ThinkPad T23 Arrival

T20-T23 Series and T30 specific matters only. NOT for T25-Retro.
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sdfox7
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ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#1 Post by sdfox7 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:41 pm

I'm excited to announce I took delivery of a T23 2647-4MU yesterday. This was a one owner machine and is in excellent condition. The lid had the sticky rubber mess, so I removed it using an expired credit card and then used a Brillo pad (lightly to prevent scratches). It came out like new, minus the factory rubber finish. Oh well, I'm surprised a company like IBM did not test the long term effects of their rubber paint, and there should have been a factory recall for that issue on this machine which cost $3,000 or more brand new.

I have been looking for a T23 in good shape for a long time, and have finally found this one. It is obvious they are well built, so it's hard to believe people would have thrown them out. Maybe a lot of them are now held by collectors, hence why so few are available for sale.

I opted to install the T23 XP recovery CD's I already had. Windows 2000 was originally installed on this machine at the factory, but XP is much more compatible than 2000 ever was. I intend to use this machine regularly, so I also installed SP3, Internet Explorer 8, Office XP Professional SP3, and some other programs I use like Nero 6. All it needs now is new batteries, not suprisingly the original one no longer is any good.

The owner upgraded the RAM from the factory 128MB to 512MB RAM. Everything else is original, including the BIOS which was never upgraded. This model did not ship from the factory with wireless WiFi, so I am using a USB adapter.

An interesting observation is that the computer was manufactured in Mexico, but the adapter was manufactured in China.

I have to say I am extremely shocked how bright the screen is some 16 years later. It still looks like new with no washout areas.

Image warning high resolution:

http://sdfox7.com/t23.htm
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:00 pm

Been there, done that.
If you had posted a WTB you could have had mine, which includes ex-factory wifi...
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#3 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:04 pm

did anyone try this on their ThinkPads with work rubber coating (and yeah I meant after the removal of old coating if it's those in very bad shape)
https://youtu.be/zC-AJzBbN_c
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:15 am

That clip was already shown on Reddit and the comments were rather negative.

That Plasti-Dip has been tried many times over the years, just search the Forum.
Most current one: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=124567&p=806223
It seems to be a total waste of time and money.

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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#5 Post by sdfox7 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:36 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:00 pm
Been there, done that.
If you had posted a WTB you could have had mine, which includes ex-factory wifi...
Thank you for the offer, I was not aware someone on this forum would want to sacrifice their ThinkPad. I won't be selling this one, it's a keeper.

For the WiFi I am using a 802.11 n Wireless N USB adapter. Surprisingly I get full speed even with USB 1.0, which I did not expect. It's very convenient and I didn't have to muck with the originality of the machine.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#6 Post by Unknown_K » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:43 am

They are nice machines (especially with 1GB RAM and high res screen running XP). Not sure if you can still buy new batteries for them , I had some T30 ones I used but they are getting old now.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#7 Post by MikalE » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:52 am

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:04 pm
did anyone try this on their ThinkPads with work rubber coating (and yeah I meant after the removal of old coating if it's those in very bad shape)
https://youtu.be/zC-AJzBbN_c
What an annoying voice and presentation.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#8 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:52 pm

MikalE wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:52 am
kfzhu1229 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:04 pm
did anyone try this on their ThinkPads with work rubber coating (and yeah I meant after the removal of old coating if it's those in very bad shape)
https://youtu.be/zC-AJzBbN_c
What an annoying voice and presentation.
If it works, it gets the job done. But yeah he screwed up the Mic stuff in that video.
Patience, boys. All good things to those who wait. – Mother Gothel (Tangled)
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#9 Post by ac12 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:36 am

Bump the RAM up to 1GB, to reduce disk swapping.
I put a SSD into my T23, and it feels a lot faster.
Nice machine, but time and Windows moving on has made it obsolete for anything new than XP.
And web pages load SLOW.
As long as you stay off the web, it still works decently well for local applications.

