First and foremost : Congratulations
with your new T42! As a long-time T42/p user myself, I am certain that you will enjoy the beautiful, aesthetically pleasing design of T42's... slim, elegant (with the classical "red stripes"!), low-noise, high-performance for all normal office tasks (writing, browsing the internet, e-mailing etc. etc.).. and not to forget, ooh boy, the beautiful 15" FlexView/IPS LCD!! Wow, you better get ready to a love affair!
OK, to get to the point; what I wanted to share is how I configured the identical T42 that I recently got for my mother (mentioned in the thread above); I did exactly as you: Received it, set it up, used it for a couple of weeks to see that all worked OK and then handed it to her - and she has been very pleased with it!
So, here we go; this is what I did; these are the programs I installed:
Windows XP Pro SP2 (from the IBM R&R media), and then I used Windows Update to do its thing (updating a lot!), but I did specifically NOT
install SP3 as it has been reported to have caused a lot of problems with WLAN etc. for may ThinkPad users - so if
you choose to install SP3, I suggest you consider making an image of your SP2 installation, so that you can easily roll back if SP3 also causes troubles to you.
I then used the Lenovo System Update
to automatically update all T42 drivers, programs etc. (note that System Update require that you have Microsoft .NET ver. 2.0). There is no need to get .NET ver. 3 - as I learned in the midst of setting up Mom's T42 through the thread T42 w/fresh Win XP SP2; which Microsoft .NET version needed?
. Note that many people don't like System Update, as e.g. discussed in the thread Is it me or is System Update 3 rubbish?!
. Alternatively, if you prefer to update the T42 drivers/programs manually, you may do that via the Drivers and software - ThinkPad T42, T42p
Then, I installed Notebook Hardware Control
(you may skip the first pages of that thread and jump to the post of Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:46 am). Use NHC to get the T42 to run cooler and with the fan less often "on". I found the lowest CPU voltages for the 600 MHz and 1.8 GHz setting, and left the other multipliers to their default values. Also, I downclocked the GPU to 60 MHz as this is sufficient for all normal use (= non-gaming applications). Downclocking the GPU help keep GPU temperature low, and hence increase battery life and keeping the fan "off" for most of the time. I highly recommend NHC!
(highly recommended free program for watching/manipulating images!), DoPDF
(free program for printing to PDF-files which can be e-mailed!).
E-mail: I set up a free account on GMail
and then configured Outlook Express (which is part of Win XP) to handle this account. GMail works very well; no spam, and no "commercial signature" as in e.g. Hotmail and Yahoo mail, so because of this I recommend GMail via Outlook Express! One benefit of having an e-mail account is the ability to use Windows XP Pro's Remote Assistance
- I have taught my mother to "call for help" this way, so if she has an issue, and I am 50 km away, then we will just go online both of us, and she will invite me to help via "Remote Assistance" - very easy and very useful!
Let me see... what more... oh, yes, I also installed IBM's "PC Doctor" but I just learned that this has been updated to the Lenovo Systems Toolbox (PC Doctor 5+)
so consider getting that... nice for "remote diagnostics"! Also, I installed AutoRuns for Windows
and Process Explorer
- both very useful, free tools nice to have if any tweaking is necessary. Finally, and highly recommended, I installed Acronis True Image
- version 9 is very stable and works fine under Win XP. You may find ATI on eBay for around $10 I think. Alternatively, watch out for "deals" on ATI; they come up from time to time... and then you can grab it for typically $10. A highly, highly recommended program... to make an image of the HDD once everything has just been installed, and works perfect. Highly recommended! Hey, by the way, if you have a Seagate HDD (or perhaps later choose to upgrade to one e.g one of the new big Momentus 5400.3 series; they come with 5 years of warranty!), you may simply get Seagate's free version of ATI; it is called DiscWizard
Consider getting Office 2003, if you don't already have ver. 2007... I guess that 2003 is sufficient (I'm using 2003 daily, and don't know what the advantage may be with 2007.. I guess it is only much larger and perhaps even slower?).
I think that's about it; with the above configuration (in addition to the programs you have already mentioned), you're surely in very fine shape!
All the best of luck with "your" new T42 - I am absolutely confident that both you and your parents will enjoy!
One last thing (and important) to mention: PLEASE
instruct you parents not
to lift the T42 in one corner only, as this may eventually stress to the motherboard; always
lift it underneath and it may live a much longer, happy and useful life!