VOGONS


First post, by chris2021

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I always wanted to delve into Delphi. 32 bits apps don't aleays jive with modern os', or h/w. So it seemed a good idea to scarf up some 32 bit systems. Then the day came when I decided to get a Thinkpad. I t0ok delivery of a T61 just the other day. This thing probably doesn't work, but there should be at least a few good parts. I opted for this model, for even though it came stock with 64 bit cpus, they're early enough to be more related to 32bit cpus as i understand it. And there's a bios, not uefi firmware. T60/p mobos can be had brand new on ebay, and I'm assuming it's a drop in replacement more or less. Everyone loves new.

I've had TPs a long while ago, Pentium MMX/II era. I didn't have high opinions then. Arguably I own a modernish close kin TP right now, an Ideapad in actuality, and it may be the last model produced that generally resembles a classic TP. This T61 is a nice model, has a 15" screen. And if you're gonna go TP, go big I say. My IP has a 17.3.

Reply 1 of 25, by Brickpad

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I've got a 600E that I upgraded from a PII 366 to PII 400 (max). I've loaded it up to 288MB, which I initially thought was the maximum it could handle, but after some digging I'm finding it supports up to 512MB. I've got the optional floppy drive and originally came with a DVD-ROM that went bad. I had to do a little modification to the front bezel of DVD drive I pulled from a T23 and now it fits perfectly. The only thing I don't particularly care for is the rubber coating and those flimsy dust covers over the USB and floppy ports. Other than that I love the design and size of it. Wish some of the modern Thinkpads would take after it.

Reply 2 of 25, by BitWrangler

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I have three ThinkPads... and three Armadas... and three Aspires... and three Gateways... and three Toshibas... huh, I might be a fan of threes 🤣

Anyhoo, like anything they have their quirks. They used to be a good value used buy, but it's a bit like Toyotas I guess, they can end up overpriced for the amount of life they've got left in them.

edit: Guess I shoulda said, one 385XD one T400 one x131e ... at least I think it's a 385XD, got a terrible memory for model names that are numbers. Possibly there is a 700 series lurking unfound that used to be my wife's but we haven't seen it in a while. Not sure if she stashed it, I stashed it or it got lent or given somewhere.

Last edited by BitWrangler on 2022-02-14, 18:51. Edited 1 time in total.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 3 of 25, by Bondi

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I'm not really hardcore fan, but I've bought several thinkpads over the years that I liked and wanted to own.
330C - japanese market 486 with TFT screen
755CD - famous for being the first laptop with a built-in CD-ROM
360CE - my copy is remarkable for being in almost new condition. It has even a sticker with a P/N on the top lid. It has 486 CPU, TFT screen, and overall very nice machine. My favourite.
760LD + Dock I - rarish Pentiun laptop with sound and 640x480 TFT LCD
A21p - Flexview UXGA(1600x1200)+ DOS sound support. And overengineered beast.
A31p - Flexview + amazing sound quality
X60s - used daily as music server
X230 - my daily driver

Last edited by Bondi on 2022-02-16, 05:37. Edited 1 time in total.

PCMCIA Sound Cards chart

Reply 4 of 25, by Byrd

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IBM PC110 = will always be one of my favourite pieces of tech ever. Bought mine locally off a man who used it travelling O/S before shelving it for years - never thought I'd see one close by. Odd, feature packed, pinnacle of 90's ingenuity.

Reply 5 of 25, by chris2021

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You've reminded me of a unit I saw at a compter show in 1995. I wanted to say it was IBM but actually can't swear to it. It wasn't black like a tp in any event. It used kanji characters and had a rather exquisite black and white screen. Kind of small as I recall. 10-12" lcd. Guy wanted 50$. I passed unfortunarely.

I do have a Radio/PC and 2 Minisports as consolation. I love.to call them Minispurys.

Reply 6 of 25, by Thermalwrong

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My interest in new thinkpads ended for a long long time with the T4x series failures and my own Thinkpad X31's motherboard failing because of the video chip / southbridge BGA problems.
I've got another Lenovo Thinkpad T440 now and apart from the clickpad I quite like it, especially since I was able to upgrade the eDP screen to a nicer FHD IPS.

I'm a fan of quirky 90s laptops in general, lots of weird technology that has been lost and streamlined, with the generational evolution of people realising what works and what doesn't.

