Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 12:49 UTC
IBM What laptop is the most loved, and maybe the most famous laptop in the world? Which laptop went into space? Which laptop won over 300 design awards? I'm sure many of you will be thinking of something made by Apple, but the truth of the matter is that we're talking about something else: IBM's ThinkPad. You might wonder, where does that name come from?
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Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 13:06 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

it is even better than "went into space"

think "is used by 6 space station inhabitants 365 days a year"

Edited 2009-10-02 13:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 13:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1OTSbIzcwI&fmt=22#t=9m28s

station is full of them

they also use outlook for their space email, how great is that

Reply Score: 2

Am I the only one?
by judgen on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 13:26 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

Am i the only person in the world that thinks the nipple is an awful idea? I much prefer the trackball and the pad to the little dot and with long term use i think the touchpad is pretty horrendous too. But its good too see options exists for all those that prefer their own pointing preferences.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Am I the only one?
by joekiser on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 14:02 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

I love the TrackPoint. It allows me to use my computer without ever moving my hands from the keyboard. Touchpads are so inconsistent in their design. On those laptops, I have to type with my wrists arched so I don't accidently "hit" the touchpad which has the bad habit of clicking outside the intended area. I spend 5-6 hours a day at my Thinkpad, disabling the touchpad and only using the pointer makes a ton of difference.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Am I the only one?
by echo.ranger on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 15:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Am I the only one?"
echo.ranger Member since:
2007-01-17

Agreed. It took me a week or two to really get used to the TrackPoint, but when I did it made a much better pointing tool than the trackpad or trackball.

I wish Netbooks would get a TrackPoint-- their keyboard bezel is small enough that a TrackPoint would beat-out a tiny trackpad any day of the week.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Am I the only one?
by AdamW on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 16:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Am I the only one?"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Vaio P has a nipple. doesn't count as a netbook from the price perspective, though. =)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Am I the only one?
by Laurence on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 14:45 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Am i the only person in the world that thinks the nipple is an awful idea? I much prefer the trackball and the pad to the little dot and with long term use i think the touchpad is pretty horrendous too. But its good too see options exists for all those that prefer their own pointing preferences.

Quite possibly.

I love the "nipple". Trackballs feel like a step backwards to me.

I guess it just shows that everyone has their own preference and their own (perfectly good) reasons for prefering what they do.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Am I the only one?
by gan17 on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 16:09 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Who wouldn't love fondling a nipple?

Yeah, I'm a ThinkPad lover as well... main reasons are the "nipple", build quality and generally good Linux/BSD support.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Am I the only one?
by WereCatf on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 16:23 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Am i the only person in the world that thinks the nipple is an awful idea?

Such blasphemy! There's absolutely nothing wrong with nipples! :O

Reply Score: 5

RE: Am I the only one?
by tomcat on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 18:24 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I actually don't mind the "nipple" or the dot. What I've found in the past is these devices tend to get "stuck" and the mouse cursor tends to drift continuously rather than return to a neutral position and stop when released. Kind of a pain, but I like it a lot better than a trackball or trackpad (which seem to cause carpal-ish pain with prolonged use).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Am I the only one?
by Bobthearch on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 18:51 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I don't mind the red button, but I'm not proficient with it. And anything is better than a touch pad - I always tap those accidentally when typing, creating all sorts of interesting but random effects and problems.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Am I the only one?
by skingers6894 on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 00:55 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
skingers6894 Member since:
2005-08-10

I agree, the nipple (trackpad pointing variety) is bloody awful.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Am I the only one?
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 04:48 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Am i the only person in the world that thinks the nipple is an awful idea? I much prefer the trackball and the pad to the little dot and with long term use i think the touchpad is pretty horrendous too. But its good too see options exists for all those that prefer their own pointing preferences.


Compared to touchpads, I find that it takes longer to get used to a trackpoint - but that a trackpoint is better for anything that requires precision.

