years.
Battery had been disconnected, also the CMOS battery. I usually remember to hold down the power button for a few seconds. Dang.
Didn't chase this further, as I am clumsy with board-level repairs, and my friend didn't want to throw more money at the project.
Edit to add: Obviously this is an i5 laptop from 2012, much newer than some of the other machines in this thread. Although it's not my daily driver anymore I do still use it for music production.
I wish the multiple replacement batteries I got for it over the years were as performant ;o)
About dying suddenly; that goes, in my experience, far more for new hardware. Old hardware (especially if we are talking ‘ancient’ hardware like before 1995) has a lot more signs of giving up and a lot easier ways of fixing it when it does. I have machines that dies that first started smoking so you could pinpoint what component gave out. The x220 is not quite that old but because I have a stack of spares but one favorite, I have been able to fix it after it suddenly died quite easily without just replacing the entire thing. That will not happen when your 2018 mbp suddenly dies.
(I was sure I'd have complaints about the keyboard until I spent a solid month on one and then I raised that the old style keyboard just hurts my hands. It's a little less proof against spills, though the computer underneath is still fine about them.)
The other part is keyboard - I absolutely believe that if I used a T480 for a couple of weeks I could get used to them... as long as they were the ONLY thing I ever used. But that's not my use case. I have client laptop, and a lot of regular keyboards for my desktop and laptops. They all have the standard home row (Insert/Home/PgUp, Del/End/PgDwn). It's not that laptops have changed this pattern - it's that each manufacturer and even model changes it _differently_ (and seemingly needlessly), which makes it hard to have a consistent muscle memory for these keys:<
As for keyboards--that's why I brought my machine to clients when I was a consultant, and specify the same laptop at my new job. ;)
Main thing that worries me is the bios, but coreboot seems to work.
It's funny the one I bought new direct from Lenovo in 2011 is still fine, but I was able to upgrade doubling the core count and getting USB3 by assembling out of I7 parts.
I am thinking of finally upgrading to an X280 or an X1 but I am afraid the keyboard will be too much of a downgrade.
If you were to use it primarily docked and with a Thunderbolt dock, though, I could see it being pretty awesome.
Sure the x220 has a good keyboard compared to its replacements but the other thing it has is superior mechanical design: you NEVER have to prye apart plastic pieces. Want to change me more? It's one screw away. HD? One screw. Keyboard? 3 screws. Battery? Push 2 tabs, pull the battery pack.
Sure it's a bit thicker, but I don't understand when that's an issue ever, at least I can use it on trains, cars and even airplanes as long as they don't have those space-invader-reclining-seats.
Every new laptop I look at is just worse design, less upgradable (note: I only look at laptops with track points, the other ones are useless to me). What happened? Why have laptops gotten worse?
I advise installing an SSD and thinkfan or TPFC. Mine is mostly silent (except when watching video)
I didn't replace the HDD because the longer load times aren't really an issue. It's the parts that require some processing power that are a bummer. And this is also where the noisy part comes in, given that it's in high load for longer stretches. I prioritized lower temps over lower noise, this may have helped with the longevity.
I might throw in an SSD just to show the little workhorse some love.
See https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/166876/macbook-pro... for more info
Now I'm just waiting for this newest one to kick the bucket. There are already some stability issues. Once it goes, I'm going to try fixing the thermal paste myself (https://www.ifixit.com/Story/20939/MBP_2011_GPU_Nightmare). I have all the parts and tools in my desk drawer ready to go for when it's game time.
I don't really know what I'll do if that doesn't work. I've considered getting a refurbished 2015 MBP.
but it would be nice if we had good aftermarket hardware support, so maybe this is a fine time to rep.
my x220 is a delightful experience. awesome mechanical keyboard and (with SSD & 16gb ram) pretty snappy on all the websites i need it for.
Solid machines indeed!
I found a way to turn 16:9 into an advantage: if you go for 70-character columns, you can get a 3-column display in a tiling WM or Emacs if your resolution is 1280 or more pixels horizontally (there are 5-pixel wide fonts out there, but none of them are very legible).
