Wednesday, May 24, 2006

another new laptop from work

We're rolling out new Windows XP laptops and desktops at work, and I've got one of the new IBM/Lenovo T60 ThinkPads that the cool kids have. Originally the hardware department gave me this laptop for testing the XP installation, but for the past week or so I've been using it as my regular work PC and bringing it home every night instead of my trusty but old T41. I might have to give the laptop back if they run short and need to give it to an attorney instead of a fork-and-spoon operator like me, but for the moment it's all mine.

Since it's a T series ThinkPad, it has the same basic look and feel as the T41, with just a few cosmetic changes. The touchpad is a little smaller, there's another USB port on the left side (which makes 3 total), and it doesn't have any serial or parallel ports at all. Inside, it's got a 2.6 GHz dual-core processor, a 60 GB hard disk, 1 GB of RAM, and a DVD/CD-RW optical drive. It also has a 20V power supply instead of the old 12V ones, so I have to bring the AC adapter home each night (which means I'll probably forget it when I travel -- I've had a spare IBM AC adapter at home for years but it won't work with the T60). So I can use it for all the usual work tasks, plus watching DVDs and surfing from home while watching TV, as I'm doing right now.

The annoying thing about the new laptop is that it's got the "official" office installation of Windows XP on it, so it's missing some software I use all the time (like Firefox and a CD burner). For years, I've set up my PCs myself, with my own installation of Windows XP and whatever software I choose. This laptop is also locked down, so I can't just install anything I want. Actually, I can, since I've got an administrative logon for the system, but I'm trying to keep the system as close to the office's configuration as I can. I did install Firefox because I just can't get through the day without it but I've held off on some other things for now. The real test of how the lockdown affects me will be in a few weeks when I take this laptop to Boston for Microsoft's Tech Ed conference. As long as I can use the convention center's wireless network, connect my media reader to upload photos, and watch movies, I should be OK. I'm really starting to like this laptop, so I'll be just a little upset if someone comes to take it from me. No lawyer is going to show it the kind of love and affection it deserves.

As for my old friend the T41, it's currently locked in a drawer at my desk, awaiting its well-earned retirement. However, I don't think that's a career of mating with R series ThinkPads to produce little baby X series ThinkPads. I'm fairly certain it will soon be on its way to a second career as a used laptop in another part of the world.

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