Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Oct 2017 22:37 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

A couple years ago, Lenovo announced its plans to build a "retro" ThinkPad that would resurrect design elements of ThinkPads past as an homage to the brand's long history.

That ThinkPad is now real. Check out the ThinkPad 25, sold to commemorate 25 years of ThinkPads.

I'm just going to leave this here for you lovely ThinkPad people. This isn't for me, but I'm not here to ruin your party.

Do clean up after yourselves.

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Time to contemplate
by ThomasFuhringer on Fri 6th Oct 2017 08:04 UTC
ThomasFuhringer
Member since:
2007-01-25

Another moment that makes me think: Considering what I could do with a ThinkPad 25 years ago and how little more we do with a machine that packs probably a fifty times or more the hardware resources today, something went seriously wrong with the software part of it. While I admire the early creators of Windows for what they managed to eke out of the hardware of those days, the people working on Windows and the applications on it in the last two decades did a miserable job, to me.
A Raspberry Pi Zero already has a number of times the hardware specs of an early ThinkPad and should be enough to run a modern desktop.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Time to contemplate
by Sidux on Fri 6th Oct 2017 10:45 in reply to "Time to contemplate"
Sidux Member since:
2015-03-10

You can do quite a bunch more stuff now..
Technology and software is there.
The fact that it has no reason of investment for the casual user is another discussion.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Time to contemplate
by KKK. on Fri 6th Oct 2017 12:12 in reply to "RE: Time to contemplate"
KKK. Member since:
2017-09-29

No, the main problem is, today regular consumer computer systems are no more responsive, does not feel any faster than the ones from 20 years ago. In many cases they feel even more sluggish due to insane amount of layering, abstraction and bloat. Because "javascript generation". And apparently we now need applications that pretend to be (for example) a simple dd tool, or a simple messaging app, but are actually a full-blown browser under the hood.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: Time to contemplate
by BlueofRainbow on Fri 6th Oct 2017 11:05 in reply to "Time to contemplate"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

Yep, something went terribly wrong. And it is not just in the Windows world.

Despite huge leaps in processing power and communication speeds, the overall web browser experience does not feel that much faster than it was with a dial-up modem. Media streaming sites appear to be notable exception. Maybe there are too many video adds going around?

Same for simple text editing and spreadsheet data entry and manipulation. There are still many "wait" times for response to keyboard keys or mouse clicks.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Time to contemplate
by avgalen on Fri 6th Oct 2017 12:57 in reply to "RE: Time to contemplate"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Despite huge leaps in processing power and communication speeds, the overall web browser experience does not feel that much faster than it was with a dial-up modem

We now have 20 tabs of Full-HD content open that contain lots of images, fonts and video and we keep that open 24/7.
We used to have 1 or 2 browser windows open and waited for the text on the page to load before we slowly saw tables/frames and later images progressively load.

We now watch 4K youtube content without any buffering for an hour on average per day while we used to watch no video or at the very most a 30 seconds postage-stamp

We now download the latest Linux distribution in a Full-DVD-ISO in minutes while we used to not even try at home but instead went to the university and let a machine run all day long, hoping that no admin would notice that you were hogging all the bandwidth (sorry RedHat 5.2)

We used to run all our software locally and cache networked data for performance, now we run most software in the cloud and sync our entire image and video-collection to Cloud-Services

We used to preannounce to others that we would go online between 7:15 and 7:30 and then use some BBS to chat, now we send group-video instantly over WhatsApp and others

We used to buy cassettes and cd's, now we stream music on our phones

We used to have physical maps, now we have online phones with navigation and traphic info

I don't know what kind of dial-up you remember, but the world is a vastly different place now

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Time to contemplate
by IndigoJo on Sun 8th Oct 2017 09:22 in reply to "RE: Time to contemplate"
IndigoJo Member since:
2005-07-06

I remember Netscape Navigator in the mid-90s; most websites then were simple text files with a bit of HTML mark-up; these days, the opening HTML at the beginning that you don't even see is bigger than some web pages were back in the 90s. The old websites had small images (if any) because the owners probably only had a few megabytes to host their sites with; these days, sites are designed for browser windows that are bigger than screens were then. Even then, they were often slow to load, pictures doubly so, and those Java applets took interminably long.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Time to contemplate
by Morgan on Fri 6th Oct 2017 11:18 in reply to "Time to contemplate"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I was never as much into the ThinkPad as I was the Dell Latitude series (I'm not saying the Latitude is better, just that it's what I always had available). I'm still waiting for Dell to release the true successor to my Latitude CPx.

