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New to laptops

Discussion in 'IBM Thinkpad' started by Adam, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Hi everybody... anybody? I'm familiar with desktop systems, but I just
    got my first laptop (T60 refurb) and I feel almost like a newbie again.
    Would anyone be able to suggest some links that explain -- well, just
    about anything about laptops that a desktop user wouldn't know, either
    generally or specific to ThinkPads or my T60. Everything from choosing
    a case/backpack/pouch to securing my data, and how to connect to public
    Wi-Fi (I know how to connect to my own) to good sources of accessories
    and information. I've set it up as multiboot, Windows XP and Linux.
    Thanks VERY much in advance!

    Adam, Dec 17, 2012
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  2. Adam

    parv Guest

    Hi there.

    Laptops are a compromise among cost, (non)working hardware,
    portability, and modularity.


    Arrange for a fan replacement now so that you would have one handy
    when the fan dies and 'puter eventually stops to start. For example,
    fan in my T61 died after 4 years. OEM part (for my T61 with 4:3
    ratio, 14" screen) costs around $85 (or was it $60?). There are
    related videos on Youtube.

    parv, Dec 18, 2012
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  3. so expensive? For the cooling/fan unit for my ancient T40p I paid
    about 45 ¤ IIRC.

    There are
    and better yet: you can have a complete and comprehensive HMM
    (Hadware Maintenance Manual) at IBM/Lenovo. Every single step is

    Christoph Schmees, Dec 18, 2012
  4. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Howdy! I didn't know whether anybody else was here besides the guy who
    posts the "Welcome!" messages. :)
    And they seem to me (as someone used to desktop computers) to involve
    more compromises than desktop systems. OTOH I chose this Thinkpad T60,
    so many of those decisions were already made for me by whoever designed
    the thing.
    Uh-oh. You make it sound like that's inevitable. (And I do know that
    it'll need a specific fan, not one of the easily-found sizes available
    Where did you find one? Direct from Lenovo? US $60 is 25% of what I
    paid for this refurbished T60 last week.

    Adam, Dec 19, 2012
  5. Adam

    Adam Guest

    So you must have also had a fan failure. Are they really that common in
    ThinkPads? Also, where can one find replacement fans and other pieces?
    Are they only available from Lenovo, or do other vendors sell an
    Thanks, Christoph! I already searched online, found and downloaded four
    different versions for the T60, and printed the most recent of them
    ("September 2008"). I see there's no "User's Guide" like I'd been
    hoping for, but the HMM does explain a lot of hardware-related things,
    such as why the Wi-Fi wasn't working. I hadn't realized there was a
    separate switch for it. :)

    Adam, Dec 19, 2012
  6. no. My machine had run 24/7 for several years until the fan
    failed eventually.

    Also, where can one find replacement fans
    I found mine in the ..bay :)
    look for a download "Access Help" SW or the like. The user manual
    hides there.

    Christoph Schmees, Dec 19, 2012
  7. I always poll this newsgroup, so I'm sorta here every day. :) I'm
    probably not the only one, either.
    I bought my R51 series back in '06 because I wanted a good laptop, and
    Newegg had it for $700. Not, it's way obsolete, but still cooking along. I
    bought it because it was a ThinkPad, and I'd heard nothing but good about
    them. If I live long enough to scratch up the wherewithal to buy another
    laptop, it'll also be a ThinkPad, because they're built solid, they're built
    to be repaired and/or reconfigured by the end user, and they have the
    TrackPoint device, so I don't have to use that Gawd-awful touchpad. But,
    any laptop is definitely a bunch of compromises. The trick is to minimize
    the compromises you can't live with.
    Tom Rutherford, Dec 20, 2012
  8. Adam

    parv Guest

    Well, I visit this newsgroup nearly every day; post only when I
    actually have something.

    Well, I came upon multiple posts about death of fan issue in T60
    series while searching for a solution to my own problem.

    Then again the death might not visit you. ;> Who knows?

    Yes, I cost I wrote was for the complete fan assembly (complete with
    heat sucking plate) either from IBM or Lenovo.

    - parv

    parv, Dec 20, 2012
  9. Adam

    Adam Guest

    I can see there are several people who share that approach!
    Well, unless mine gets stolen or explodes or something like that, SOME
    component is going to be the first one to fail. At least I now have
    more than one computer at home, so I can go online with the one that's
    still working to order parts for the other. :)
    So it sounds like I have a choice of "new" or "used". Would you know
    how long they continue to sell parts after a model is discontinued? Thanks!