I had that very machine with 1 GB RAM (though with a SSD, its SATA1 (!!)). Couldn't run GNOME 3 on it, but more lightweight stuff like XFce ran great.
It also can't do VMs well since it lacks the hardware extensions, and it can't do Docker either.
The only good about it was the rfkill, the chasis, the ThinkPoint, the detachable battery, the price, the keyboard, and Coreboot.
It has more USB ports than my current MBP which also lacks rfkill and doesn't have a detachable battery though the trackpad is the best (2015 version).
Total agree with regard to hardware design / ergo superiority over the MBP -- that's exactly why I made the switch
Huh, I don't think this is correct. A lightweight Linux distribution such as Debian can make very good use of even a spinning-rust HDD, as long as it has enough available RAM that it's not hitting disk all the time. As I've mentioned in a different comment, even 512MB RAM can be more than enough _if_ you have no need for a web browser.
Could be rephrased as “I’m assuming you are using a fat IDE or equivalent such as any big commercial content creation software”.
But let’s call at least a modern browser par for the course for professionals.
For using 10 year old apps, or apps that haven’t been made a lot heavier in the past 10 years, obviously you won’t need more than a 10 year old computer.
The Penryn Core 2 Duo made the Macbook warm and noisy (the joke was that it's called Air because the fans push a lot of air all the time), while the Haswell-ULT chip literally pulls ~1W for the whole package at idle, and the fan often just stays off, and even when it's on it's very quiet.
And one other (but not as extreme) example was the 2011 Sandy Bridge laptops such as the mbp. Several years later if you got a new dual core the difference wasn’t that big.
(I’m now talking perf only, not temp, noise, idle power,... - I typically don’t even use laptops witiut the power cord attached)
> "Thanks to the limitations of physics and the current transistor material designs, increasing clock speed is not currently the best way to increase computational power."
In around 2006, the CPU industry became a commodity industry & innovation has since come in the form of Instruction Level Parallelism (ILP) rather than the engineering of faster CPUs. That shift is responsible for your 10+ year old laptop still being viable.
You're absolutely right, but what I'm trying to get across is that the CPU design problem has largely shifted from being capacity-based to being efficiency-based, and this happened pretty silently in 2006. Sure there is still innovation capacity in the CPU industry, but it's qualitatively not the same kind of approach which evolved the Apple 2 into the iPhone.
Personally I look at the energy efficiency of the human brain and think there's a lot of performance improvement to be done for synthetic processors, I just don't think major developments will be as easy, fast, or predictable as they were before individual CPUs kind of stopped getting faster.
It did recently go down and I pulled out a 2008 MBP. Mostly adequate, lag does start to show, though. My guess is that it's an issue of constrained memory (max 4GB?) as much as processor. Tops out at El Capitan, though, so it won't be viable too much longer. Linux seems to be the slow lane of the upgrade treadmill.
A consequence of this is that an SSD upgrade in machines of that era can be quite dramatic, especially if you're memory-constrained. Might not be too helpful in the 2008-era machine (an SSD might be bus-limited there, not sure what generation of SATA those machines have), but the impact on a 2012-era machine (if it shipped with a traditional hard disk) can be huge.
It's surprisingly effective with an SSD and even just 8GB RAM, though 16GB is still more comfortable. It seems to work better when the memory demand is coming from multiple apps rather than from a single app with lots of windows/tabs/etc.
10.7 (Lion) came out nearly 8 years ago. That's the sort of difference in time between windows 3.1 and windows XP
It showed it's age and lagged a lot with more intensive software like Fusion 360, but overall was a pretty good machine for 10 years.
But it still works!
Thinkpads are wonderful machines with lots of upgrade options. A T61 with an SSD and ram upgrade is quite usable for most everything except high quality video playback .Performance on win10 is ram dependent but with i3 and debian installed ram usage at idle is so so so low (sub gig)
If you have a complete aversion to 4chan, any model that has a 1080p screen would be a good quantifier, I am not sure how many pre IBM sale thinkpads exist with that requirement though. The W series tends to have the best graphics processors as well. The T series being their general line and the X being their portable smaller laptops.
