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hackergotchi

ThinkPad T60p

  • 10th Oct, 2006 at 4:14 PM


TrackPoint
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

At the end of September, my laptop decided to stop working. I spent a frustrating few days trying to resuscitate it, but that effort failed miserably. After six years of faithful service, my A20m was dead.

So I ordered a new laptop. I had been looking at getting a new ThinkPad over the past two years, but had never gotten around to it. After all, my previous laptop was portable, connected to the Internet, and let me do my thing. I was prepared to go through a terrible experience. I looked at various websites, decided that I still like ThinkPads and tried to order a laptop from Lenovo through their website.

This failed miserably, so I sent them an e-mail and forgot about them. The next day, Shanley e-mailed me from her office at Lenovo Canada. Apparently, she wanted to sell me a ThinkPad T60p with the specifications I wanted. And it was cheaper than I could have possibly ordered online. In fact, Shanley was so nice at taking my money in exchange for a new computer, that I'd recommend her for any of you wanting to buy a ThinkPad. It was surprisingly painless. Just ask me for her e-mail address.

I received the machine after a weekend of waiting. It just showed up at the office is a big cardboard box. I pulled it out, assembled it, and looked at it. This is one of Lenovo's first ThinkPads and it seems like they haven't ruined it. The TrackPoint is still there, the keyboard is just as nice, and the machine is solidly built. Satisfied with my inspection, I looked around for an installation CD. That's when I realized that I had an Ubuntu beta CD I was hoping to try out. Why not?

Grabbing the CD-RW I had recently burnt, I popped it into the laptop and found that everything showed up fine. I had a brief struggle with the proprietary hardware inside my computer, but that was something that installing the linux-restricted-modules-generic package solved handily. I did, however, manage to find quite a few bugs in the whole process. And as the QA person, I certainly reported them.

I'm still getting over how fast this machine goes. With two processors, gobs of RAM, and a plentiful hard disk, this machine is going to last me for a good long while.


Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
zedinbed
10th Oct, 2006 20:40 (UTC)
Thinkpads are damn ugly and damn sexy at the same time. I love my trusty T42!
sfllaw
10th Oct, 2006 22:01 (UTC)
They're not really that ugly, I find. They're not beautiful, but functionally elegant.

Except for this blasted touchpad. ;)
ink_13
10th Oct, 2006 20:56 (UTC)
My old T22 is still providing reasonable servie at 5.5 years of age, although I increasingly covet my sister's T43.

Good to hear that the newer T models are still worth buying.
sfllaw
10th Oct, 2006 22:40 (UTC)
Well, the T22 was a really good model. It has a very bright screen compared to my old A20m.

The new T series are still beefy and heavy machines like they used to be. So they're still a good buy for the next year or so.
ze_dinosaur
10th Oct, 2006 21:09 (UTC)
Now that you have a brand new laptop, I'll have to find other things to make fun of you about :P
sfllaw
10th Oct, 2006 22:40 (UTC)
I'm sure you'll find something.
octal
10th Oct, 2006 21:24 (UTC)
I'm trying to decide between an $1100 t43 and a T60p or Z61p. I have a T43p which I'll either keep or give to a new employee, or give him the T43, once my T43p is fixed.

Having to buy all new docks, power supplies, etc. for the 60s vs. 20-43 is kind of annoying, since I have 3-4 T43/T43p machines, a bunch of batteries, a dock II, etc.
sfllaw
10th Oct, 2006 22:48 (UTC)
I think the Z61p is a little too big for a laptop. It would fail to fit in my messenger bag. Although the large 1920x1200 screen would be nice, I don't want to be spoiled by ludicrous amounts of screen real-estate.
(Anonymous)
10th Oct, 2006 21:25 (UTC)
what about the video card driver....
you are using wich ATI video card?????
sfllaw
10th Oct, 2006 22:42 (UTC)
Re: what about the video card driver....
Because it's a T60p, the video card is an ATI Mobility FireGL V5200. The free VESA driver still works, even in 1600x1200 mode. But it's terribly slow.

Modern versions of fglrx are required for accelerated video. Unfortunately, neither of these drivers support the X-Video extension, which makes video a bit clunky.
akashayi
10th Oct, 2006 21:27 (UTC)
nice :)

the model you got has one of 65 nano cpu's, right? How much did it cost?

