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Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

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Saucey
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Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

#1 Post by Saucey » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:19 pm

WARNING: This post is probably a jumbled mess of thoughts!
Incompleted PDF Graph Here.
Vizio file if you want to do some editing.
I was making a new timeline format, this time with information how everything connected. Check out the incomplete PDF I have. So far I was mainly focusing on the 700T & 200 series, how they correlate to the X1C, X-Series tablets, Yogas & Helix. So info like the 500, 700, 300, 800 are left out right now.

Hi everyone, as most of you all know Medessec and I made a ThinkPad Timeline & everyone chimed in about it.
I am brainstorming about making a ThinkPad History video, a more accurate & possibly interactive timeline. And making a blog or website for easier SEO info access than video.
Originally this all started because I just wanted to make a three video series about the A31p; a review, why it is unique. Legacy of the A31p. Tear down video, showing components & things people should look for when buying them.
But since my brain likes to go off tangents and check out other information, I delved too much researching previous ThinkPads; 380, 755, 701, as well as other Operating Systems, developers, companies.

So my focus shifted, because although the A30p did a lot of firsts in the ThinkPad world, I wondered what other companies did too.
Then it brought up some difficult questions...
  • Is the A30p the first IPS laptop?
    Was the A21p the first UXGA laptop?
    The Gateway Solo was the first 3 spindle laptop, but I can't pinpoint which model and when it was built.
    For ThinkPads, was the 380D the first 3 spindle ThinkPad?
    If possible, is there any information as to how NASA modified ThinkPads for space use.
    A look into the competition: Toshiba Satellite Pro, HP vt6200, Apple PowerBook Titanium, Dell M40/50 & Aleinware's first laptop the Area 51-m.
    The greatness of the A3x as well as the issues people come across the A3x (I will probably just surf the A forum, but I don't know what previous user's praise is at!).
    What were the key issues why IBM sold the ThinkPad division, & how it got to Lenovo.
What I wanted to do was to make a video about why I liked it, the cost of getting one, all the features, a second video of opening it up, and the third video would be the history of it.
As far as the third video, I figured I might as well research other ThinkPads for supplemental information, rival products & at the time, tech trends/development.
Other than having the ThinkPad aficionado affection, I wanted to give a fairness to the other computers it went against, and for why it was sorta discontinued.
When making the original timeline, I came across a lot of information, corrections and so on, now I know more information, yet still I was finding more to that... :banana:



I got into diving into researching the 2521 ThinkPad 700T, and that just brought another can of worms! :)
If possible, does anyone know when Richard Sapper started working for IBM? I'm not sure if it was in 1980 or the 80's.


Although the 700T was the first slate Tablet IBM made, there was a lot of innovation going on too.
  • I would like to focus about GO Corp's PenPoint OS (and read the Silicon Valley startup book)
    Focus upon GRiD Computer Company, the Compass, GRiDPad, GRiD operating system, & the cloud storage they offered.
    Which then made me research internet companies like CompuServe, AOL, beginnings of the Internet.
    PenBased machines, PalmPilot, Apple Newton, AT&T EO, Samsung Pen Master, Active Book Prototype, ThinkPad morphables; 750P, 360PE, & Compaq Concerto.
Most likely I'll make a separate video for Jeff Hawkins, GO Corp & GRiD Systems. Maybe I'll talk about the iPhone/iPad... :evil:

Here's what I am THINKing for the videos should be.

Outline of ThinkPads - General overview of what we have today and how they relate to the original machines. Explanation of model lines, IBM, Acer, Lenovo machines (who made G series again?). Each prefix & suffixes ThinkPads used. A breakdown of the four different 'eras' of ThinkPads I believe there are.
1980 to 1994 - Pre ThinkPad IBM Luggables, 5140 & PS/2 Note. Concepts, & ideas behind the original ThinkPad 700T, then 700, 300, 500, 220. Brief info about Toshiba's popularity, HP & Atari's microcomputer battles, IBM's talks with DRI, MicroSoft & GRiD Systems.
1st era, 1994 to 2000 - IBM dominating the market, PC110, 701C, 755CD, death of the Pen PC, Apple PowerBook.
2nd era, 1999 to 2006 - IBM's introduction to the T, X, A, R, machines, Flexviews, 'p' models, TransNote, 10 years of ThinkPads, & T4x era.
edited 3rd era, 2005 to 2010 - Lenovo's takeover, X41 Tablet PC, T61 praise & problems, W700ds, T400/500 a new standard.
added 4th era 2009 to 2012 - Is it still a ThinkPad? Beginnings of the Ultrabook, X1 Carbon IdeaPad/Edge influence, T431s, Helix, death of the 6 row layout, chicklet & layout criticism.
5th era, 2012 to Present - Attack of the Chicklet Keyboards :roll: , shift towards Ultrabook market, 'p' models, 51nb a new hope, IPS strikes again, X1 expanding market, ThinkPad Retro project.