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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#10 Post by sdfox7 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:37 pm

Unknown_K wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:43 am
They are nice machines (especially with 1GB RAM and high res screen running XP). Not sure if you can still buy new batteries for them , I had some T30 ones I used but they are getting old now.
I bought a brand new Sanyo-manufactured battery on eBay for $27 (link). I received it a couple days after buying the machine and after one cycle it holds about a 2:30 charge. Very happy with the purchase. (Image)
ac12 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:36 am
Bump the RAM up to 1GB, to reduce disk swapping.
I put a SSD into my T23, and it feels a lot faster.
Nice machine, but time and Windows moving on has made it obsolete for anything new than XP.
And web pages load SLOW.
As long as you stay off the web, it still works decently well for local applications.
I also ordered the 1GB RAM on eBay, matching set of NEW 2 x 512MB (link)

The computer is running very well. I started by installing the IBM factory recovery XP Pro CDs (this machine was available with either 2000 or XP). Then I installed Office XP Professional with SP3 and the XML 2007 File Format Converter for editing modern .docx, .pptx, and .xlsx. For modern usage I installed Firefox 10 ESR and then spoofed the user agent as Firefox 52 [Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0] so I don't get messages that the browser is out of date. I did an in-depth thread on this over at MSFN several weeks ago, and it works also with Windows 2000. For good measure, I also installed the final version of Chromium that does not require SSE2 processor (34.0.1847)

The machine runs extremely well, and I am very satisfied with my 'investment' (accountants will tell you electronics are never an investment!)
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#11 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:58 pm

Congrats! :D
Well I ordered battery as well - but the UltraBay variant so that I can swap batteries between my A30p and T23.
From my experience for A30p, the downside of T23 compared to my A30p is its outdated S3 graphics card that has worse driver support over the Radeon 7000, along with a watered down LCD and speakers.
I think Office 2007 is the most optimal thing to run on a T23.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#12 Post by ac12 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:05 pm

It is an investment, but in a different way.
You invest $x into gear TO DO A JOB/TASK, not to get $y in return like the stock market.
The longer it serves that purpose, the better your return on your investment.
Example, I can still do word processing and spreadsheet work on an old XP machine, I don't need the latest and greatest computer to do that. Heck I could do that on a Win98 PC, the PC would still be faster than my fingers.

For me, on my last laptop upgrade to the T61, it was the internet, not my programs that has been pushing my need to upgrade my laptop. The video hardware/drivers on my old computers could not support the new web code nor the processing required for some of the web pages. The CPU was chugging at 100% trying to render the pages.
But if I am not on the web, the T23 works just fine.
Last edited by ac12 on Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#13 Post by sdfox7 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:00 pm

ac12 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:05 pm
It is an investment, but in a different way.
You invest $x into gear TI DO A JOB/TASK, not to get $y in return like the stock market.
The longer it serves that purpose, the better your return on your investment.
Example, I can still do word processing and spreadsheet work on an old XP machine, I don't need the latest and greatest computer to do that. Heck I could do that on a Win98 PC, the PC would still be faster than my fingers.

For me, on my last laptop upgrade to the T61, it was the internet, not my programs that has been pushing my need to upgrade my laptop. The video hardware/drivers on my old computers could not support the new web code nor the processing required for some of the web pages. The CPU was chugging at 100% trying to render the pages.
But if I am not on the web, the T23 works just fine.
I see your point.

The internet alone will not make me give up these fantastic old machines. As a college student, my needs are pretty modest, basic web browsing and office documents.

For anything these legendary machines can't do, there is always my iPhone. It is unrealistic and unfair to pit 15-20 year old technology against every modern task. :lol:
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#14 Post by Kilkenny » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:50 am

My T23's display is easily the best of any ThinkPad I have (though my T43p needs a new backlight). Colors are significantly better on the T23 vs the X201 and T420. It's my favorite laptop and I use it for real work all the time.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#15 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:53 am

sdfox7 wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:37 pm
I bought a brand new Sanyo-manufactured battery on eBay for $27 (link). I received it a couple days after buying the machine and after one cycle it holds about a 2:30 charge.
That battery looks reasonable but otherwise could be rather dicey, based on seller's many negative feedbacks!

Code: Select all

Recent Feedback ratings (last 12 months)	
 		1 month	6 months12 months	
Positive	2411	15795	34300
Neutral		8	67	132
Negative	28	149	322
Maybe keep us informed about battery progress/decline?