But I've always been a fan of IBM's laptops and have quite a few of them - sadly these days the rubbery coating that used to be quite 'premium' feeling is all turning to goo, especially on the Thinkpad 600 series - I've taken to scraping off the worst of it, but then that'll start removing the port labels 🙁
I wonder if that's why I'm so fond of the Thinkpad 240 series? They were really manufactured by Acer and don't have the rubberised coating - that means they are still fresh now and unlike Toshiba laptops, their plastics aren't yet disintegrating. The other day I successfully re-celled and reprogrammed 2 of the 3-cell batteries for my Thinkpad 240, 240X and 240Z laptops so I get to actually use them as ultraportables again. I'm looking into what it'd take to do the same for the Transnote, but that one needs lots more parts to be complete again.
Parts are now almost impossible to find too - I made up 3d printed hard drive covers for the Thinkpad 600 and X20 series so far, wanna make one for the 240 series next.

Reply 7 of 25, by gex85

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Huge fan here.
Back in the early 2000s I bought a used 570E - think of an Ultrabook before that term was invented. I loved that machine and used it a lot, but then the display cable broke and I somehow couldn't replace it. I have been on the lookout to acquire one over the last few years but so far without success.
My next laptop was a new Lenovo 3000 V100 in ca. 2005 that served me well for a few years. Replaced it with a used X201 in ca. 2013 - fantastic machine. It has the i5-520M, upgraded to 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD, still works great today but for the last two years I haven't used it as a daily driver. I got a second one off eBay for parts (just in case) but never needed it...

Various employers also gave me Thinkpads for work: T43, X61s, T500, T420, currently a T480s. I never ever had one fail on me.
My wife got a used R61 back in 2011 or so and used that until last year when I got her an old T420 from work basically for free. It does everything she needs (light web browsing, office and photo editing tasks), only thing that could be better is the display.

So yeah, I am a Thinkpad person. 😀

My retro computers

Reply 8 of 25, by stamasd

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I have a number of Thinkpads I've bought over the years, none of them newer than a R51. My first Thinkpad was a 755CX, still have it. I also have: 380XD, 770Z, R51 and had a 760-something a number of years back but it broke and I sold it for parts.

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 9 of 25, by BitWrangler

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stamasd wrote on 2022-02-14, 12:33:

I also have: 380XD, 770Z, R51 and had a 760-something a number of years back but it broke and I sold it for parts.

What's the R51 like generally? I have a local lead on one, trying to decide if it will be a better keeper than the 2 PentiumM machines I've got already... (OTOH, that would give me THREE PentiumM machines! 🤣 🤣 🤣 )

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 10 of 25, by stamasd

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The R51 is exactly what you expect. A no-frills, working machine. To be fair I haven't used it in several years. I think I have Win2k installed on it. Or maybe XP.

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 11 of 25, by keenmaster486

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Yes hello

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I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 12 of 25, by Sune Salminen

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I love my T61. It took a bath in the rain once (I forgot I had left it outside) and I had to get a replacement motherboard for it. The replacement motherboard was hardware password protected and I found a video on Youtube showing how to reset that by shorting two pins somewhere while it was on, which was kind of scary but it worked. It still shows "property of the U.S. Government" as it boots. It has a DVD-RW drive but I also got a hard drive tray for the drive bay which is awesome. Bought a Broadcom WiFi card for it and I have a separate drive with OS X Lion running almost perfectly (USB is flaky, you have to have something plugged in while booting) which is the highest you can go on the model with X3100 graphics and still have hardware accelerated video. Main drive is an older Samsung SSD with Windows 7 (Windows 10 runs well too but I thought it ran way too hot) and I also got a new 90 Watt battery for it a few years ago. My ex-wife threw it on the floor in a heated moment but everything still worked, just the battery has to be held in with duct tape now 🤣
I use it for translation work at home, but it also runs my VST/MIDI setup. I've done several shows and a few live transmission during Covid and it has never crashed once. You can see a bit of that here:
https://youtu.be/uY-Zk-H6_k8?t=4743

Reply 13 of 25, by Unknown_K

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Collection: 310ED, 350C, 360C, 365C, 365XD, 380D, 380XD, 380Z, 390E, 390X, 560X, 600, 600E, 701C, 750CS, 755C, 755CD, 760C, 760CD, 760ED, 760EL, 760XD, 760XL, 765L, 765D, 770, 770E, 770Z, T21, T22, T23, T30, A20P, A21P, A22M, A30, A31, A31P, T40, T42, T43P, T60, T61, R32, R40, R52, T400, T500

Collector of old computers, hardware, and software

Reply 14 of 25, by dr_st

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Bondi wrote on 2022-02-14, 06:44:

A21p - Flexview (1600x1200)+ DOS sound support. And overengineered beast.