But it's getting harder and harder to find 32 bit images. I like Ubuntu Mate 18.04 32 bit though, I recently installed it on my Eee 1000he (2009, Intel Atom CPU) for my son. I could even stream Netflix in Firefox. Not smoothly though. I wanted to fit it with an SSD... but I believe there are no PATA SSD drives :) (at least not in my possession currently.) Not sure if it would make a difference also given the speed op PATA.
Best part of my VAIO: it runs Win7 Pro. Compared to a 2015-era Dell Latitude running Win10 Pro, it is more stable (Chrome crashes regularly on Win10, seems 8gb RAM is not enough for Win10), better touchpad (new ones lack edge scrolling), quieter & less active fan, way less behind-the-scenes activity (updates, unwanted services, malware checks, etc), Aero's look & feel is so much better than Win10. I really, really, can't understand Microsoft's strategy in removing so many of the good things about Win 7. Does anyone prefer the Win 10 UI over Aero???
The (very minor) cons of this 10-year old laptop: Blu-Ray drive no longer works. No sound except through headphones. The manual "wireless" switch no longer deactivates wifi/BT. Battery life was never very good, the machine is pretty much useless if I am not near a plug.
Really wish Sony was still in the laptop game.
There are a few. They mostly use the same controller chips that CompactFlash cards use, and you may be better off getting a high-end CF card and an adapter. SATA to IDE bridge chips also exist, but I doubt you'll find an adapter packaged correctly for use in a notebook.
Sort of. The part about diminishing returns is arguably true, but hardware didn't stagnated.
What happened is that _software_ stopped bloating and inflating like a balloon, as was the norm through the '80s, '90s and early '00s.
When a Microsoft OS requires _less_ resources than it's predecessors (like early Win7 compared to early Vista), you know upgrade cycles will be much longer than before.
Unless you're handling high definition video or playing AAA games, of course. But for any other "mundane" task, the only reason to upgrade from a 5 or 6 years old machine would be an un-repairable hardware malfunction.
Is that true though?
Windows might have gotten more efficient but I think overall most software has gotten worse from a performance perspective. With the prevalence of Electron everywhere, performance doesn't even seem to be a priority anymore. And "native" apps using WPF, etc. aren't as optimized as old school WinForms, MFC style apps (though there are other benefits to be had).
Granted, that wasn’t a professional machine, but I’d say expected memory for a machine has grown 4x in a dozen years.
A dozen years later would be 2006 - if memory serves, a decent laptop in those days would have run you about $1,200-1,500, and would have come with a Core 2 Duo @ ~1.2Ghz, 2GB of RAM, and a ~40GB HDD.
That's a lot more than a 4x increase in specs!
I don't think this is true, especially with the growing trend towards web apps being repackaged as desktop applications.
And then Electron came out and... well, there went that dream.
...using my TRS-80 Model 100.
Don't get me wrong - it would be a nightmare and no fun, and some things just wouldn't be possible.
Though that's definitely not what the author had in mind...
The first programming job I was ever paid for, I did a large part of dialed in through a modem over landlines. Emacs was fantastic for that! (Because it's an OS masquerading as an editor.)
I later swapped to a macbook because the chromebook kept dying. In that 1 year period, I went through 3 chromebooks, which all ran into some kind of memory corruption or thermally-induced restart issue. It was the HP 13 inch chromebook, which I will be avoiding like the plague in the future. I still really like the chromebook battery life and the general "very lightweight portal to the internet" kind of paradigm, though.
A kind neighbor gave one to my kids. It had no games, so they were not really interested. I thought it was great! Super long battery life, great wifi reception with the external antennae, very ruggedized. It had some fork of Fedora iirc. I kept it in the van. There was a lot of free wifi in those days. Plenty good to ssh to a screen session while out-and-about.
