Thinkpad 701C - The High Point of Western Civilization
Okay, perhaps an overstatement, but think about it. This tiny laptop came on the scene early in 1995, at a unique moment in history: before the Windows monoculture took hold, but after PCs had acquired the power to do basic net tasks. Standards like IDE and PCMCIA were in place, but Windows dependent hardware wasn't, (perhaps in part because IBM was still marketing it's own Operating System, OS/2)?
For example, check out some features:
- A Full Modem - configured to the COM port of your choice. Not a winmodem!
- BIOS settings - accessible and changable at any time from any OS. I can check (and change) my BIOS settings while Linux is running!
- Fully Functional Function Keys - things like battery level and inverse video, etc. available at any time from any OS. Love that inverse video! It's like surfing the world wide Bizarro web!
On top of all that, the unit is small and light enough to sit comfortably on my paunch
while I surf, yet includes a full size keyboard. Can't do that with some kind of Palm doframis!
Comes with 8mb of ram. Enough for Win 3.1 plus Calmira, or most any tiny linux distro. With additional 8mb of ram (dirt cheap on eBay), it'll run W95, if you must. But how about Slackware, X, Icewm, and Opera?? Set Opera's zoom at 80%, and the 640x480 screen displays 800x600 pages with no horizontal scroll bar.
The whole thing folds down to the size of a small textbook, with that very cool sliding, folding keyboard trick the never gets old.
You can still get these little gems dirt cheap on eBay, along with an external floppy drive needed to get the ball rolling.
It truly doesn't get any better than this.