Kevin Beck

The author at left with Lenovo Malaysia’s Sunny Ooi (center) and Arimasa Naitoh, store opening in Kuala Lumpur

The author at left with Lenovo Malaysia’s Sunny Ooi (center) and Arimasa Naitoh, store opening in Kuala Lumpur

"I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine." (Caskie Stinnett) I have a love-hate relationship with aphorisms but this one kind of nails my attitude about travel and life in general. I know a lot of people--successful people—who thrive on routine. They love it. Some of them refer to it (semi-humorously) as being "ritual-oriented." That's not me. I do occasionally get into the habit of ordering the same couple of favorite dishes at some restaurants, but most of the time, I'm not big on routine. Messy desk, completely un-alphabetized shelves of books, CDs, DVDs--you get the picture. On the other hand, I totally get into the process of engineering and development.  There's lots of repetition, process and rigor involved but for some indefinable reason, I love it.  Which goes a long way towards explaining why I always look forward to visiting our ThinkPad development labs in Japan. In the early 2000s, I spent three years on assignment in Tokyo. I had also been travelling frequently to Yamato for years before that, so it's home away from home for me. On a trip to Japan, Malaysia and India last fall, I spent a lot of time with Naitoh-san, the head of ThinkPad development in Yamato. He was the engineering lead for the very first ThinkPad--the 700C--back in 1992. I always learn a lot from working with Naitoh-san, and I want to share a story about him. We were talking to a group of journalists in Malaysia when one...

Continue reading “ThinkPad History Lesson: The Day the 700c Left the Nest”

I'll begin with the requisite background story. Some of my co-bloggers have tales of enviable focus and multi-year plans that led them to land the perfect job. That's not how I got here.  I tend to tell a lot of stories, and that's what I look forward to doing with this blog. Personally, I think the story about my first computer (a TRS-80 Model III)—and its standard-for-the-time-yet-oh-so-laughable-now 300 Baud modem that pulled text in from BBSes at a rate that was readable on the screen in real time--is an interesting one. However, those who hear this story generally fall into two camps: 1) Persons of my vintage for whom this was also the case and who therefore don't find it particularly fascinating, or 2) Younger persons who have no temporal link to that era of computing and hence don't find it particularly fascinating. So I won't tell it again. That does, however, serve as a reasonable segue into the roots of my love affair with technology. I wish I knew where and how I acquired my penchant for gadgets and tech but the truth is, I have no idea when the obsession started; in fact, I have no memories of not being this way. What I do remember from an early age is taking things apart and (usually) putting them back together. What didn't begin until later in life was my obsession with travelling, food, cultures and languages. The common definition...

Continue reading “I Travel, I Geek, I Conquer”

Kevin Beck travels the world telling Lenovo customers, business partners and salespeople about our latest products and technologies. His most recent stop was San Francisco, where he attended the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) conference. I've certainly seen my fair share of trade shows, expositions and technology fairs.   However, there's no show that focuses as deeply on the future of the technology under the covers of modern computing as the Intel Developer Forum. As a worldwide partner of Intel, Lenovo participates in the IDF conference every year—both as sponsor and exhibitor—showcasing our latest products and technologies.  This year, we took along a full load of the latest ThinkPad, ThinkCentre, ThinkStation, ThinkServer, IdeaPad, and IdeaCentre machines as well as various options and monitors. The Intel Buzz First and foremost, IDF is really about the future direction of processor technology.   Intel demonstrated its Sandy Bridge platform, targeted for announce early next year.   It has specific enhancements around video, hardware acceleration of motion tracking and facial recognition, as well as enhanced acceleration of video format translation (transcoding).   Intel also announced its new Ivy Bridge platform, which will move processors to a 22 nanometer fabrication process from the current 32 nanometer process.   For end users, this should mean significant performance gains and power...

Continue reading “Dreamland for Geeks: Staring Into the Future at IDF”