Things that break and things that just work

Volume 8, Issue 50; 06 Apr 2005; last modified 08 Oct 2010

It's not been my year for hardware, and it's only April. But it's not as bad as it could have been.

Linux. Because rebooting is for hardware upgrades.

I really like my Thinkpad, but sometime last week or the week before, it started to make a really unpleasant whine. The disk or the fan?

I think the smart money would be on the fan, but I have a second disk because I've been playing with Solaris on my laptop. I switched disks and ran Solaris for a while (I'm a long way from having a usable system there, but I'm making slow progress). No noise.

IBM warranty service was happy to send me a new drive, which they did, and I spent a day and a night porting data.

You can see the next part coming, right? Shiny new disk, squealing fan.

I was contemplating the pain of living without my laptop for a period of several days when I happened to mention my plight to Henry in IRC. He suggested I pull the new drive out of my Thinkpad and pop it into my old Tecra.

That hadn't occurred to me, at least not yet. So I did. And by golly if it didn't “just work”! I'm writing this now on the Tecra. I had to build a couple of modules to get the networking up, but other than that it just booted up and ran.

I guess that's not too remarkable, really, but it's a real life saver and I'm glad it's working.


I took the tiny route Norm. Took delivery of an x40 about 3 weeks ago? Totally impressed with it, and hope I don't have your disk problems, though your comments on IBM service (thankfully) back up my research.

I'm beginning to follow your logic on the 'red thing in the middle' though. It's hardly workable for other than a few minutes. A usb wifi mouse was the answer for me. Works a treat.

I'm more than glad that emacs is (can be) mainly keyboard driven. Saves mousing around for text work.

—Posted by Dave Pawson on 07 Apr 2005 @ 11:50 UTC #

The disk was fine, Dave, it was the fan that was squealing. It went back to IBM by overnight carrier yesterday, with a little luck I'll have it back early next week.

With respect to "the red thing in the middle", I'm not sure I understand your comment. My logic is, that's the best pointing device yet devised and I'd be hard pressed to live without it. External mice? Bah. :-)

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 07 Apr 2005 @ 12:20 UTC #

My Thinkpad came back today, and it purrs like a kitten: a very quiet kitten. Just the way I like it!

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 11 Apr 2005 @ 04:30 UTC #

I can't abide those 'red' things (though mine is black). Totally useless and take you off to random places at the merest glance. Give me a touch pad with gestures any day - I am lost without mine. And yes... who needs a mouse :-)

—Posted by Stuart Williams on 11 Apr 2005 @ 05:38 UTC #

You will be happy with your Thinkpad; they are (usually) pratically bulletproof.

Who needs touch pads? They stink as compared to the Trackpoint; you don't know how much I miss my Trackpoint on this new HP. You simply must get used to it, that's all. If you are a touch typist once you spend some time with the TP you'll never want to go back!

—Posted by Snake on 07 Aug 2005 @ 05:10 UTC #