An IBM ThinkPad 600E has accompanied me for around five years now. It has survived two drops from about a meter height, hours of usage on train and carrying in various transportation vehicles, a whole bunch of hacky festivals (meaning lots of dirt and strange operating environments), a shift of operating systems (from BeOS to Linux), a 4-inch flood standing on the floor in a soaked cloth bag, my relatively careless overall handling and of course an uncountable number of keystrokes.
About a year ago, the TrackPoint failed and I had to replace the keyboard (spare parts, by that time, were cheap on eBay). Last year, the motherboard went nuts and I had to replace that, too (strictly, it's now a 600X). That's not 'without a glitch', but still I regard this beauty of a laptop as a highly reliable, usable tool. When I eventually will replace it with a more current ThinkPad instance, I will get nostalgic.
I will get nostalgic about the sleek matte rubber coating that they use no more. I'll get nostalgic because the new one will be a little lighter, or larger, or smaller, or different in another aspect of look and feel. I got so used to this tool, I find it ideal. It's exactly how it's supposed to be.
But then again, quintupling my MHz and getting rid of annoying network dongles will probably dry my tears quickly.
For the record:
- around 300MHz (600s seem to go from 266-400) Pentium II (512KB Cache)
- 64MB RAM in factory configuration, mine runs a happy threesixtysomething (RAM that fitted never failed for me)
- Neomagic MagicGraph VGA (256A/V for a 600E, 128 for 600X), 1024x768 TFT
- Cirrus Logic CS4610 audio
- 2 PCMCIA Type II, 1 USB, Mini Audio In/Out, PS/2 and Keyboard with a Y Cable (or just a mouse), Serial port, Parallel port, VGA Out.
- For the 600E, a video output (RCA, with a dongle) that never worked for me, for all 600s, modem and IR ports that I never tried.