[ltp] Well-Made Computers (Was: Repairing Thinkpad chargers)

Paul Seelig linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 23:24:24 +0100

On 03/05/2015 12:15 AM, heroxbd@gentoo.org wrote:
> Timothy Murphy <gayleard@eircom.net> writes:
>> I'm surprised how well the T23 works, under XP and Fedora-11.
>> I'm confirmed in my disbelief that computers are getting better and
>> better ...
> I have the same disbelief, especially when comparing a well-made T23 to
> a modern fast-food-like made-in-a-rush-and-pushed-by-commercialism
> computer, and when taking bloatware into account.
While the T23 was a really nice machine back in its days which even
remained useful for a long time afterwards, in my not so humble opinion,
the sweet spot for a well made Thinkpad is the T60/T61 generation.

The main reason for this is that the T6x are finally providing the
bridge to modern SATA storage devices, while also enabling usage of
standard SSD drives, thus getting rid of the main speed bottleneck of
computing up until then. Of course, the departure from single core CPU's
and the addition of virtualization features also helps a lot.

Unfortunately, while the T60 still provided IPS display options for
their 4:3/15" variants, they were still limited to a hard limit of 3GB
of RAM. Its successor T61 finally made the options of faster CPU's and
using up to 8GB RAM possible, but the superior display options of the
4:3/15" T60 models were left behind in the dust.

Entering the Frankenpad: A community of talented hardware hackers found
out that the more capable T61 4:3/14.1" mainboard was compatible enough
to be refitted into the T60 4:3/15" shell hosting the much better IPS or
Flexview displays.

In addition, somebody also discovered the existence of LED backlit UXGA
IPS displays made by manufacturer Boe Hydis mainly for medical devices,
but which could also be used in those Frankenpads after modding the
display cable and inverter board. That resulted into much less power
consumption by the display while significantly raising the much lamented
display brightness by great extent. It is a pity though, that these
displays are now almost impossible to get hold of.

For me, the most balanced Thinkpad generation never build by Lenovo is
the T60/T61 hybdrid Frankenpad. Fulfilling my very own dream of the
perfect Thinkpad, over the years i build a few of these for my own usage
pleasure. And up until now, thanks to an SSD in combiation with a
comparatively fast Core2Duo Penryn CPU and the aforementioned LED
backlit UXGA IPS display, personally i don't feel the need to look
forward for one of the newer Thinkpad models by Lenovo.

I am currently intending to sell one of my freshly assmbled Frankenpads
featuring the above described characteristics. As i would much prefer to
see this machine being purchased by someone really appreciating its
uniqueness, i don't really want to put it up on feeBay. So if you know
someone searching for such a gem, here is a pointer:


I am not sure if i will ever be able to assemble one of these again, as
it has become increasingly harder to find appropriate components. So
this might easily be one of the last possibilities to get hold of such a