The OS has a lot of limitations on doing local development work, but if you're connecting to a remote server you get a great quality screen and remarkably long battery life. Apple lists "Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music."
Keyboard has its own battery (default connection is bluetooth, you can use a USB-C cable if that's not reliable enough). It's not clear to me if it can use its battery to charge the iPad or not. Either way, you can always carry a USB-C battery pack to extend the iPad's life even further.
The thing about the Model 100, was it was pretty robust. Not mil-spec, but pretty darn good for a consumer device. I've read about it being used by researchers someplace like Antarctica. iPads are pretty good that way, but they do feel like a luxury device.
I'd like to see more "consumer-level stout" devices. Give me plastic: much more robustness without added weight, and let me just not worry about knocking the thing around.
On the iPad side of things you have options like the Rugged Book Go from Zagg: https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/01/07/ipad-ipad-pro-get...
Apple's phones have turned into absurdly priced luxury items, but the $800 starting price for an 11" iPad Pro feels pretty reasonable for what it is.
EDIT - admittedly the hardware is overkill for running terminal sessions, something more like a Chromebook would be a cheaper fit if the battery life and screen were of similar quality
I guess it isn't considered important because we all have phones most likely charged, but still, it would be nice
Most chromebooks fit this bill nicely. Pixelbook is fantastic if you also want a premium hardware experience and native ability to run a linux environment locally.
They do. They are called Chromebooks.
(...No, I'm not going to look for the correct custom firmware for whatever my model of Chromebook happens to be, or put up with a machine that will wipe its storage unless I hit the right key combo as it boots! Again, that's hardly a marker of a professionally-built device!)
This didn't happen with a cheap windows laptop, and likely wouldn't have happened with a roll-your-own linux laptop.
A chromebook isn't for me, or you, but it's great for parents/inlaws.
Set Kiosk-mode for all the machines and if a user has a problem, close the lid and open again, its working again.
Need everyone to have a new tab in the browser? Update in the management and boom, everyone has it.
Of course, the usage case assumes the users will do everything on the cloud using Chrome but that's surprisingly usable these days for non-tech users.
The license is really cheap for non profits (like $30) but is about $150 for regular businesses. It seems like quite an add-on for a $300 Chromebook but it really turns end-user computing fleet management into almost a set-it-and-forget it appliance.
It works totally fine for SSH sessions and a web browser interface to not-very-complicated intranet tools accessed via a VPN, such as ticketing system, network monitoring software, etc.
If I want to leave a monitoring display of something running, I fullscreen it in a browser, rotate the thing into its tablet mode and prop it up against something on my desk.
(For the record, my X40 had an ultra-low voltage Pentium M Dothan running at 1.1 GHz.)
It worked great for me, and did everything I needed or wanted it to do. I actually didn't use my T430 at all that school year, because the X40 worked fine for everything I was doing.
Unsurprisingly, it was fine for doing assignments in Python and C. It wasn't perfect with DrRacket -- I had to close and reopen every half hour as memory usage increased -- but it worked, and then I realized I could just use `gracket` or `racket`. I did a bunch of PDF/image editing in GIMP to clean up the lousy scans one of my professors gave us every week to read from. I wrote papers and presentations in LibreOffice. I killed time on reddit. I taught myself how to do CAD in SolveSpace. Most impressively, I ran CompuCell (a voxel-based biochemsitry simulator) in a windows virtual machine, fully interactively and only slightly slower than my classmates' computers.
I loved that computer. The battery would easily through one 90-minute class, and I could stretch it through two if I knew I wouldn't have an outlet. The keyboard was perfectly sized for me, and very comfy to type on. The trackpoint worked and felt great. (People didn't ask to borrow the laptop, since it din't have a trackpad.) The display fitted a satisfactory amount of stuff on it. It had real USB ports on it, just as people started having laptops without any USB-A ports at all. Using a laptop that was just able to do everything I needed it to do, I felt a lot more like I was working with the laptop, rather than just on it. (Perhaps this is a similar feeling to what people get when driving Maxda Miatas or BMW M3s -- working with the machine to get the most out of it.) And, in my eyes, it looked great -- a platonic ideal of a laptop.
