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Thinkpads on International Space Station

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:19 am
by James1138
I just read a article about electronics having trouble working in space and the main photo shows a trusty Thinkpad T500 or T520 hanging in there. Tough little bugger!! Two thumbs up. :-D

https://www.space.com/42567-space-touri ... -data.html

James
Indiana/USA

Re: Thinkpads on International Space Station

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:35 pm
by MikalE
The A30 or A31 was the first laptop to be flight certified and flew aboard the STS.

That does look like a T500.

Re: Thinkpads on International Space Station

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:06 pm
by Thinkpad4by3
MikalE wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:35 pm
The A30 or A31 was the first laptop to be flight certified and flew aboard the STS.
Lol they sent up the A31 as a conspiracy so they could help save energy heating on the ISS. :lol:

Re: Thinkpads on International Space Station

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:54 pm
by pkiff
Heh heh.

Not sure what they have up there now, but at one point apparently they had 68 A31's and 32 T61p's. It's hard to tell whether something is a T500 vs a T61p, I think?

When you check out a video of the inside of the station, you can quickly see why they like Thinkpads: the Trackpoint is essential - there are no mice anywhere!! For example, check out "100 ThinkPads in the ISS above us" posted was back in 2014:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4Xyl4cW5yc

It gives you a view of all kinds of Thinkpads all over the ISS. And you can see that practically all the laptops are held up by various laptop arms, so they need to have some kind of built-in mouse control. I guess these days you could have a trackpad, but up until the last 10 years or so, if you were running Linux or Windows, then the trackpads kinda sucked compared to the Trackpoint. Macs were the only machines with good trackpads back then, and no one is going to take a Mac up in space. Macs barely knew what an enterprise network was 10 years ago, and if you wanted to plug something into a Mac that wasn't made by Apple then you'd be SOL. Whereas, you can bet that they are still bringing up new devices to the ISS and plugging them into these old machines and making them work today.

Re: Thinkpads on International Space Station

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:15 pm
by Thinkpad4by3
pkiff wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:54 pm
It's hard to tell whether something is a T500 vs a T61p, I think?
Its a T61p. You can tell by the faint but lower case p in the photo and the ports on the side.

Funny enough the Macintosh Portable went to the space. They had problems because the auto-ejecting floppy drives sent the disk flying inside the station without gravity. Here is a video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMNw99Q8Ok0

Re: Thinkpads on International Space Station

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:54 pm
by pkiff
Ha ha! That's funny. *Now* we know why they stayed away from Macs up in space!