My new Thinkpad!

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

I’m really excited because I found a secondhand store and picked up a great used Thinkpad for less than $100 yesterday! I’ve never owned a Thinkpad before, but I’ve never heard anything bad about one, either. So when I saw it on the shelf, I had to take a closer look.

It’s an i Series 1200 — more specifically, an 1161-41J. 550Mhz Celeron, 12.1 SVGA, 64Mb, 5Gb, 24X CDROM and a modem, which I’ll probably never use.

It’s in pristine condition. There’s not a scratch on it. Both the latches are working, hinges are tight, all the indicator lights are working, keys all work, CD drive works, hard drive is (slow and noisy but) working, PCMCIA port works — it’s like new.

The only thing showing any proof of wear is the promo sticker on the right palmrest, which is worn … from palms resting there, no doubt.

It’s cute as a button, and runs like a dream. I wasn’t sure it was going to be a working machine at all, because it was sold without an OS (it has an authentic Windows ME sticker on the bottom, but I could care less about that. Of course, I’d prefer a machine that didn’t have the stain of Windows on it.) So I was kind of taking a chance.

But I hit the jackpot with this one, I think. And best of all, it’s an i686, so Arch runs like a dream on it. (Ubuntu is coming up — this is going to be my Gutsy guinea pig machine.) I’m using the crappy old hard drive (an IBM DJSA-205 … 5Gb at 4200rpm — ech!) in it, and startup is in about 44 seconds. I plan on swapping that out for my spare 5400rpm 40Gb. (Ironically, it has the same video card as the ugly little laptop. Small world, huh?)

I might put some more memory in it, but then again, I’m not scraping at all with the little memory I have, so I might wait.

And no touchpad! Just a pointer stick and a three-button arrangement at the lower center of the keyboard. It’s taking a little to get used to that, but it’s not a big deal.

The 800×600 screen is a little tight, and the battery doesn’t work (of course), but those are two things I can get by without. It’s in such fantastic shape that I’m thrilled that it turned on in the first place. If it had proven internally faulty, I would have been heartbroken.

I’ll have to sniff around and see what upgrades are possible with this. ( 🙄 I’m such a hardware geek sometimes.)

I’m really happy with this so far. I’m going to have a lot of fun with this. 😀

Of course, this means I can return the ugly little laptop to work. I’ve already plugged in the old hard drive and made sure it still functions. I’m returning it cleaner than I got it, so aside from that, it’s unchanged. It served its purpose for a little while, and I can send it back to dormancy now. Retirement is better than disposal, I suppose.

5 thoughts on “My new Thinkpad!

  1. Onyros

    Thinkpads are the best laptops in the world 😀

    Currently I have a Thinkpad X31 (12.1″ at 1024×768, 1.4GHz Pentium M, 768MB RAM, 40GB HDD – also 4200 rpm), and it’s an incredible machine.

    I’ve had a Thinkpad T23, too, and I wouldn’t mind to have kept it. Someone just made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, and I had to let go of it (let’s say that with that I could buy a used X31 by spending a further 50 dollars).

    They are just brilliant, sturdy and reliable machines. The keyboard is perfect, the “nipplepad” (lol), aka trackpad, is way superior to any touchpad I’ve ever used, and at least these two that I’ve owned and played around with are incredibly silent (and light, especially the X31).

    Congrats on joining the Thinkpad club. (and BTW, Arch + Thinkpad… what a perfect combination).

  2. Danny

    I’m hoping a nice Thinkpad will get donated to Free Geek Central Florida.

    One thing about more memory: it makes installation of some distros much easier. Other than that, you’re absolutely right about memory. The little Sony VAIO I’ve been using works wonderfully with DSL:
    Sony VAIO PII 300 MHz 64mb RAM Damn Small Linux

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