    Adam, Dec 20, 2012
  10. Adam

    Adam Guest

    And thank you for that! A few other people also saw my post and are
    giving helpful replies. OTOH I found about 8 or 9 newsgroups with
    "laptop" in their names, but most of them seemed dead, some with no
    activity in years. It looks to me like comp.sys.laptops and
    comp.sys.laptops.thinkpad are the newsgroups worth following, plus the
    ThinkPad forum on the web... although any other suggestions would be
    appreciated too!

    Adam, Dec 20, 2012
  11. Adam

    Adam Guest

    But it sounds like that's more likely to be the first component to fail
    than any other.
    Yep, I've bought some useful things there. I think part of the "secret"
    is knowing what /not/ to buy there, too.
    Thanks, Christoph! I see it's software for Windows, and I found some
    useful-looking files at:



    I was expecting some sort of PDF file, but those should be enough... and
    if they're not, a web search should find answers to most other specific
    questions. For more general questions, like "What's that 'docking
    station' thing?", I'm going through some laptop-specific books from the
    public library.

    Adam, Dec 20, 2012
  12. Adam

    News Guest

    In general, the i.t.t folks migrated to the TP fora, as a parting FU to
    News, Dec 20, 2012
  13. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Yes, I noticed that NG had pretty much died off and saw posts in other
    groups stating that was the reason. Is http://forum.thinkpads.com/ the
    most active TP-specific discussion on the web? Thanks!

    Adam, Dec 20, 2012
  14. Adam

    News Guest

    Yes, Elijah's forum is the apex.
    News, Dec 20, 2012
  15. Adam

    Ardent Guest

    I have an R50e bought in 2005 which is still going strong. I only had
    to change the battery recently and of course increased the memory (it
    came 256 mb!!!)

    Though I have another later laptop, my preferance is for the TPad.
    Ardent, Dec 23, 2012
  16. [snip]

    The fan failed on my Z61M after 5 years, though it had been getting
    increasingly noisy for a good few months before that. To be fair, it
    had been operating quite a lot in Greece in the summer, so it must have
    worked hard.

    In Britain I paid 100 pounds for the replacement (from China) plus
    fitting. Although I had downloaded the maintenance manual and had seen
    YouTube films of people doing the work themselves, I didn't want to risk
    DIY. For me that is a big disadvantage of laptops; I'm happy to build
    and repair desktops but laptops are a stage too far - I'm sure I would
    damage something in the process, especially now that my sight is not
    what it was.

    As others here have said, I would not buy any laptop now apart from a
    Thinkpad, both because the build is better and becaus it has the
    pointing stick instead of the infernal Touchpad.


    Anthony Campbell -
    Anthony Campbell, Dec 23, 2012
  17. I maxed mine out at 2GB. It also came with 256MB. I also put an 80GB hard
    drive in it (came with 30), and replaced the CD-ROM drive with a DVD burner.
    Also bought a docking station for it when Newegg had a deal on them. So,
    it's pretty well maxed out.
    I've got a Dell Inspiron 3500, which is older than the hills, so when I
    bought the TPad, I felt like I'd graduated from a clapped-out VW Beetle to a
    Tom Rutherford, Dec 23, 2012
  18. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Well, at least it gave some warning. I suppose any mechanical device
    has a weakest spot that's the most common piece to fail first.
    £100 is what I paid for the computer itself! A refurbished T60, US $240
    - $73 store credit = £103.50 at today's exchange rate.
    This is my first laptop after several decades of using (and occasionally
    doing minor repairs and upgrades on) desktops, and that's one of the
    reasons I prefer desktops. Still, I think this laptop should be fun to
    play with.
    I did some research before I bought it, and this model seemed both
    well-regarded and "Linux-friendly". And yes, the pointing stick is much
    more convenient than the touchpad -- I've hardly used the touchpad so
    far. Still, I suppose I should get a little skill using the touchpad,
    in case I have to use (or, more likely, am asked to fix a software
    problem on) somebody else's laptop.

    Adam, Dec 26, 2012

  19. Computers of all kinds are a lot cheaper in the USA than they are in
    Britain. I think I paid about 1100 pounds for the Z61M 5 years ago. A
    couple of years ago I bought a T42 on Ebay for 140 pounds including


    Anthony Campbell -
    Anthony Campbell, Dec 26, 2012
  20. Adam

    Adam Guest

    I hadn't heard that before. I just compared a Lenovo Z580 with 15.6"
    screen, 4G RAM and a 750G hard drive on pcworld.co.uk and newegg.com and
    the prices are roughly the same (£400 vs $630), although I can't
    generalize from that one example. (That happened to be the first Lenovo
    laptop listed on the pcworld site.) I hope the stores are comparable;
    NewEgg is where I do most of my online computer shopping.

    Adam, Dec 27, 2012
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