Unfortunately, the X40 has a fatal flaw -- the southbridge tends to die. When that happened, I spent another $30 on a new motherboard. That also died, right around the end of the school year, in late spring of 2017. I decided I didn't want to to through that again, and I gave away the husk of my favorite computer ever -- my own "oldest viable laptop".
$150 is in the territory of "Drive to store and buy in an emergency".
Having a normal xubuntu environment does give an advantage of being able to install a much wider variety of software compared to the chromebook OS, unless we're talking about replacing the chromebook OS with debian + xorg + your choice of desktop environment.
I wouldn't run Xcode on a non-SSD MBP, though.
And you'd be able to run up to 10.11 (El Capitan) on the Pro or 10.7 (Lion) on the MacBook.
or switch to any current linux, if you can figure out the 32bit efi booting
Multiboot Debian ISO FTW, there. (And rEFInd 32-bit as a bootloader for the installed system.) This trick also helps deal with crappy low-end hardware that is 64-bit capable but ships with 32-bit UEFI and Win 8/10 installs. (They do this, or at least used to, because Win 8/10 in UEFI mode is restricted to running the same architecture that the UEFI is. A 32-bit UEFI only runs 32-bit Windows, and 64-bit UEFI only runs 64-bit Windows. Of course, Linux is not so restricted - and it certainly can boot from 32-bit UEFI and then switch cleanly to 64-bit operation!)
If your primary use is typing (coding), you'll probably prefer the machine that's better to type on.
The best ThinkPad of course is the 25th Anniversary Edition having 2017 hardware with the classic keyboard. That's what I am typing on right now. The next best is a hackfest: take a T430s with an i7 iGPU, for some demented reason Lenovo put a Thunderbolt 1 controller in those (also the S430 and then the next ThinkPad with Thunderbolt is the P50 w/ TB3 four years later). Now comes the hacking: add the classic keyboard and also the high quality full HD screen from the T440s using a Chinese converter kit -- the 30 series used LVDS, the panel uses eDP so you need a converter. I have a T420s with that hack. Thunderbolt 1 is obviously slower than Thunderbolt 3 but still, any TB3 eGPU enclosure will work. As the T430s can have two 2.5" SSDs and an mSATA SSD, you can add quite an amount of solid storage to this -- much more than the TP25, the TP25 maxes out at 2.5TB currently, while the T430s can do 9TB. The NVMe disks are of course faster in the TP25 (even though one is x2 the other is x1) but the feeling in everyday tasks is not going to be vastly different -- the big jump is in HDD to SSD. You are also limited to 16GB RAM vs the 32GB RAM in the TP25. And the CPUs are even closer: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-3520M-vs... Your battery life won't be awesome, alas.
Not to mention they cruise along on things that use the newer extensions for things like video playback, plus the integrated graphics hardware is much much faster
 50-60% is absurdly large for single core, the reality is 20%, and 300% is crazy. The T480 uses a 15W quad core on the same 14nm process as the 15W chip in the T470 and because it's slightly more power efficient there's a little gain, about 25-30%. So the difference between the Sandy Bridge T420 to Kaby Lake Refresh T480 is perhaps 50% in multi core.
Here's my favorite Sandy Bridge to Kaby Lake IPC benchmark collection: https://www.hardocp.com/article/2017/01/13/kaby_lake_7700k_v...
T480S i5 141
T460S i5 105
X220 i5 100
Double the score of the X220 and quadruple the score of the T480 and you're going to end up about 575 to 205 for multicore, which is almost 3X as fast.
This doesn't even bring GPU or SSD performance into the picture. Just raw CPU.
I love my X220 but Windows 10 will regularly bring it to it's knees, even with an SSD and 8GB of RAM. And that's not even doing anything, I'm not sure if it's updating or what. Not to mention it's not exactly a thin machine, the 1366x768 screen is mediocre...The 1080/2K IPS screens coming to the Thinkpad line finally made them usable, IMO. Even the old IPS screens in the X220 tablets were still dim, low-resolution, etc.
