Author Topic: IBM Thinkpad T41 rehab  (Read 4615 times)

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Online fohat.digs

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IBM Thinkpad T41 rehab
« on: Mon, 04 November 2019, 12:12:11 »
Recently I was given an old Thinkpad laptop that I would consider reviving to give a friend or family member in need of something for the most rudimentary internet and email use.

There was no power cable so first I need to get something to power it up and see if it even works, but if it boots I have a 120GB SSD that I could put in it and load a Linux OS.

Is this something that is feasible, or would I be getting into a hopeless tar baby situation?

Thanks
"I never understood wind. I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous if you are into this tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air. A windmill will kill many bald eagles. After a certain number, they make you turn the windmill off, that is true. By the way, they make you turn it off. And yet, if you killed one, they put you in jail. That is OK. But why is it OK for windmills to destroy the bird population?" - Donald Trump - Turning Point USA speech - 2019-12-22

Offline Tactile

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Re: IBM Thinkpad T41 rehab
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 04 November 2019, 12:59:32 »
Those old T-series laptops are still useful. They're built like tanks and work very well. I had a T-40 or T-41 I bought as a refurb, outgrew, and gave it to a friend who loved it for internet, e-mail, and some software for programming ham radios. And... they love 'em on the ISS:
229437-0

Offline Leslieann

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Re: IBM Thinkpad T41 rehab
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 04 November 2019, 13:13:08 »
While nice and in many ways incredible that something this old is still usable, it's a 19 year old computer. Seriously, it's 19 years old.
Scrap it.

You can get an adapter for $10, an OEM for $20. Plus a battery ($20), and it probably WILL need ram. Max is 2gb (of DDR1), so $8 on Ebay. You're now into this for $40-$50.
On the other hand, you can buy a used/functional T420 (2nd gen Core I series) with 4gb ram for about $50-$60 with shipping on Ebay, many are Best Offer, so you can probably get it closer to $50 or less. Keep in mind, even the T420 is 12 years old at this point.

Besides it's age and specs, there's another issue looming in the background for older tech like this.
Many Linux distros are dropping 32bit support (MS was close and still could drop it from Win10), so even if it is reviveable, technology is (FINALLY) marching on. This laptop also has the disadvantage in that it uses a graphics chipset that isn't well supported by Win7 or later. You could sometimes force a very specific Win XP driver to work, but often you were stuck at 800x600, rather than the default 1024x768, which was already bad enough


Bottom line, don't mess with anything pre DDR3 unless you have a genuine reason. Yes, DDR2 usually supported 64bit, but DDR2 has it's own issues, besides it's age. If you want to actually use it, stick to DDR3 stuff. It's plentiful and cheap.
« Last Edit: Mon, 04 November 2019, 13:17:15 by Leslieann »
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: IBM Thinkpad T41 rehab
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 04 November 2019, 13:29:52 »
T41 is something you'd maybe collect as a hoarder..

In terms of actually using one, it's not practical.

Offline 1391401

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Re: IBM Thinkpad T41 rehab
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 19 November 2019, 11:01:24 »
I built a custom T41 from parts a few years ago - I maxed out the memory and CPU which was 1.7 GHz I think as well as got an upgraded 1400x1050 monitor.  Cost wise not really worth it but as a thinkpad fanboi it was fun to do.  It always depends on what you need the pc to do if it is viable or not.  I recently contributed to a python project using an X20 from ~2000 and the old machine did exactly what I needed it to do.  If I have a real workload like docker based development I have a w520 I can use which has essentially a desktop processor. 
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Offline equalunique

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Re: IBM Thinkpad T41 rehab
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 14:56:50 »

Online fohat.digs

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Re: IBM Thinkpad T41 rehab
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 17:20:08 »
If anybody wants my laptop (as-is, including charger) for $20 plus shipping please send me a PM.
"I never understood wind. I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous if you are into this tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air. A windmill will kill many bald eagles. After a certain number, they make you turn the windmill off, that is true. By the way, they make you turn it off. And yet, if you killed one, they put you in jail. That is OK. But why is it OK for windmills to destroy the bird population?" - Donald Trump - Turning Point USA speech - 2019-12-22