Then after all of this, I think I could talk about the A31p. :eek:
However, before I set the ideas in stone, I would like to get everyone's input, because I wasn't in the golden era of ThinkPads, so I would like to know how more epic these machines are. :mrgreen:
Last edited by Saucey on Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
Coffee, ThinkPads & Nikon Fan.

Current: PixelBook & W550s
Old Favorites: A31p, T43p, 2521, 755, T60

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Re: Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

#2 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:57 pm

Maybe have a 3.5th era focused on the Z60-T61-W500 era Thinkpads, since pre 2010 and post 2010 Lenovo Thinkpads look and feel quite different from the succeeding Thinkpads.
lenovo T420 i7 2670qm 16GB QHD + eGPU GTX 960
lenovo T430s i5 3230m 16GB QHD w/ optimus(RIP), lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, lenovo T500 P9700 8GB WUXGA(LED) w/ switchable graphics
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads with registry.

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Re: Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

#3 Post by brchan » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:07 pm

Lots of great info! Although I probably consider Lenovo to have 3 eras:

1. T60 - T400 (excludes 's' model)
2. T410 - T430
3. T431s - present
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, A31p, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

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Re: Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

#4 Post by TonyJZX » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:35 pm

While I agree with brchan that a lot of the younger blokes will have their history start at the T60, it represents the end of the IBM ownership.

There's an incredibly deep history in the IBM days and that the T60 to T420 represents pretty much the end of the era.

To me its more like the T42 to T420 represents that period most important to me but obviously huge amounts of people find the butterflys and that era to be even more relevant.

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Re: Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

#5 Post by Cigarguy » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:03 am

TonyJZX wrote: To me its more like the T42 to T420 represents that period most important to me but obviously huge amounts of people find the butterflys and that era to be even more relevant.
Me too.

Medessec
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Re: Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

#6 Post by Medessec » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:17 am

I would love to be a part of this if I can find the time... and I've honestly always thought about making some super-nerdy videos or other guides demonstrating the history of Thinkpads as well as other relevant mobile hardware developments (the transition from 4:3 to 16:9, the transition to SATA, the 13", 15", and 17" convention and deviants, and the advent of new classes of laptop such as the Ultrabook and the short-lived Netbook, which evolved into the Chromebook.)

I almost feel like pivotal Thinkpads such as the 600, A31p, T43p, X41 Tablet, and the W700ds, need videos all to themselves, because there are a lot of neat things that could be said about each one.

Perhaps in a similar style as my Frankenpad informative video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m74otZqd2Y

But... this is for a very particular audience. As interesting as it would be, it'd be just for us Thinkpad nerds, and I'm not sure how big of a demographic it is really.

The flow graphic you have there is also super nice, and well thought out. It'd be really easy to present that in a video format too.
Trying my hardest to collect Thinkpads, but college and being broke kinda gets in the way. However...
701C, 760, 770, X24, T30, G41, A31p, T43p, T60/61 Frankie, Z61p, X60 SXGA+, W700ds
MEDESSEC

and yes. I am a bit of a lunatic.

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Re: Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

#7 Post by MikalE » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:25 am

Here is information on modifications made for Thinkpads to be flight certified by NASA. It's really not very much. Mostly DC power because aircraft and spacecraft typically operate DC items at either 24VDC or 28VDC, and the 115VAC is running at 400 hz instead of 60 hz. Also common in aircraft/spacecraft. This frequency difference allows components to be designed that are lighter and smaller and operate more efficiently than components designed for lower frequencies.