What is the oldest laptop that can run an up-to-date, internet connected OS (i.e a museum device with the same OS from 1991 doesn't count). It doesn't have to have a fancy desktop, but it does have to support connectivity to the internet, and run all the latest security patches and updates.
This is different than the article because optimizing productivity isn't an objective, just how long the device can be updated before it becomes impossible to do so anymore, analogous to vintage car maintenance.
For really, really old hardware, I suppose FreeDOS is always an option-- they're currently working on version 1.3, so it would theoretically count as something that's "up to date" - although I wouldn't actually trust FreeDOS software to be secure on today's internet. It does have an auto-updater of sorts, though, FDIMPLES.
In my experience with older Thinkpads, 512 MB is adequate for basic browsing with Firefox, 640 MB allows you to avoid swapping on most heavier pages, and 1GB is enough for even the most intense pages, and is adequate for browsing with numerous tabs open.
TinyCore isn't really any lighter or faster than Debian in most respects. It has a tiny install size, but that's because it either downloaded applications from the internet or loads them from .tgz files. It isn't substantially faster or less memory-hungry.
In the first category you'd have trouble finding a modern linux kernel for 32-bit, and distro, that is actually "i386". Since most things long ago dropped support for CPUs that don't have the i586 extensions and things like MMX/SSE. The 32-bit kernels you can get now, as far as I know, require at least a P166MMX or better to function properly.
In the second category, you need something with enough CPU and RAM resources to run a barebones xorg + openbox desktop environment, or xfce, or lxde, or similar. And then the ability to run a browser and terminal applications.
NetBSD i386 says "Any i486 or better CPU should work - genuine Intel or a compatible such as Cyrix, AMD, or NexGen."
tl;dr atomic instructions XADD and CMPXCHG, and serious bugs in many 386 CPUs. Also BSWAP was added in the 486 and speeds some things up a lot.
For more practical use I'd draw the line to 2003; with T40/R40 you got USB 2.0 and Wifi, both things that make life much easier. From spec point of view you got Pentium M CPU (with SSE2 and all) and top end models shipped with 512M of RAM (upgradeable to at least 1GB!).
That also serves to demonstrate what dramatic progress happened in just 3-4 years.
The next 3-4 years also saw fairly significant improvements, T61 from 2007 has SATA (allowing SSD upgrade) and first 64 bit CPUs, supporting up to 8 GB of RAM. That gets you in the realm of mostly practical daily driver.
The Apple //c is already pretty close to a laptop, and can be turned into a laptop with Apple's the flat panel display and third-party batteries.
If laptop-ifying a desktop is okay, there are people who have turned Atari XLs and Commodore 64s into laptops.
For all of these ancient computers, you can easily buy or build ethernet (or, more recently, esp8266-based wifi!) adapters.
The biggest catch that I know of is that you would need a newer computer to periodically build and flash updates. Contiki is not self-hosting.
On a similar note our Logistics Manager had used T42 with Windows 7 on daily basis as his only work computer well into second half of 2018. Coincidentally just today I had repurposed that particular T42 to serve as host for various industrial automation related configuration tools.
I've used thinkpads for a while. Starting off with a T430. With a quad core, and 16gb of ram and three SSDs. The two pain points were the display and weight.
I upgraded to a T440s, which fixed the screen and weight. But the ram became a deficit (12GB max). I worked around this by RDPing into a dedicated server I colocated. This offered a beefier desktop on demand (32GB ram + hexa core). But this also faltered because of poor internet connection outside of my home generally. The thin client works very well, as long as you have good internet. But good internet is very difficult to find.
I upgraded to an A485, most recent ryzen. It clocked in around 1200 after upgrades. All my older thinkpads were around 200 total. It's not worth it.