I've just decided to save for a new laptop, and I'm a little torn between getting a macbook and a thinkpad. -_-
sfllaw
10th Oct, 2006 22:45 (UTC)
Yes, it's etched on a 65nm die. The Intel Core Duo is a nice mobile chip, although the power consumption is a bit frightening. I only get four hours of battery life on a 9-cell battery.

This machine set me back $2850 CAD, including all taxes. That's not so bad, considering that it completely outperforms all of my other computers combined.

Both of those machines seem like reasonable choices. The thing that always clinches it for me is the ThinkPoint, because I got used to using it for navigation. In fact, Lenovo gave me a free travel keyboard, which is a USB keyboard that has the little red nipple on it. I was so pleased that I plugged it into my office box.
(no subject) - cpirate - 10th Oct, 2006 23:01 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sfllaw - 10th Oct, 2006 23:19 (UTC) - Expand
princessleia2
10th Oct, 2006 23:50 (UTC)
Very nice!

I've been holding off on Lenovo to see if they stand the test of time like the ThinkPads do. I'd be interested to know how it goes for you, I might have to spring for one when the time for a new laptop comes around.

For now I use my old Dell brick Inspiron.
sfllaw
10th Oct, 2006 23:54 (UTC)
This early model seems to deviate little from the classic ThinkPad design. I have no idea whether this trend will continue, though.
(no subject) - octal - 11th Oct, 2006 00:29 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sfllaw - 11th Oct, 2006 00:34 (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
sfllaw
11th Oct, 2006 03:08 (UTC)
Suspend and resume don't work without some hacking on my part. This is because this laptop is too new for the right magic to be in acpi-support.

I assume that this will resolve itself in a release or so.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - sfllaw - 18th Oct, 2006 20:35 (UTC) - Expand
chief1ic
11th Oct, 2006 03:05 (UTC)
Do you have ACPI compiled in? Last I read (which, admittedly, was awhile ago) having multi-cpu support in the kernel was mutually exclusive with having ACPI enabled, and I was wondering if that had changed.
sfllaw
11th Oct, 2006 03:09 (UTC)
ACPI is the only way to go. And this has worked for quite a while now.

Are you thinking of APIC? That also works now.
robbat2
11th Oct, 2006 04:02 (UTC)
did your Lenevo contact let you get away from the Windows tax?
sfllaw
11th Oct, 2006 04:45 (UTC)
Nope.
(Deleted comment)
sfllaw
12th Oct, 2006 19:20 (UTC)
Oh no. Do you know what's wrong with them?
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - sfllaw - 12th Oct, 2006 19:41 (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - sfllaw - 14th Oct, 2006 16:32 (UTC) - Expand
pphaneuf
21st Oct, 2006 23:00 (UTC)
make -j3
sfllaw
22nd Oct, 2006 06:14 (UTC)
I was so excited about this possibility that the first thing I built was WvStreams.
(no subject) - pphaneuf - 22nd Oct, 2006 10:26 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sfllaw - 22nd Oct, 2006 15:08 (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
27th Oct, 2006 13:56 (UTC)
Power managemend
Hi,

did you manage to get suspend and hibernate to work? Under Dapper Drake this will crash X and all your applications.
sfllaw
27th Oct, 2006 15:15 (UTC)
Re: Power managemend
Hibernation is fine of the T60p.

There is a known bug for resuming from suspend-to-RAM.
(Anonymous)
21st Jan, 2007 11:48 (UTC)
t60p
Simon, I am thinking of getting a t60p as well. Can I just call up your friend Shanley and Lenovo Canada, order one and have it sent to NYC? Would you please post the number to call?
Alex
(julien1@nyc.rr.com)
sfllaw
21st Jan, 2007 14:32 (UTC)
Re: t60p
You probably have to order from Lenovo USA. Actually, ordering laptops in the U.S. is a lot easier than doing so from Canada.
Re: t60p - (Anonymous) - 15th Apr, 2007 17:30 (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
4th May, 2007 18:16 (UTC)
Cursor scrolls to the right
Did messiah-divine find out what was wrong with the T60P laptop. I also have one that intermittently scrolls to the right. Have to reboot to fix it. Email me at mathomas@rfmd.com, if you know what is wrong. Thanx
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )