John Karidis always dreamed of a new butterfly
Today started out like any other day for me, an early morning conference call, calendar planning with Bev, some ThinkPad strategy sessions, and a few design detail meetings filled my calendar. Shortly after lunch, however, all of these things became significantly less important. Sadly, I received word that my good friend John Karidis had lost his 5 year battle with cancer. I was devastated. For those of you who don't know, John was the engineering inspiration and driving force behind the ThinkPad 701c. You can read that as, he invented it. Most people may remember this iconic ThinkPad by the code name "Butterfly". The engineering achievement associated with this ThinkPad was incredible. The entire idea of creating a Thinkpad with an expandable keyboard stands out in a way unimaginable to most. You can watch the original television advertisement for it here. Aside from this milestone career achievement, John was quite simply put, the best engineer I ever met, or had the honor to work with. He was an IBM Distinguished Engineer at a level that deserved a special title. News of his passing brought a tear to my eye. I always knew this was a foreseeable outcome to his long illness, but I was less than prepared for the ending. Some things in life just aren't fair. Butterfly was the first ThinkPad I ever owned, and I must admit, the one with the most incredible crowd...
ThinkPad design is one of my Pinterest boards
Last week I added another social networking tool to my arsenal, Pinterest. At first I was a bit skeptical of this one, but now I'm a believer. It's a great venue to share favorite images on virtual bulletin boards and caption them as you see fit. My initial focus was to create a ThinkPad Design board so that I could share some images with my readers. After playing around with the tool, I decided to include other interests. I've now added boards about architecture, product design that showcases form+function, motorcycles with soul, and Japanese gardening. You can browse my Pinterest page and boards here. The Wikipedia defines Pinterest as follows: Pinterest is a pinboard-styled social photo sharing website. The service allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections. The site's mission statement is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting." Pinterest is managed by Cold Brew Labs, a team based in Palo Alto, California. The website has proven especially popular among women. I'm not sure I totally believe the Wikipedia claim that the site is of primary interest to women. The page states that most of the site's users are female, with 97% of the site's Facebook "likes" being made by women. I don't want to argue with the Wikipedia, but my some of my pins have not...
You don't have to read the logo to know who made this one!
I thought I would share a link to a recent internet interview I did with Think Digit about what makes ThinkPad design tick. Read the article and find the answer to this question and more. What Do ThinkPad & Ferrari Have in Common? I hope you find the article interesting. David Hill
Leonardo would not be happy with these modifications to his artistic intent
Wireless connectivity is a critical component of the ThinkPad experience. I can barely remember the last time I connected using a modem, or for that matter an ethenet cable. I'm a total slave to wireless. ThinkPad wireless connectivity takes the concept to a totally new level. Our engineers ensure we have the best radio performance imaginable. At the top edge of every ThinkPad is an array of wireless antennas that boggles the mind. The most critical antenna, from a performance perspective, is the WAN antenna. Performance for WAN must be certified by carriers, who have very stringent connectivity criteria. So what does this all have to do with design? First it means that the antennas need to be located at the top edge of the display. Having a WAN antenna in the base is a recipe for failing the certification test. Higher is better for any antenna, just look at the roofs of buildings in any city. Additionally, metal, and carbon fiber computer enclosures are the enemy when it comes to radio wave transparency. Both of these materials block the critical radio signals. Manufacturers who use aluminum sheet, milled aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber must create a sort of radio transparent "window" for the waves to eminate from. This is why you see so many split lines on the top surface of notebook computers. Typically, a narrow band of plastic that is radio friendly is butted to the more exotic material solving the engineering problem. Sadly, it creates an...
No longer running on empty
Due to some technical difficulties associated with a blog platform migration, we temporarily lost the ability to display historical comments. This really made me sad, since comments are so valuable to Lenovo and me personally. I'm very pleased to report they are back. The comment counter still may register at zero, but they are there. Click on comments and they magically appear. Hopefully in a few days the counter will be in synch with reality. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused our readers.