It's not just the core components. The dock was an extra 200. I picked up older thinkpad docks and carried the same model for several generations. I got them used I think for under 50. I had one at every junction of my house. Dock to the media center, desk, bedroom, etc.
From what I've seen the next thinkpad line is going to be even less upgradeble. Which is a real shame. That feature really extended the life of any business model.
It has served me well for 6 years (I bought it secondhand), but it started to definitely show its age.
It started to have difficulties playing youtube videos and the like, these consuming a lot of CPU, and consequently battery life started to drop to below 2 hours (plus the aging battery didn't helped), and fan noise started to get somewhat annoying.
It also had some scars like marks on the screen or partially broken keys (I've not necessarily treated it well, compressing it in bags or having dropped it on more than one occasions).
It is still usable, and I will convert it for other uses (mpd server probably). But it was time to replace it with a newer laptop, the new one is a secondhand Thinkpad x250, and it's definitely an improvement, quiet, more powerful, 6 to 8 hours autonomy. I hope it will last about as long as the x61 that served me so well.
Mind you, when I purchase, I try to "future proof" them as best we can. The last batch we bought for our general office users, where i5's with 16GB ram and a 512GB SSD. For our devs, I generally set them up with a super-fast ultra-portable(think mac air or dell xps13) as most of their heavy lifting is off-loaded to our private cloud. And so far everyone report very high satisfaction with the setups provided.
As long as it does not fall and break apart, it is gonna work forever. But hey, it is thinkpad so...
Sometimes a bit of time spent with no mains supply makes you value electricity that bit more and how big your carbon footprint really is. You can also decide to dim the screen a bit and do some real work as playing some rubbish video will bring that power meter into the red way before the parents come back.
Also it is a good way of finding out how long the battery actually lasts. One imagines there will be four hours or more but then that isn't necessarily so, particularly if running Ubuntu with the bottom of the machine so nice and toasty.
(I've had a brand new Latitude sitting unused for over a year now. I just can't get excited about getting used to a new keyboard or rebuilding my entire software environment on a new machine.)
I could do my job on a laptop from the 90s if I really wanted to. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
One thing I found absolutely necessary to make my machine usable in 2019 was upgrading all the specs to the max.
All these years as a Thinkpad user, and I had no idea of NMB vs ALPS vs Chicony. I thought the variation in the keyboard feel in the machines I own and have used was due to wear alone. Thank you for opening up an entirely new horizon of Thinkpad snobbery.
It would take a long time to do things, but there's no reason i can't do pretty much anything I do on my current laptop on there.
I am a software-programmer and use ColdFusion builder, SQL (Azure Data Studio), and various other tools like TextWrangler, RDP, Firefox, Chrome, etc. The only complaint I have is that it won't run Mojave so no "Dark-mode" but that's ok--having used this laptop for a year now, if I can squeeze another year out of it I'll probably qualify to get a more recent model.
The ThinkPad is my favorite all-time laptop design. No surprise to me that the author is still using it after getting his MacBook back from the shop.
The keyboard on an x200 is one of the nicest I've ever used for a laptop of that size (12.1" display). It covers as much horizontal space as possible so you get keys that not only have a proper amount of area to not hit two keys at once but have a proper aspect ratio.
The laptop comes with a trackpoint instead which after dailying that x200 for most of my school career, I've come to love and use it on any laptop I come across.
Were you using PowerBooks? Touchpads were unusual in laptops until about 2000, when things started going downhill. All of the 1990s laptops I used that I can remember (IBM, Toshiba, Compaq) had superior pointing devices: trackpoint or trackballs.
I always found the trackball more usable than the touchpad ...
I still fire up my T61 from time to time -- it's the only computer in the house that still has a DVD drive.
In maintenance terms It's almost a desktop. I have replaced the dual core cpu for a quad core, double the RAM, switch the hdd for an SSD, get a better battery, remove the CD drive for a 2nd caddy, added a 5GHz wi-fi card, and still have the possibility to upgrade to a IPS Panel, backlight keyboard and other gimmicks. All with a phillips screwdriver, and official lenovo guide and my thumbs.
