Wednesday, November 15, 2006

R. I. P. Thinkpad

It is not worth salvaging at this point. I got a lot of use out of it in the time I've had it, and it's been very dependable, considering that I bought it used. It had failed before, and I replaced the hard drive, but now the display has failed. In retrospect it's probably been giving me warnings for a good six months or so. These flat-panel LCD displays have a fluorescent light in them, and it's been doing what aging fluorescent lights do— flickering at first, taking time to get to full brightness, etc. Now it lights up dimly for a few seconds and goes out. I can faintly see the image still on the display. I've never had a display fail like this, but as CRTs continue to go by the wayside, and flat-panel displays are pretty much the norm now, I expect we'll see more of this as time goes on. I opened up the display, hoping maybe I'd find a bulb I could replace, but no such luck. It actually turns out to be a Samsung monitor tucked in there, and certainly not worth the cost of replacing it even though replacements are still available.

So I played musical hard drive. Into the Toshiba laptop, the one I've been doing BK pulls from, have my six instances MySQL, various versions, set up on it, and potential Build Farm machine, I put the new hard drive from the Thinkpad. I copied what data I had from the Toshiba's old hard drive. Actually it's Hitachi, I've been see a lot of Hitachi hard drives lately. My old Thinkpad hard drive was a Hitachi, the new one I bought was also, and my father-in-law's HP laptop had a Hitachi drive that died. I gave him the old drive from the Toshiba since I didn't need it any more.

I miss the Thinkpad. I found its keyboard layout very easy to use, mimicing the standard computer keyboards by maintaining the familiar layout of key groups albeit placing them where they'd fit. By contrast the Toshiba's non-alphanumeric keys seem placed arbitrarily. Also I much prefer the track-point eraser-head mouse of the Thinkpad to the track-pad type of mouse control. I've gotten used to using it, but I'm always inadvertantly touching it when I don't mean to, and having that quick touch interpreted as a mouse click. It's not a terrible big issue since I don't go into X Windows that often, and do most of my work from the console.

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