Saved by Stuart

thinkpadx31
This is the final chapter in the saga of my broken Thinkpad T23.

Many of you know that I have been using my T23 for testing distributions lately, and before that for a headless server. The reason for that is that the machine has this flaky video problem where sometimes it works, sometimes it does not and other times it “sort of” works. As you can imagine, that is not very conducive to testing out desktop distributions. I certainly has been problematic lately.

I have been lamenting what to do with this especially this month as I have been trying to generate some content for the blog. How am I to do distro testing and such without a desktop machine to test on? The solution came the other day in an email from an old LUG member.

It seems that Stuart, a member of my old LUG, who’s mailing list I am still subscribed to, had a couple spare laptops he was offering up. He posted them to the list and I just happened to be watching my email when the post went through. I jumped at the chance to replace my old beater with something almost as old but fully functional. I arranged to go pick up my new(old) machine that very night.

For a measly $25 and 4 hours worth of drive time I picked up a nice little Thinkpad X31. It has 1.5gb of ram, 120gb hdd, internal wireless B and G and will make a great little laptop to do multitudes of testing on. It even came with Windows 7.

Now I didn’t keep Windows on the laptop, in fact it got a clean Linux install the second it hit my house, but on the way home, I did get a change to check out W7 a little bit. Honestly, I think XP was windows done in crayon and 7 is windows done in maybe sharpie or something. In my opinion, Windows 7 is trying very hard to be a rip-off of OS X, except they have this cartoonish interface. It’s not very professional looking (to me anyway) and I can tell you for sure that Linux on the same machine completely blows it out of the water. In two words, I found it cartoonish and clunky.

Just to tantalise you a little, since I brought the machine home I have attempted to install 5 concurrent distributions on it and actually put 2 of them on. I also learned a lot in the process about Grub 2, but all that is for a different post on a different day, so keep watching and reading!

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