I had to put an old friend down last week. She's served me well, but she started to bite me (literally). I hated to do it, but in a job like mine, vanity and image is everything. As I shut her down for the last time, I did so with a heavy heart. Her replacement seems like she'd be a dream. She's light. She's svelte. And oh so strong. And yet, she's a little slow for my tastes. Short. Louder than her predecessor. (Though still quieter than any other). But most of all, I feel like less of a man with her in tow. Goodbye T61. Hello X301. Except for my first ThinkPad A20p, I've always been a T series user. My favorite machine of all time is the T23. I also think it is my wife's favorite machine too, as I finally had to pry her old T23 from her earlier this year. It ran a solid seven years and was an indestructible tank. I think that she still secretly boots it up when I'm not at home. I've used a T40, T41, T42, T60, and T61 since. I skipped the T43 because it ran too hot. I skipped the T400 because I hate widescreen aspect ratio displays. (More on yet ANOTHER widescreen transition for the industry in my next blog post). However, I cannot hold out any longer. Despite what some contend, square 4:3 displays are not coming back. It's a wide world now and I just have to adjust. As you can see from the pictures below, my systems take quite a beating. I inadvertently dropped this machine not once, but twice, onto concrete.
I was having ZERO problems with my T61. The Roll Cages did their jobs. The system itself is rock solid and runs like a dream. My problem is that the cracked plastic cut me twice in two days as well as ruined a pair of pants. Plus, I was starting to have credibility problems. People would ask me, "If the new systems you are talking about are so great, why aren't you using one?" So in a public and visible job like mine, I definitely need to use the latest and greatest, which precluded just getting a new bottom cover. The T61 owes me nothing. This is the same machine I hacked last year. I added Wireless WAN. I switched the display panel to a higher res screen. I swapped the Intel card for an Atheros card. Much later, this machine introduced me to the joys of SSD drives. Now I am running everything on an X301. It's a fine machine, but it's just not me. I don't like wimpy ultra low volt processors. The screen is too cramped (especially now that Internet Explorer 8 wants to take 4 menu bars worth of screen space!) It's a quiet system, but it doesn't have the same owl blade technology that the other members of the ThinkPad family use. When the fan spins up, it's noticeably louder. Plus, I am experiencing the same wireless issues rampant in the industry with the Intel 5300 card. Why not a T400? This machine was available and ready to go. I didn't have access to a T400 configuration that I liked. Besides, this machine is just a fling. My next real love will come along before I know it. I'll load Windows 7 on her, and all will be bliss again. Young and in love, nothing will stop us.
On another note, I'm behind in responding to some of your comments on earlier blog posts. I'll make time to do so this week. There have been some insightful reader comments and I have some things to correct and clarify.