And don't make me start talking about linux support, it's basically MacOS plug and play (in Windows you have to install a Lenovo App for the drivers).
With all the upgrades I guess you can make the case, that will all that money, I could buy a better laptop. But I don't know, there is something charming about using the same machine for a long time, and have little improvements over time, with little to no downtime and re-learning workflows.
Makes me sad, that when the time comes to replace the machine, I will not be able to repair it or upgrade as much.
The difference between this machine and a $1500 latest model machine strikes me as marginal and it's silly to drop four times as much money for something that is marginally faster.
Beautiful hardware. No issues other than chipped palm rest which Apple replaced out of warranty.
Still quite fit to run VS, Eclipse, Android Studio.
Only issue that the fan has already seen better days.
No wonder that PC makers cannot sell enough machines nowadays to keep investors happy.
The one good thing about about using the old system is that using Virtualbox isn't annoyingly slow.
I am looking forward to upgrading my work box to a linux-native desktop (System 76 or such) and joining the modern age! I was hoping to outwait Spectrum/<forgot other name> but now that is looking hopeless?
I'm running Linux and Proton/Steamplay, and play a few AAA games from 2016. I'm not really confident that my framerate would improve much if I bought a new PC.
In light of apple becoming less and less of a viable option, I have been wondering if we are going to start seeing a wave of these older machines come back into play. There's already a pretty healthy mod market out there, maybe our needs are so niche that we need to build our setups out ourselves? These older Thinkpads are modular enough that it's certainly possible. The nerd in me is excited about the possibilities. The pragmatist is a wee bit terrified. :)
It's a bit fragile now, dropping it a few times over 7 years can do that. The dual core core 2 duo and 4GB of RAM, and 9 Cell (160GB 7200RPM drive) battery meant that it was good enough for just most things for a very long time.
Of the computers I've had, it rivals the 2015 MBP Retina with being a favorite of all time. I'd possibly give it a slight edge over the MBP due to size and keyboard.
It was also nicer than the later X2xx series, IMO, which is why I went with macbooks later.
That's really, really low for a *40. Unless you mean like 90 minutes of full CPU usage.
It'd be my regular travel lappy if I could bother getting a new battery for it. Still great to code on, and the screen is far far better than the ASUS. Lighter too. (although no discrete graphics)
But battery life is a killer. ASUS lasts up to ten hours, and the Samsung barely does 2 hours now. With a power point, that's not an issue, but it's nice to have something with a bit more go.
Luckily I was able to find one and had it shipped from China. 10 minutes later it's as good as new. I found others on ebay, but they weren't actually available any more.
I had a similar experience recently for a cellphone, but instead of hardware it was software. I can't get security updates for it anymore. Except for that, it's still a great phone.
In terms of speed and performance, I can't complain too much, at least for my use.
I think we've hit a point where peripherals and batteries wear out sooner than the performance slowdown hits us.
I really should buy a 'clunky', 'heavy' laptop before they all disappear and all that's left are wafer thin machines with soldered-on everything.
I often recommend people buy a ten year old full-frame dSLR. Quality photos are more dependant on the photographer and maybe the glass... Megapixels aren't that important with a full frame sensor made in the last 15 years...
I usually recommend the previous generation old for DSLR. At phase-out Canon manufactures enough spares for an anticpiated five to seven years of servicing.
I would better recommend a good second/third generation Nikon APS-C (which is not that old) and save also money on good/cheaper APS-C lenses this way.
Stopped using it because I graduated and I didn’t want to pay the electricity bill or keep a jet engine running at night (light sleeper)
If anyone here had successfully converted an SGI to a fanless SSD unit, let me know!
I have an Origin 300 rackmount with upgraded Noctua fans, and it's quiet enough to not be a bother.
Btw, do you know if there’s a way to make the boot drive a network drive (not the install drive)? I thought I remembered the post-doc in the lab keeping a half dozen O2s alive w/out replacement drives. But I might be wrong