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Lenovo T400 - Part Two


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A follow-up to my previous post about this machine. I ordered one from a reputable reseller in the Washington D.C. area. It's a T400 model 2767, submodel 2HU, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR2 memory @ 1066MHz, 160GB SATA2 hard drive, Panasonic DVD-R/CD-RW drive, two ethernet ports, three USB 2.0 ports, fingerprint scanner, and a device called an Express Card reader(a removable flash memory device that uses a PCI-E interface instead of USB). The salesman explained that it was part of a lot that had come off lease from a large insurance company. I decided to take a chance, paid $229 U.S. for it, and it arrived the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. My brother happened to be here when I opened the box, and he thought I had bought a new laptop! The condition is excellent, no scuffs, scratches, or dings anywhere. All the keys and buttons work, no dead spots on the display, and every device I tested works(since I don't possess an Express Card that is the one untested item).


The only downside - it had Windows Vista Business installed. A 32 bit operating system installed on a 64 bit machine seems to be a waste of it's potential as far as I'm concerned, but considering where it came from, I guess it makes sense. Since I had already planned to use this as a Linux machine, Vista lasted long enough for me to visit Lenovo's website to download and install the most current BIOS and firmware updates that are available. I left Lenovo's recovery partition installed, so I can go back to Vista if I have to. After using Mini Tool Partion Wizard installed to a USB stick, I had the recovery partition, a 24GB root partition, 4GB for swap, and just over 116GB for the home partition. Since I cannot burn a DVD with the Lenovo, it got a rest at this point.


I visited the openSUSE website using my HP laptop and downloaded the full installation DVD for the 64 bit version of openSUSE 13.1. At just over 4.3GB it takes a while, but I recommend using this since it not only contains the installation program, but also includes system recovery and hardware evaluation software. After doing the md5checksum, I burned a DVD. The installation was a two step process, the first to load the operating system on the drive, then a reboot to detect the hardware and finalize the system settings. And with the exception of the fingerprint scanner and the Express Card reader, all the drivers I needed for this machine were on the DVD. Total time for the installation and the first online update was around 45 minutes.


So there you have it. I know mta and nodles were curious about using Linux on a Thinkpad, and I'm happy to report that it was a sucess as far as I'm concerned. It's much more responsive than using Vista, and once I figure out all the software available from the repository, I should have everything Vista has and more as far as applications. If anyone is interested in a cheap laptop, or a second laptop, the link is here:  http://www.thinkpaddepot.com/


Edit: I almost forgot. Here's a good resource for installing Linux on the Thinkpad series laptops: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki

Start every day with a smile and get it over with. - W.C. Fields

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well done and good news on the distro install.

sounds like the driver support is no where near the problems it used to be - thank god.

and not having the fingerprint scanner and express card would not effect me at all.


if you want to get really jiggy-with-it, it'll be a good test to dual boot Windows 7 or 8 and see how those compare with Linux on the responsiveness level.

Backup now & backup often.
It's your digital life - protect it with a backup.
Three things are certain; Birth, Death and loss of data. You control the last.

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And another update: This afternoon I installed Linux Mint 16 Petra with the Cinnamon desktop. And so far, everything works. So now I have two operating systems to choose from. I'll probably use this for a week or two, then I might give Fedora a try, just to see how that works out.

Start every day with a smile and get it over with. - W.C. Fields

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