Thinkpad T43: good-bye and good riddance

When Google asked this blogger what type of laptop he wanted, there was no hesitation. After 9 years of working on MSFT platforms , it was time for a change, to give Apple another chance. Following the switch to Intel processors (a sensible business decision coming out of Cupertino? can it be?) and the ability to dual-boot Windows with BootCamp, it seemed that users could have the best of both worlds: sleek Apple design, instant coffee-shop credibility and of course the ability to fall-back on Windows when interoperatibility with “real-world” becomes a concern again.

But there was a slight problem: on the first day of employee orientation when laptops were being handed out, instead of a shiny new MacBook, there was an apologetic note from IT department explaining that due to recent problems with OS X images they had decided to hold off on handing out any more Macs, providing a temporary PC loaner instead. Discussions with colleagues who received the said defective OS X installs did confirm they were having serious problems with wireless and power management, most likely owing to faulty drivers. Way to go Apple.

If there is one thing worse than upgrading a defective Dell to Vista, it must be going back to regular XP on an equally defective IBM after getting used to the Vista quirks. This loaner proved to be an equally bad set-up: an IBM T43 Thinkpad that could serve as exhibit A for why it was a wise decision for IBM to spin-off its PC unit to Lenova. Barely one hour battery lifetime, dysfunctional keyboard layout, flaky built-in wireless which intermittently fails to connect to a random networks and then refuses to cooperate with Windows “repair wireless connection” option and perhaps most frustrating, a strange bug that causes the OS to fail hibernation and require either stand-by (draining the already weak battery) or shut-down losing all context.

The friendly IT department informed me that the MacBooks are back. But picking up the originally requested item required dropping off the T43 first. “Good-riddance” is the sentiment but there is still going to be a lot of time wasted moving files and reinstalling software. The particular MacBook Pro model will run Parallels so all the Windows applications will be available again. Parallels does have a physical-to-virtual migration option to do this automatically, but that requires access to the existing Windows install– a slight problem given that the loaner has to be returned first before taking over the new laptop. Plan for the weekend: spend many hours rebuilding a new laptop by reinstalling the same applications from two weeks ago. Well worth the effort in exchange for having a usable machine again.


One thought on “Thinkpad T43: good-bye and good riddance

  1. chriscla says:

    I am going to have to disagree with you. I use a Thinkpad T60p at work and its great. Runs quickly, and no problems with wireless. Hopefully your Mac will work out well for you, a few of my friends have switched and are quite happy.

    Also, why isn’t my blog ( on your fancy blog roll? Do I have to blog about something people actually care about? If so, it’s not going to happen.

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