I don't think an A21p screen is Flexview (IPS), unless it was upgraded. According to the Tawbook, the A30p had the earliest IPS screens among Thinkpads.

But I've had an A21m and was quite fond of it, until it suffered the common Blink-of-Death of that generation (due to faulty ADP3421 chips, IIRC).

Currently I have the following Thinkpads in my / my family's possession:

Thinkpad 25, T490, Yoga 14, T430s (modded with IPS FHD display + Classic Keyboard), X220, X61, T60, T42, X32 (modded with IPS screen), A31p

So, yes, you could say I'm a pretty big fan. However, I am not a fan of the new 6-row keyboard, and will not buy a Thinkpad anymore if / until we get the 7-row layout back, like on the Thinkpad 25. The T490/Yoga 14 were not bought by me and I don't use them.

BitWrangler wrote on 2022-02-14, 15:36:

What's the R51 like generally? I have a local lead on one, trying to decide if it will be a better keeper than the 2 PentiumM machines I've got already... (OTOH, that would give me THREE PentiumM machines!

If it's the 15" SXGA+ unit, it should have an IPS display - that can be quite a big bonux.

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 15 of 25, by Brightraven

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I have two 90's era Thinkpads. My first Thinkpad is a 760EL with a P120 and 800x600 TFT LCD which I purchased second-hand from work in 1999. We had a contract to clear an accounting company of their old Thinkpads so I got to play with a lot of 486 and Pentium Thinkpads from the 755CX to up to 760LD/EL. Unfortunately, my 760 is not working for many years as the backlight is dead (despite multiple failed attempts at repairing it).
In 2020 I managed to luck out and get a 380XD with a PII-266 and TFT LCD for less than £50. Sold as not working as there were the usual boot-up error codes due to a dead CMOS battery. I upgraded to a PII-300 with a MMC-1 CPU board for £9 then I upgraded from the original 5GB HDD to 80GB. Added an extra 64MB of RAM after finding a good deal a few weeks ago. I wanted to max it out a 160MB, but those 128MB EDO modules are way too expensive, not spending close to the same price as I got the 380 for! It is now my legacy media machine.

Reply 17 of 25, by pentiumspeed

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I used to be big on Thinkpads, These were good but eventually I lost interest after last notebook I bought was T420 due to poorly designed heatsinks in later models ones and poorly implemented features especially M.2 SSDs.

Sorry, no Dell, again poorly designed heatsink and failure rate, oddly intermittent issues on Windows.

With heavy research, I chosen HP notebook models to buy in the future.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 19 of 25, by pentiumspeed

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I forgot to mention. My preferred notebooks is business line, not consumer. Consumer notebooks including chromebooks these days are, mostly made of plastic which is flimsy and breaks mainly the hinge mounts in both screen back and base and absolutely NO USB-C used for charging. I repair devices at work and I have personally seen mangled USB-C ports short out the signal pins and actually blow the ICs. Tried once on two chromebooks and they came back again, no more!
This happens when some high wattage USB-C chargers starts at 9V or up, famous example: Nintendo Switch power supply is fixed at 15V for example, instead of safer 5V on initial connection and asks the charger can it go up in amps and voltage in sequence as it should be by proper design. What happens is with Switch's mangled USB-C port 15V goes right through the PI3USB IC blowing it and one filter in series both, instantly and sometimes blows the USB IC as well. Reason: No current limiting resistors in series on two signal pins connected to the PI3USB IC is not designed in for safety?!

Reason for bad idea of using USB-C as data and charging ports only is rather bad, due to sloppy users bending or mashes the male plastic tongue that holds pins and pins splays out and on next plug mashes them and short 9V, 15v even, 20V or more onto signal pins, blowing tracks and chips.

The power pins are 4 contacts spaced apart by signal pins which is 8 of them all next to these four power pins. The four ground pins are on the ends, useless. Designer of the USB-C should had placed power pins next to the 8 ground pins instead! Call it USB-D for dumb. 😀

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.