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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#16 Post by sdfox7 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:33 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:53 am
sdfox7 wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:37 pm
I bought a brand new Sanyo-manufactured battery on eBay for $27 (link). I received it a couple days after buying the machine and after one cycle it holds about a 2:30 charge.
That battery looks reasonable but otherwise could be rather dicey, based on seller's many negative feedbacks!

Code: Select all

Recent Feedback ratings (last 12 months)	
 		1 month	6 months12 months	
Positive	2411	15795	34300
Neutral		8	67	132
Negative	28	149	322
Maybe keep us informed about battery progress/decline?
The feedback ratings include all items this seller has for sale, not just this battery.

I understand your concern. However, when buying, I took into account a few things:

Long time seller has been registered since June 5, 2004
Seller has 317,322 feedback ratings (!!!)
Overall feedback rating including negatives is 99.1%
Seller has sold over 100 of these batteries
The seller stands by a 30 day money back guarantee

My feedback numbers are slightly different from yours, because feedback numbers keep increasing for this seller, but In the last 12 months, there have been 321 upset people out of a total of 34,767 feedback ratings: https://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI. ... portportal

Every buying experience is different. Different people fulfill the order, and some people on eBay will leave NF even after the seller rectifies the situation.

I'll let you know what my experiences are. The seller stands by a 30 day money back guarantee, and I'll know by then. This T23 will be in service regularly.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#17 Post by jaspen-meyer » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:07 pm

I wonder if an internal N card would be faster than the USB 1.0 dongle.
My x24, with internal N card, measures 14.5 MBit/s download and 2.03 MBit/s upload, which are limits of my network.

For what it's worth, I'm tying this message on the x24 in Firefox 55.0.2.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#18 Post by BillP » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:40 pm

My network is rated for 60Mb/s download. Using a T23 with P III 1.2GHz, 1GB RAM, Atheros wireless N (42T0825), Firefox 48.0.2, and Windows XP SP3 I recorded a best download rate of 64Mb/s. The speed varied depending on which server I accessed for the test. I don't have a wireless USB dongle to compare.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#19 Post by gma » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:56 am

It's very interesting to read this. @sdfox – your T23 looks to be in superb condition. Nice find.

I bought a second hand T23 around 2004. It came with 256MB of RAM (I added 512 more) and a 30GB disk. It was my first laptop, and I used it (with Linux) until late 2007 when I bought a Macbook Pro.

I've been using Mac laptops ever since, but need a new one (the keyboard in my Air is failing), and can't bring myself to pay so much money for a rubbish keyboard and the ridiculous gimmick that is the touch bar. So there's an X230 with an FHD display on its way to me now, and I'll be using it to experiment with using Linux again for all my work.

Meanwhile, I've dug the T23 out. The keys and palm rest are well polished (I used it a lot), but the finish on the lid is still good. Ubuntu 9.04 is still running well, and while I didn't realise I missed it, the 4:3 aspect ratio is a revelation. I'd pay a lot for modern hardware with 1080p (or higher) 4:3 screen.

The battery is totally dead, so I too would be interested to hear how that new battery performs.

Now I just need to decide whether to get an Atheros mini PCI wifi card for it, or see if a USB dongle works with the Linux kernel. Does anybody know if sourcing/fitting an internal antenna is straightforward? EDIT: I just discovered this thread on the very subject… /viewtopic.php?t=37619
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#20 Post by sdfox7 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:17 pm

I wanted to follow up with an update.

I wanted to compare performance of XP SP2 and SP3 on this T23.

I decided to wipe the hard drive, and install the recovery CDs, this time only updating to SP2, not SP3. I also left Internet Explorer 6.0, and did not update to Internet Explorer 8.0. I am using Firefox and Chromium on this machine anyway, so IE is a moot point.

SP2 seems to be remarkably faster than SP3 on older machines, particularly this Pentium III. And SP2 still works with most software that works with SP3.

The only other update I did was KB893357, so that XP SP2 can connect to my iPhone hotspot. Windows XP SP2 requires this update for WPA2! Without KB893357 SP2 cannot connect to WPA2 networks. XP SP3 already includes this update.

