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So I'm back to using the X61T with the still-broken hinge...

X60/X61 series specific matters only.
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axur-delmeria
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So I'm back to using the X61T with the still-broken hinge...

#1 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri May 15, 2020 9:27 am

My aunt's X60 suddenly displayed an NMI error. Due to the lockdown I couldn't go to her and try to figure out the issue. She asked if I had any spare laptops to lend her, and I ended up sending my trusty X61 (designated backup machine) to her via motorcycle courier. Of course, I had to remove its HDD first, slap in the 120GB SSD I use for the Core i5 desktop I bought in March (just before the lockdown), wipe it and install Windows.

So I need a replacement for the time being. Doesn't need to be as fast as the X61's Core 2 Duo T8100; just needs to have a 64-bit CPU with at least 2GB RAM, and able to fit the HDD I pulled from the X61. So I had to go through my stash of half-working laptops... :lol:

Candidate #1: Acer Aspire D270
History: younger sister's friend gave it to me
Condition: no keyboard, weak battery
Test result: the dual-core Atom N2800 is painfully slow, Intel GMA 3600 graphics has no Linux support at all (it's a rebadged PowerVR SGX after all) so the x.org modesetting driver is required (this extra load may be what's exacerbating the CPU's slowness(. Worst of all, display output sometimes blacks out upon reaching the login screen.
Conclusion: completely unsuited for Linux

Candidate #2: spare X220
History: younger sister's former laptop; was retired due to a random shutdown issue.
Condition: Doesn't exhibit problems when used occasionally. Keyboard has some non-working keys.
Conclusion: rejected due to supporting only 7mm HDDs-- the HDD I have is 9.5mm.

Candidate #3: spare X61T #1 L7700 with broken hinge
Condition: aside from the hinge, missing HDD cover, no battery; otherwise in working condition
Test result: works without issue, but fan started sounding like a buzzsaw after a day; had to to scavenge heatsink from spare X61T #2.

Conclusion: I'm going to use this one until I get my X61 back. :D

Amusing notes and findings:

1. Newer Linux kernels ignore the processor speed limit imposed by the BIOS when using a 65 watt charger without a battery. I confirmed this by running a 7zip benchmark and its score is close to the X61 with T8100.

2. The Intel 3945ABG WiFi works on the 5GHz spectrum, but only at 54Mbps--apparently this is 802.11a . I never got to see it in action because I upgraded to a 5GHz-capable router only this year, and all laptops with the Intel 3945 have either been retired or upgraded to newer cards.

3. The Core 2 Duo L7700 is a good compromise between speed and heat output-- it's not as fast as the T8100 (I can feel it struggle a few times), but I'm glad that it doesn't reach 80c in normal use-- heck, I ran 5 rounds of 7zip benchmarks and it it didn't even hit 75c.

4. The wide viewing angles of the Samsung LTN121XP01-001 PVA screen are enough to compensate for the fixed angle of the lid--I'm supporting it with some weighted boxes from behind. :lol:

5. This is the same X61T that I modded with a webcam. Unfortunately, while the USB UVC video device is detected, the webcam program hangs when I try to use it. :cry: I dunno if I'd redo this mod in the future.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

atagunov
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Re: So I'm back to using the X61T with the still-broken hinge...

#2 Post by atagunov » Fri May 15, 2020 2:55 pm

You've got quite a respectable stash of classic Thinkpad hardware! It's a shame that even things that probably cost peanuts these days in certain countries - like smaller HDDs - are apparently out of reach for you right now..
X220, 2 *T520

Kingair
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Location: Mexicali, MX (Coachella)

Re: So I'm back to using the X61T with the still-broken hinge...

#3 Post by Kingair » Fri May 15, 2020 11:03 pm

You need another X61(t) 😉

axur-delmeria
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Posts: 2630
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: So I'm back to using the X61T with the still-broken hinge...

#4 Post by axur-delmeria » Sat May 16, 2020 1:18 am

atagunov wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 2:55 pm
You've got quite a respectable stash of classic Thinkpad hardware! It's a shame that even things that probably cost peanuts these days in certain countries - like smaller HDDs - are apparently out of reach for you right now..
Not that it's out of reach. It's just a combination of:

* the lockdown making things difficult in general
* me not wanting to spend on that X220 because it's primarily a source of spare parts for the other X220's in the household.
* Thinkpad parts are hard to find here and are more expensive than other brands.

Which boils down to me being a cheapskate in general-- my desire for Thinkpads is tempered by my Scrooge-iness and pragmatism. :lol:

I don't consider my stash as respectable at all (especially compared to fellow forum members who are collectors), as it's limited to X series Thinkpads, and only two families (X60/61 and X220) at that. That's due to personal preference though, as I find the T series to be too big and heavy to carry around.
Kingair wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 11:03 pm
You need another X61(t) 😉
I just need a hinge, HDD cover, batteries, and maybe a stash of 4GB DDR2 SODIMMs for cheap. :lol:
The digitizer's still working and I already have a stylus. Too bad the other X61T's digitizer is bust (Windows BSODs when I try to use the stylus), though I could use that as an excuse to transplant the screen to my non-tablet X61. Still need to buy the adapter cable though.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

Kingair
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Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Mexicali, MX (Coachella)

Re: So I'm back to using the X61T with the still-broken hinge...

#5 Post by Kingair » Sat May 16, 2020 2:29 am

As I see with some luck you got it up and running for a small investment
Guess the memory and the battery will be the 2 most expensive parts
I bought some 2 x 2GB DDR2 a few weeks ago and paid $ 15.95 shipped
The hinges and cover are only a few bucks

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
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Posts: 2630
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: So I'm back to using the X61T with the still-broken hinge...

#6 Post by axur-delmeria » Sat May 16, 2020 2:38 am

It's already got 3GB at the moment. For a temporary use machine this is more than enough.

Other rejected candidates from my stash:

X60sF --> rejected due to being a 32-bit processor, and a hideously slow one at that (Core Solo 1.06GHz)

Inspiron 1525 --> received from older sister, was her first laptop. Core 2 Duo T5800, 3GB RAM. Only issue is a bad screen. Personally I don't feel like hunting down a replacement 15.4 inch 1280x800 CCFL-backlit screen, where they'll mostly be dim and yellowy by now. :(
And unlike the T61p, there never was a WUXGA option, which IMO would be the only reason to get a 15.4 inch laptop in the first place.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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