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IBM ThinkPad 701C, A Visual Tour

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jeffbaichina
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IBM ThinkPad 701C, A Visual Tour

#1 Post by jeffbaichina » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:44 am

6+ hours of photo-shooting and filming later, I have finally assembled a visual album/tour for my IBM ThinkPad 701C, I have posted it on Imgur. Enjoy! :D

Album Link: https://imgur.com/a/2Ho35

dr_st
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Re: IBM ThinkPad 701C, A Visual Tour

#2 Post by dr_st » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:19 am

Thank you for this wonderful visual tour. Indeed, the 701C is one of the most unique models.

I was fascinated to learn about the ability to access the BIOS configuration any time. I wonder how many of its settings take effect instantaneously. Later Thinkpads had the 'Thinkpad Configuration Utility' which was running under Windows and was controlling many of the same settings that the BIOS was, but I think often times you still had to reboot to apply the configuration changes.

A few comments about the first part where you complained about the paint and all the flimsy covers. I think it's fair to assume that no one expected, even back then, that a machine will last 10, much less 20+ years. So any paint they would use would not be tested to guaranteed stability after so long; it was probably mostly designed to look/feel good for the first few years.

As far as the covers over the ports - I think that the assumption back then was that exposed ports are fragile or that they put the internals at risk if dust gets in, or if you touch it while it's "live", so they frequently were covered. People now tend to baby their computer far less than two and a half decades ago (which is fair considering that the price drops moved them from premium to commodity items), and I maybe the hardware also evolved to be more resilient to dust, grime or accidental electrostatic discharges.
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jeffbaichina
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Re: IBM ThinkPad 701C, A Visual Tour

#3 Post by jeffbaichina » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:01 am

dr_st wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:19 am
Thank you for this wonderful visual tour. Indeed, the 701C is one of the most unique models.
My pleasure, I have been longing for a working and clean 701C for a couple of years now - trust me, I'm happy to write more about it. :lol:
dr_st wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:19 am
I was fascinated to learn about the ability to access the BIOS configuration any time. I wonder how many of its settings take effect instantaneously. Later Thinkpads had the 'Thinkpad Configuration Utility' which was running under Windows and was controlling many of the same settings that the BIOS was, but I think often times you still had to reboot to apply the configuration changes.
Indeed, the ability to change BIOS settings - or in fact, to view port configurations (DMA, IRQ, etc.) is really handy for a DOS-running machine. It is really fascinating how they could put BIOS settings and display into a "resident" mode, really making your operating system look like just one of the "programmes" running on the computer -if you know what I mean.
dr_st wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:19 am
A few comments about the first part where you complained about the paint and all the flimsy covers. I think it's fair to assume that no one expected, even back then, that a machine will last 10, much less 20+ years. So any paint they would use would not be tested to guaranteed stability after so long; it was probably mostly designed to look/feel good for the first few years.

As far as the covers over the ports - I think that the assumption back then was that exposed ports are fragile or that they put the internals at risk if dust gets in, or if you touch it while it's "live", so they frequently were covered. People now tend to baby their computer far less than two and a half decades ago (which is fair considering that the price drops moved them from premium to commodity items), and I maybe the hardware also evolved to be more resilient to dust, grime or accidental electrostatic discharges.
I do admit that I'm looking at this a bit too much on the perspective of a "user" from 20 years later, but I do have my point in comparison to my first ThinkPad, the 380XD which I got in 2001 as a child. Heck, I was born in '97 so I really couldn't say I'm an expert on the computing culture of the 90s. On the question of "babying" a computer, I do understand that - born in China, a computer was not a common household item until some 2008 or later, I was only lucky enough to get a laptop passed down from my father, who's a telecommunication engineer.

However, coming back to the point. I do find that 300 series ThinkPads are a lot more friendly to work with, one of the reason being the paint. The 701C for some reason is way worse in the preservation of paint/finish even when comparing to other 700 series ThinkPads with similar rubberised finish. To be fair, the 600s could be similarly frustrating to work with. But I think the salt in the wound is really that, the 701C being a really well-built ThinkPad, it has a lot of details gone into it to make it look "integral" - however, as I mentioned in the album, the covers are extraordinarily difficult to open that I have to use a plunger... But again, I don't know if that was the case when these computers were new.

MikalE
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Re: IBM ThinkPad 701C, A Visual Tour

#4 Post by MikalE » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:32 am

That looks very nice. Good work.
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Shredder11
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Re: IBM ThinkPad 701C, A Visual Tour

#5 Post by Shredder11 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:53 pm

I'd love to have a nice 700 series for my collection. Lovely photos and nice write-up by the way, and perhaps a video for YouTube at some point? That is one thing that is lacking on YouTube, really high quality Thinkpad videos with good research, presentation and camera work etc.
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jeffbaichina
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Re: IBM ThinkPad 701C, A Visual Tour

#6 Post by jeffbaichina » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:30 pm

Shredder11 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:53 pm
I'd love to have a nice 700 series for my collection. Lovely photos and nice write-up by the way, and perhaps a video for YouTube at some point? That is one thing that is lacking on YouTube, really high quality Thinkpad videos with good research, presentation and camera work etc.
Thanks! I do have one video posted if you scroll down to the last pic - a recording of system factory restoration. I would love to make a documentary-style video but...

1. My most powerful machine on hand is a ThinkPad T61 with NVS140M.
2. Not a native English speaker, not really confident with that... But I might be able to find someone else to do so for me.

I might come up with something later.

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