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ThinkPad

First Look: ThinkPad T410

Posted on 2010.03.25 at 12:35
Had one of these come in as a whole unit swap for a catastrophically damaged T60 today (this is why you get ThinkPad Protection, kids!). Unfortunately, I don't have my camera with me, so no pics to share. Here are some of my impressions.

-Overall feel & fit/finish is good. With the lid closed, it would make a useful bludgeon, which is as it should be. There is an alarming level of flex in the LCD assembly with the lid open, however.

- There's actually a bottom access door on this machine that lets you get to 1 mini PCIe slot and 1 SODIMM slot, which is nice for upgrades. The color doesn't quite match the rest of the bottom panel, though.

- Keyboard & touchpad looks to be the same as the ones on the T400s. Key travel seems pretty good.

-Ultrabay eject now requires two hands to use, and I dont care for it at all. The provision for an ultrabay battery also appears to have been deleted. No sir, I don't like it.

-Screen is 1280x800, and like most ThinkPad screens, can best be described as "acceptable, but not great". I know Lenovo says LCD makers have them over a barrel when it comes to screens, but they're one of the largest PC makers on the planet. It's time to flex the 800lb gorilla muscles, guys. Really.

- It supports ESATA, DisplayPort (as well as the traditional VGA out) and ExpressCard (the smaller/narrower version).

- One of the 4 USB ports is now yellow. I assume this means it's always available to provide power to charge things with.

- Wifi switch has been moved to the front right corner. Hopefully this will make it harder to switch off by accident.

-Hooks on the LCD side of the latch are fixed, all the moving parts of the action are on the base of the unit. Should make it sturdier.

-Headphone/mic is now one jack, not two, and has been moved from the front to the right side.


That'll do for now.


Corsair Fanatic

Lesson Number Three.

Posted on 2010.02.15 at 10:51
Tags: ,
Lesson three was yesterday. It didn't go so well. There were 20-30 knot gusts of winds that kept pushing the plane around, and it ended up making me quite queasy. I was barely able to keep my stomach under control, and we headed back early. Next time the winds are like this we'll be staying on the ground.


Corsair Fanatic

Flying Lessons.

Posted on 2010.01.05 at 17:37
Tags: ,
I just realized I forgot to post an update for this. The intro lesson went well. Preflighting in 20 degree weather was not at all amusing. I went ahead and signed up for membership before I could talk myself out of it. Have to go through MassPort to get badge access, so that'll be fun. Did end up catching a cold from my instructor, so that made the last few days of winter break not so much fun.

Looks like this will take 18 months or more to complete, assuming I'm able to go up regularly...and assuming I master all the stuff I have to learn.

If anybody's curious, the place I'm learning is here:
http://www.eastcoastaeroclub.com/


...is to wish me luck.

After some not so subtle prompting from my lovely wife, I've signed up for a flying lesson at a local club for later this week. Assuming I like the experience, regular lessons shall commence, with the eventual goal of a pilot's license.

The flying itself is not a concern for me. Ground school however, is. Hopefully I'll make it.


ThinkPad

Lenovo Fail.

Posted on 2009.12.17 at 12:01
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
Tags: , , ,
Apparently Lenovo has recently changed its policy WRT to recovery media. They will no longer sell media for machines that are out of warranty.

WTF, guys?

I'm betting this is possibly some sort of license asshattery from Microsoft.


Corsair Fanatic

What a weekend....

Posted on 2009.09.21 at 12:57
Tags: , ,

Ride in a WW2 vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress: $425.



Standing up in the slipstream at 1500 feet to take a picture: Priceless.



Evil Inside

Whoa.

Posted on 2009.09.18 at 22:49
WTH is up with all the community postings? It's like LJ all of the sudden has forgotten how to tell time.


LaptopDOOM

HP EliteBook 8530w First Impressions

Posted on 2009.09.18 at 14:33
Tags: , , ,

I'm replacing a motherboard on one of these, so I thought I'd jot down a few notes on the design/construction.
  • The keyboard's got two cables  on it (one for the keyboard, and one for the trackpoint) for no good reason that I can see. The keyboard and trackpad BOTH have 3 buttons, however.
  • Both SODIMM sockets, 1 MiniPCIe slot, and RTC battery are accessible from the bottom panel.
  • The connectors for the keyboard, touchpad, and keyboard cover board (on/off switch, etc) all use some very fiddly and easy to damage locking connectors that if broken,  require a motherboard replacement. Lame.
  • All the antenna wires leading down from the LCD assembly are black. The only color coded bits are at the very end. They run down some very narrow routing channels, which means that once I pull the LCD, there's no way in hell the wires are going back in straight.
  • The LCD latch is actually on the base of the machine. The only thing on the LCD itself are fixed posts. The latch on the base has some beefy looking metal in it, so it appears to be pretty robust.
  • Base of the machine appears to be made out of magnesium, so that's good. Doesn't feel quite as rigid as a T500, though.
  • Video board is actually a separate component. I doubt you'd be able to upgrade it later, though.
  • It's an HP, and that means Torx screws. Sigh.
  • Fan's visible for cleaning once keyboard is removed. This makes getting the dustbunnies out much easier.
  • Screws for the keyboard and optical drive are captive. I like that. Make it much less likely they'll be misplaced during disassembly.
  • Routing for the LCD cable makes it impossible to unplug until AFTER you've lifted the LCD off the machine. This does not strike me as a smart idea.
  • Some screws on the bottom are covered by little rubber stoppers. Again, can't think of a good reason for this. If you're going to cover 'em, cover 'em all up, or don't bother. It's a machine. Pretending it hasn't got screws in it strikes me as silly.
  • Both the palm rest and keyboard cover appear to be made out of aluminum. The aluminum however, is a lie. It is a slightly thicker than foil veneer over ABS plastic. Don't tease people like this, HP.
  • DC power jack is soldered on the board, but there is a metal bracket surrounding it that should take most of the strain off it. We'll see if it ends up working that way once the machine gets a little age on it.
Overall, I'd say the EliteBooks are much better machines than their retail grade Pavilion products. There are still a few rough edges that need to be fixed, however.


LaptopDOOM

The Studio XPS 1340.

Posted on 2009.09.08 at 14:28
So I'm replacing a motherboard and LCD on this machine. Dell sent the motherboard with a replacement DC power jack (because its actually separate on this model, color me shocked), eSATA cable, and LED board/cable. Because they apparently assume that these cables are so fragile that you cant do a swap without breaking one.

That does not say good things to me about this laptop. No sir, I don't like it.


Evil Inside

Whew.

Posted on 2009.09.05 at 18:51
Well, BTS is now officially over. We'll see how busy we are next week.


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