Final days of the lenovo laptop

Tags: django, nelenschuurmans

On my way home from the Dutch Django meeting, I’m sitting in the train to Utrecht. I take out my LAPTOP. OUCH. The dArn thINg is HOT again. The same as it was when I arrived at the Django meeting.

Once every two weeks (since about three months) my lenovo laptop somehow wakes up again if I’ve suspended it. While sitting in my backpack! Why on earth?!? I’m sure it was sleeping some 5 seconds after I closed the lid. I mean, I’m checking that every time I put the laptop in my backpack since it happened the first time. Pretty irritating (and scaring) if you take a HOT laptop out of your bag.

Why? No idea. Except that this is a cheapo lenovo thinkpad. Thinkpad? Didn’t “IBM thinkpad” use to have legendary linux (which I’m using) support? Yes, it used to have. Until they brought out a cheaper line (the “SL510” model in my case) without the original thinkpad firmware. So with the thinkpad logo, but with some cheap, relatively unsupported, firmware.

Just google for “thinkpad”, “linux” and “speakers”. Or “volume control”. Or…

My volume control doesn’t work. My mute button doesn’t work. The only thing that prevents me from soldering out the sound chip is that the sound only works in one setting. Either on-board speakers or headphones. No, you have to manually set that in the settings. Plugging in your headphones doesn’t mute the speakers. You have to do that manually. So now the volume control actually apparently works, but only for the one output format that I chose…

The first few months, my CPU was regularly running at 40%. Some runaway X windows process that was virtually impossible to kill without also taking most of X windows with it. Or at least without taking the USB plug-and-play detection with it. Yep: I needed to reboot when I wanted to plug in my mouse if I was unlucky (and I was, a couple of times).

Screen resolution? 1366x768. Just a couple of lines of code. And coupled with my font settings, you cannot edit two files with <80 characters per line side by side.

  • Viewing as many lines of code as possible is a key indicator of programmer productivity: fail for the lenovo thinkpad.

  • Viewing two files next to each other: key indicator of my programmer productivity. Fail for the lenovo cheap-ass thinkpad.

Conclusion: despite the thinkpad brand name. Stay clear of the cheap lenovo thinkpads. They’re not worthy of the name. The high end ones are probably still good. We received two new ones at the office today and they seems pretty sweet (apart from the still-inadequate screen resolution).

To end with a positive note: my macbook pro 15” will be arriving soon. With a proper screen and a good resolution. Happy days will be here again :-) logo

About me

My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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