Personally I'll take a decent mouse over either, but I still find trackpoints much more bearable to use than touchpads.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Am I the only one?
by DrDankenstein on Mon 5th Oct 2009 22:02 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
DrDankenstein Member since:
2009-09-07

Am i the only person in the world that thinks the nipple is an awful idea? I much prefer the trackball and the pad to the little dot and with long term use i think the touchpad is pretty horrendous too. But its good too see options exists for all those that prefer their own pointing preferences.



hey dont knock the nipple, its actually quite useful when the the trackpad decides to go belly up and become DOA.

but i too agree that the nipple sucks, but it works in a pinch


dr. d

Reply Score: 1

Best laptop I've owned
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 13:35 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

My T60 has been the best laptop I have owned, bar none. My next laptop will be a ThinkPad.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Best laptop I've owned
by kenji on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 16:20 UTC in reply to "Best laptop I've owned"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

I've got an R61 14" and I love it. I even bought it with SLED 10 installed, although that was quickly wiped out.

Wish that I could have been able to afford the T61 but it's a great machine anyway.

I think that the trackpoint coupled with 3 (yes 3!) buttons is absolutely awesome. I hardly ever use the touchpad. The middle button for the trackpoint acts as the scroll, or any other auxiliary function you can program.

Reply Score: 2

Darwinish
by Carewolf on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 13:38 UTC
Carewolf
Member since:
2005-09-08

I believe the reason you see so many ThinkPads is not because of popularity but pure Darwinism. They are probably the only common notebooks that are not damaged by dropping coffee or cola in them. Apple's dies in dusins, but are also sold in large numbers. ThinkPads sales are small (at least post IBM), but they live forever.

Edited 2009-10-02 13:39 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Darwinish
by Kalessin on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 16:42 UTC in reply to "Darwinish"
Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

That would seem to me to be an argument as to why more people should be buying them.

Reply Score: 1

Love
by strcpy on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 16:26 UTC
strcpy
Member since:
2009-05-20

Like so many others, I love ThinkPads too.

I have four of these currently, from X21 to newer models. Time does not kill these, software does.

PS. Good article, Thom.

Edited 2009-10-02 16:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Love
by marafaka on Wed 7th Oct 2009 09:50 UTC in reply to "Love"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

After physical disintegration of my first notebooks I exclusively buy ThinkPad X series. I run them with FreeBSD.

I also like the nipple and intentionally buy models without touchpads. That may be because of what and how I do it though.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by talaf
by talaf on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 17:39 UTC
talaf
Member since:
2008-11-19

ThinkPads shall live.

Reply Score: 1

Which laptop went into space?
by jimbee on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 17:42 UTC
jimbee
Member since:
2007-05-05

The GRiD Compass?

Edited 2009-10-02 17:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Which laptop went into space?
by helf on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 19:52 UTC in reply to "Which laptop went into space?"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Heh, when I read that that is what first came to my mind.

I want a GRiD 1101 so badly

Reply Score: 2

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Heh, when I read that that is what first came to my mind.

I want a GRiD 1101 so badly


Who, can resist a computer with bubble memory. They were just the hottest computer you could own in the early 1980:s. Unfortunately they had their own OS, so they could not survive the competition from MS-DOS based systems such as the Thinkpad.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Seeing that GRiD 1101 kind of makes it clear where Dell got its newfound fetish with the extending part behind the laptop's display.

Reply Score: 1

boudewijn
Member since:
2006-03-05

We've had Acer, we've had dell, we've had gateway, we've had apple. But right now there are six Thinkpads active in my household. My wife got through a laptop every eighteen months (she uses her laptop ~12 hours a day), but her thinkpad keeps going. And I so love my X61t I'm thinking of buying a spare...

The only minus of the ordinary thinkpads is the weak backlight...

Reply Score: 2

Ted.selker
Member since:
2009-10-02

I conseived in-keyboard pointing device while reading Moran/Card Human Computer Interaction book before I went to Atari Research in 1983. I wrote up a patent and filed it before joining IBM in 1985. I disclosed it to them but when the work at IBM the work got too important to diminsh with complex legal interests. I abandoned the patent pending, and focused on the work at IBM. People making the L40SX looked at and ultimately rejected the pointing device in 1990. People making the Thinkpad models in 1991 looked at and ultimately rejected it. The Thinkpad 700, the first one with the pointing device was the same weight, speed and display size with its unsuccessful predisesor, the biggest difference was getting rid of its thumb trackball and replacing it with the TrackPoint gave the laptop a boost in usability that the press and cusotmers seemed to notice... and aused IBM to tripple its projections and production scheudle three times in the first three months selling $.5 billion of thinkpads in the first year. An exponential growth in sales continued for 3 years.