And I still use that CPx to this day, running OpenBSD and Slackware. I can't watch high-definition video, sure, but 99% of what I want out of a full size laptop can be done on that machine. The keyboard is nearly as good as my desktop mechanical board, and the screen has held up over the years, still as bright and clear as it was in 2000. It's a heavy, bulky brick of a machine, but at least it doesn't bend when I pick it up like most ultrabooks I've played with. It feels just as fast as the Raspberry Pi 3 despite half the clock speed and with three less cores.

I think a Raspberry Pi based laptop with a good keyboard and screen would be a wonderful thing, a modern but extremely low powered device that never had Microsoft's nor Apple's fingers in the pie.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Time to contemplate
by KKK. on Fri 6th Oct 2017 12:38 in reply to "RE: Time to contemplate"
KKK. Member since:
2017-09-29

Oh yeah, Lattitudes were the only true rivals to ThinkPads in terms of quality, reliability, ruggedness and keyboards.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Time to contemplate
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 6th Oct 2017 15:56 in reply to "RE: Time to contemplate"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

I think a Raspberry Pi based laptop with a good keyboard and screen would be a wonderful thing, a modern but extremely low powered device that never had Microsoft's nor Apple's fingers in the pie.


Something like the Pinebook (https://www.pine64.org/?page_id=3707)?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Time to contemplate
by boudewijn on Fri 6th Oct 2017 16:36 in reply to "Time to contemplate"
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

I had a Compaq Contura Aero 4/33c in 1994. That's less than 25 years ago. It ran Windows 3 and had a 16 shades grayscale 640x480 lcd. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compaq_Contura#Contura_Aero_series .

On that hardware you could not:

* edit images, certainly not images of 10,000 x 5,000 pixels, which is normal these days.
* edit video
* edit, or even play, sound
* connect to a network (unless using plip or something like that)
* use X11 if running Linux
* browse the web

You could use a word processor (but a book had to be divided into chapters, which always went wrong when assembling the final print, if you'd be using Word, Wordperfect was better, but only the MS-Dos version). You could code on it, using Visual Basic, or run Dogwaffle to download mail and usenet news over uucp. You could create a not very complicated spreadsheet, or run minesweeper. It also had a very nice keyboard and an interesting trackball.

The amount of data our systems handle these days in incredible. A big brush in a painting application in 2003 would be 64 pixels; today people tell me they need brushes with 10,000 pixels diameter. And we're finding ways to make that work.

In short, I don't think you know what you're talking about, but then, the "everything used to be better when I was younger" crowd usually is wrong.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Time to contemplate
by KKK. on Fri 6th Oct 2017 20:36 in reply to "RE: Time to contemplate"
KKK. Member since:
2017-09-29

I am a relatively young person, and most ThinkPads that I admire today I got my hands on when they were already very, very outdated. Only then I realised that computers that I am used to are actually total crap, and these "relics from the past" were just incomparably better, higher quality and much better built. Yes, they were much slower, had less clear screens, but none of today's modern machines can compete with them in terms of quality and longevity.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Time to contemplate
by Darak on Sun 8th Oct 2017 09:01 in reply to "Time to contemplate"
Darak Member since:
2009-10-16

The sad state of software is real. Operating system manufacturers have moved their focus away from the desktop, and they were the ones everybody were following when it came to application look, feel, or even feature set, not to mention providing all the needed underlying technologies and APIs. In the Windows ecosystem there is literally nothing to work on, as the entire Win32 API has had a deprecation hammer circling over it for years, and every one of the multiple attempts at replacing it (beginning with Windows Forms) has been a colossal failure.

Reply Parent Score: 1