Cooling was another area they focused on, and means of attachment so laptops don't go floating away in free-fall flight. Typically, Velcro everywhere.

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=213
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

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Re: Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

#8 Post by Saucey » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:29 am

Thank for everyone's input.
Added an 'era' for pre 2010 Lenovos. :mrgreen:

I will update the Timeline when I can and hopefully will be done by the weekend.
Coffee, ThinkPads & Nikon Fan.

Current: PixelBook & W550s
Old Favorites: A31p, T43p, 2521, 755, T60

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Re: Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

#9 Post by Saucey » Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:13 am

Hey everyone, here are my notes about the suffixes on ThinkPads, let me know if I got anything completely wrong.

1st Era

T - touch, or tablet, available with PenPoint OS or DOS for Pen Computing
C - Color Display option, These used TFT displays we have today. This suffix became phased out after the entry level monoscreen display discontinued in 1996.
P - Pen Based, these were the short lived tablet morphables, only 3 models had this suffix.
D - Disc, these came with a CD-ROM drive instead of a floppy disk drive.
E - The E stood for Enhanced and was the next model of an existing thinkpad with upgraded specs.
X - Higher clocked CPU than an E variant, sometimes released alongside the E or as a successor entirely. Sometimes these had a new motherboard revision and upgraded chips.
Z - Upgraded X variant and final release for that model.


L - I believe this stood for a lower priced unit. Lower clock speed processor and less RAM installed, sometimes these had downgraded displays as well.
V - Only one ThinkPad had this suffix, for the 755. These ThinkPads had their LCD cover come off so that the screen can be used by an overhead projector. Extremely rare.
s - DSTN display, these ThinkPad came equipped with a economical display panel. The main difference is that these screens have a slower refresh rate, poor viewing angles (some people saw it as a privacy feature), and usually had smaller screen resolutions. These screens replaced the mono displays of ThinkPads when the manufacturing process became cheaper. However it isn’t consistent as ThinkPads can be equipped with a DSTN display without having the ‘s’ suffix onto it.
BJ - Equipped w/ a Canon MicroBJ Printer, a thinkpad with a printer attached, rebrand of Canon’s notejet laptop, only two models came with this, 550BJ & 555BJ.


These were often combined, here’s a few examples:


CD - Color screen, CD-ROM disk drive
PE - Pen Enhanced Model, an upgraded version of the original tablet convertible models
CX - Color screen, upgraded E model
XD - Upgraded E model with CD-ROM


For the 2nd era of ThinkPads, suffixes were changed.
e - Economy model, base specs, smaller screen sizes and sometimes empty Ultrabays
m - Media, for the A series, this was a step up of the e models
p - Performance. Upgraded processors, dedicated videocards standard & IPS display for 15” models.


3rd, 4th & 5th era had some of the same suffixes but slightly different.
i - This replaced the ‘e’ suffix. Eventually becoming Pentium, Celeron and i3 processor based thinkpads
s - Stood for slim, originally to designate low powered X-Series with slightly smaller frames, the T-Series took this suffix for their ultrabook laptops. Now seen as an upgrade from a base model
p - The haswell line of thinkpads brought back the performance T series but was a big disappointment. Discrete GPU & upgraded displays was not standard on the base model, rather it meant you wanted a thinkpad with a DVD drive & w/ an unsoldiered GPU. T61p brought the removal of IPS displays.
Coffee, ThinkPads & Nikon Fan.

Current: PixelBook & W550s
Old Favorites: A31p, T43p, 2521, 755, T60

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Re: Collecting thoughts & inputs about ThinkPad History video & info.

#10 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:18 pm

For a short time in the 3rd era there were both R61e and R61i which helps to compare their differences. The difference is R61e does not have ultrabay features (no removable drive latch, no bay battery), is missing the card reader, and no palmrest connector on the motherboard, while R61i has all those.

Basically "e" models have removed features down to the board level, while "i" models are just lower-spec normal models.
lenovo T420 i7 2670qm 16GB QHD + eGPU GTX 960
lenovo T430s i5 3230m 16GB QHD w/ optimus(RIP), lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, lenovo T500 P9700 8GB WUXGA(LED) w/ switchable graphics
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads with registry.

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