Reply Score: 4

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

thank you for commenting ted selker, because I am happy to finally thank, even if in virtual reality, the creator of one of the best physical cursor interfaces ever invented

Reply Score: 2

helf Member since:
2005-07-06

If you really did invent it, then I want to hug you. I adore the trackpoint. I cannot stand touchpads. They are horrible.

Reply Score: 4

damp Member since:
2006-03-19

I too would like to thank you for this fantastic device, the little red/blue and what ever colour HP gives it, is just a must for my pc's.

I even own 2 keyboards with ultranav, because i can't live without it on my desktops.

And i second the user who mentionen that he disables the touchpad, it is just annoying, not only does it make you move focus from a area you are using, its also unprecise and forces you to have your hands in an unpraticle position.

Reply Score: 1

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Wow... i'm impressed. I love the trackpoint since my Toshiba T2130ct. That's why I'd like to thank you for this great idea.

Yesterday, I got back my first ThinkPad. It is a fully functional 755C (486, 75 MHz, 640x480x256, 300 MB disk, 20 MB RAM, floppy disk drive) from approx. 1995, It works like a charm, and I still use it for programming Motorola mobile radios (which requires a "slow" computer), as well as for amateur radio purposes; OS is DOS + GEOS, but it even ran FreeBSD in the past. The trackpoint works very accurately and enables a pixel-precise (!) placing of the cursor; this precisiion does not change the fact that the trackpoint is an excellent pointing tool for fast operations. The original battery pack still lives and gives more than 2 hours life to the computer. Just imagine what quality this system must be made of - regarding the fact that it is "quite old".

Furthermore, I just remembered that I have an original IBM OS/2 3.0 box with an interesting booklet ("OS/2 Warp Benutzerhandbuch", 23H9482). Why is it interesting? Because it shows a compact-sized keyboard with a trackpoint - a trackpoint in a stationary keyboard! Why can't such a useful thing exist today? (Best idea: A trackpoint on a 122 key keyboard of IBM model M type.)

Something I'd like to add about modern Thinkpads: Next to the trackpoint they offer another feature that I've not found yet on other devices (usually equipped with finger slime pad coffee warmers): a middle mouse button. This button is essential to proper X operations, especially for use with the edit buffer, but very handy for the use of Opera (and Firefox).

When I think about buying a new laptop, which I will have to do sooner or later, it makes me sad that it's quite hard to find such simple things (trackpoint, three mouse buttons, support of standards) on our "modern" home consumer laptops. :-( But as I always say: People want crap, they get crap...

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Because it shows a compact-sized keyboard with a trackpoint - a trackpoint in a stationary keyboard! Why can't such a useful thing exist today?

I'd like one such myself too. Trackpoints take literally no extra space whatsoever, they are very easy to learn to use, and long fingernails don't hinder using them unlike f.ex. touchpads. If you're typing something, be it coding, an essay, a story or anything, it's annoying to have to move your hand away from the keyboard to use a mouse. In those situations a trackpoint is also very handy, you only need to move one single finger instead of moving whole hand.

Reply Score: 2

Thomas Watson quote
by npcomplete on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 08:40 UTC
npcomplete
Member since:
2009-08-21

"All the problems of the world could be solved easily if men were only willing to think."

While I don't entirely agree with that, I like the quote nonetheless. I wish there were a Paper Think Pad with this quote embossed in the leather.

Reply Score: 1

Pointer vs PAD
by mccance on Mon 5th Oct 2009 13:54 UTC
mccance
Member since:
2009-10-03

I've used both for extensive periods of time. At first I was a track pad bigot and hated and resisted the pointer.

But now, I'm all pointer.

Rob www.atlantarealestateinfo.com

Reply Score: 1

Thanks as well
by MattPie on Mon 5th Oct 2009 20:20 UTC
MattPie
Member since:
2006-04-18

I'd like to offer my thanks as well. It's a requirement on any laptop I buy.

I even have a Model M with a Trackpoint, although I think its Lexmark or Unicomp manufacture.

Reply Score: 1