laptop (2)

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New baby in town!

Lenovo ThinkPad X61sGot myself a brand new blogging workstation, thanks to a very good deal on Lenovo’s web site. The screen is as small as I could get (12.1″ with 1024×768 screen resolution), the whole thing is so light I almost forgot I am holding something while was carrying it between rooms at home.

The unit I ordered came with 2GB memory and large 8-cell battery that, as Windows Vista Home Basic shows, should last for as long as 6 hours. Of course that Vista thingy will be the first to go, since I don’t really have a need for latest and greatest in such a small laptop. Perhaps Ubuntu or trusty old Windows XP (given that Service Pack 3 is almost upon us) would do much better.

The reason for purchase was (again!) my recent trip to Chicago. I had a dozen things to do, but hesitated given the size of my primary workhorse laptop (15″ 1600×1200 IBM ThinkPad T60p). X61s, however, is much more convenient in this sense and (aside from taking a lot less space and weighting a lot less) has much better battery life.

The only thing that is truly missing is the Ultrabay Slim extension bay, so if I would want to watch movies on the road, my best bet would be to rip them to hard drive.

What is it that I want

While moving tons of my ex-IT stuff from old apartment to new (and losing some ISA network cards on the way) I realized what is it that I ultimately need while most of my stuff is unavailable (like when I am moving, traveling, vacationing and so on). So think of this as of unofficial wish list:

  • PDA/cell phone. Not a smartphone, it’s a poor excuse at being a decent organizer having a screen size of a matchbox and no keyboard. Something like an iPhone, but runs Windows Mobile and doesn’t look like a proletariat’s weapon of choice. With hundreds of software titles already available, seamless sync with Outlook and (again!) large screen size, so I can actually read documents/books/emails without hurting my eyes, watch stand-up shows or documentaries in the gym or on the road such device would win me over any fancy useless gadget. Oh, and add regular headphones jack (instead of smaller non-compatible one) and no-cradle sync/recharge cable for easy packing to that.
  • Small cheap laptop. I currently own IBM/Lenovo T60p, T42 and T40p. None of them qualifies neither as cheap nor as small. Something with screen size of 10 – 12 inches (1024×768), solid-state disk and price tag below $600 – $700 with decent battery life (at least 4 – 5 hours) should suffice. Every time some teenager or poor old lady entering backwards into subway car smashes into my backpack with my $3000 T60p with two hard drives in it, or my car hits the bump on the road, or airport security kicks a basket with my laptop out of scanner – I think of solid-state disks and cheap (read – replaceable without busting my budget) laptop.
  • Personal Media Player with removable storage. It’s amazing to see all those gazillion-gigabyte iPods, Zens, Zunes, iRivers and other misspelled words to try to host all owner’s music collection in a single place to make it easier to loose all in one take. I owned Creative Zen 20GB – thrown away as their web site is total mess and no drivers I downloaded would work with my player after attempt to hook it up to a new PC; had Toshiba Gigabeat 30GB – stolen, but I didn’t like it anyway – their sync software tries to act as DRM-police and extremely slow, player just won’t play directly uploaded mp3 files, sync via cradle didn’t work as expected plus none of my girlfriends in the passenger seat could figure out how to navigate “that cross thingy”. So all I want for now is a media player that will accept SD or Flash (or both) cards of any denomination and just play whatever is on them. With simple buttons like Play, Stop, Skip, Rewind not arranged in a puzzle or some other cryptic combination.

Re-read all of the above. Why do I need office, again?

Old case, new case

Just called Lenovo for the status of my old laptop repair. So far they only got the replacement fan yesterday and fixed the whole unit today and shipped it today as well. In the meantime, they moved to new software so now reps look up orders in two versions of support software, giving wrong trouble-ticket numbers and messing up other stuff.

Good news – I’m putting Vista and Office 2007 Beta2 on my old laptop tomorrow.

Bad news – need to sell the old laptop ASAP.