May 2, 2005: The Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)/Wireless Provisioning Services Information Element (WPS IE) update for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 is available (direct download: https://web.archive.org/web/20050930231 ... 86-ENU.exe)
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#21 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:55 pm

Do you have compatibility issues with some public Wi-Fi networks? My A30p with a stock 2200BG card can't connect to some public networks even in Windows 7 while my T43 with the same card do not have that issue.
Patience, boys. All good things to those who wait. – Mother Gothel (Tangled)
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#22 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:54 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:55 pm
Do you have compatibility issues with some public Wi-Fi networks? My A30p with a stock 2200BG card can't connect to some public networks even in Windows 7 while my T43 with the same card do not have that issue.
Stock card on the A30p was not Intel 2200BG, but a wireless B/modem combo card and it did not support anything apart from WEP with the stock firmware. The same card was used in T23.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#23 Post by sdfox7 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:30 am

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:55 pm
Do you have compatibility issues with some public Wi-Fi networks? My A30p with a stock 2200BG card can't connect to some public networks even in Windows 7 while my T43 with the same card do not have that issue.
This T23 was manufactured January 2002 and did not come with the wireless option built in. I am using the Netgear N600 (WNDA3100) which is a dual-band (2.0GHz/5.0GHz) wireless n (802.11n) adapter. I can connect to any wireless network I want including my iPhone hotspot.

They are $50 in the store at Best Buy and worth every penny. It is far better than anything I would ever get with an internal card. Netgear still supports Windows XP for their products. The system requirements of the N600 are minimum USB 1.0 and Windows XP. The requirements do not list a service pack but I doubt it would work with RTM/SP0/SP1.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/netgear-ra ... Id=8669942
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#24 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:58 pm

ajkula66 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:54 pm
Stock card on the A30p was not Intel 2200BG, but a wireless B/modem combo card and it did not support anything apart from WEP with the stock firmware. The same card was used in T23.
Ah my bad, what was I saying? By stock I actually meant that it was the very same card from my T43 (2200bg) and my A30p has built in antenna
Patience, boys. All good things to those who wait. – Mother Gothel (Tangled)
_________________________________
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2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#25 Post by jaspen-meyer » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:29 pm

sdfox7 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:30 am
It is far better than anything I would ever get with an internal card.
What is 'far better' about it? My internal N card has an Atheros 92xx chip and cost $15. For $50 you could get a high end internal card.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#26 Post by sdfox7 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:24 am

jaspen-meyer wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:29 pm
sdfox7 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:30 am
It is far better than anything I would ever get with an internal card.
What is 'far better' about it? My internal N card has an Atheros 92xx chip and cost $15. For $50 you could get a high end internal card.
I was referring to a stock card that would have come with the wifi option. Also, the USB is not locked to one machine so I can use it on more than one machine. I believe the mini PCI is obsolete now, where USB is universal.
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#27 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:35 pm

sdfox7 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:24 am
Also, the USB is not locked to one machine so I can use it on more than one machine. I believe the mini PCI is obsolete now, where USB is universal.
If you decide to use WiFi in a T23 a lot, then go for mPCI cards as they are cheap and far more reliable.
FYI, mPCI cards can be used on all post 2000 computers that is T4x or older, as well as on desktops via a cheap passive mPCI to PCI adapter
Patience, boys. All good things to those who wait. – Mother Gothel (Tangled)
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

RealBlackStuff
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#28 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:57 am

Currently there are excellent, cheap mPCI wifi-N cards for sale: viewtopic.php?p=807358#p807358

kfzhu1229
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Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#29 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:51 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:57 am
Currently there are excellent, cheap mPCI wifi-N cards for sale: viewtopic.php?p=807358#p807358
Hmm where do you suggest to put the antenna in a lid that doesn't come with antenna? Back of the lid? I have spare 15" T4x antennae that I wanna make use of.
Patience, boys. All good things to those who wait. – Mother Gothel (Tangled)
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

gma
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:29 am
Location: Manchester, UK

Re: ThinkPad T23 Arrival

#30 Post by gma » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:04 am

And if I could a related question – are antennas fairly easy to come by?

I've looked on ebay (UK) and while I can see antennas for other ThinkPad models, there's nothing for the T23. I wonder if I antennas from any other models would be compatible with the T23?

Cheers.
T23, X230, T601f [under construction]

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