The Thinkpad Timeline

At this point in my life, though I’m not anywhere near what some would consider “mid-life crisis” territory, I wish to go back and look at all my gadgets that I learned from over the years. Why am I posting this in the blog? Why, because I can, of course! …and I have no updates as of yet, on anything I’ve been working on.

I received a concussion over my final spring break and I’m kind of nursing my skull and upper spine back to health, so many things have taken a pause.

Some, such as the Sony VAIO UX series, were too expensive for me growing up. Those had to wait until I was past my 20s and either in college or employed. One product line has never given up on me though! Thinkpads!

My first Thinkpad I recall using for an extended period was the X61 Tablet that I used back in highschool with the notoriously awful Windows Vista OS. This was one of those devices that only had one input mechanism at the time, a Trackpoint. I loved it! That was back when Linux seemed to still need “training wheels” for all newcomers, much different than today in 2019, and our high school was a Microsoft shop. I learned quite a bit about fixing hardware when working on our school’s help desk at the time- Thinkpads are very modular! I had this X61 Tablet for about four years and still have it sitting around somewhere!

My second and third Thinkpads were around the same timeframe, about three/four years ago or so. The T420 I got for free from a prior employer and the E430 I grabbed used from a friend both suited their tasks very well: being media consumption/researching devices. In 2018 both had been given new homes. The T420 went to a friend and the E430 went to then-computer-less best friends when they moved out on their own. Glad I get to share these tanks with those more deserving!

My fourth Thinkpad I received in 2017 or so and had used it as a daily driver from then until the beginning of this year, 2019. This boi was the t440s. Though outdated at the time, as were the others after the X61T, it was my first venture with Linux on a daily driver laptop. After trying Xubuntu, Solus and MX Linux, I settled on Solus due to the freshness of their Budgie flagship experience and the great app store organization. Last year, when I worked for Tesla, I used it when running around the factory the first handful of days before a Macbook Pro was procured for me. At the time, only Ubuntu or Fedora computers (regarding Linux) were allowed on the network and no Arch or Solus machines would make it very far for working. I retired the T440s this year and, after flashing the original Windows 7 disk, gave it to a family friend who was in need. I believe he has it running Windows 10 now :(

My travel gaming PC these days is an Aero15Xv8 running Pop!_OS until I find time to properly configure an Arch setup on it, as it is more than capable. My daily driver that I use for school, development, research, media consumption and overall tinkering is the Thinkpad A485. I have Manjaro running on it currently I likely won’t be upgrading to any other recent Thinkpad until we start seeing more Ryzen options in the X line of devices. Ever since having the X61 Tablet, I’ve always wanted to go back to that ultraportable line…perhaps the day will come when USB4 and Ryzen PRO APUs combine in 2020 or 2021. I will say, the Redditor who I received this A485 from was kind enough to grab the upgraded IPS screen and an OPAL NVMe M.2 drive when he configured it for his business.

I look forward to a Thinkpad and hopefully Purism filled future! The trackpoint addiction is too hardcore currently, however.