RIP, old friend

My second ever laptop, my old Thinkpad 600, has finally died.

It replaced my original 760CD, and like that machine, I carried it with me on numerous business trips all over the world. It survived being dropped, splashed with coffee, slung into bags, and then crammed into overhead luggage racks or under seats where it invariably got stood on. Despite all this abuse it still worked faultlessly in temperatures as varied as -20c in the Scandinavian winter, through to +40c in the humid summers of the US Deep South.

When IBM supplied me with an upgrade I bought my 600 off the company. For a time it was my personal system. Then it ran my home network, 24×7 until I could afford the parts to build a proper server. It was my wife’s main machine for a time, and lately my youngest daughter has been doing all her homework on it. Even in retirement it worked hard for it’s living.

I figure it must be 12 years old, and when it finally failed it was still running Ubuntu 11.04, which is a sophisticated and current operating system. Ok, the bizarre hybrid sound card wasn’t recognised (the 600 used a custom DSP to implement the modem and the sound system – a great idea, badly executed) and it wasn’t the fastest system on the block, but the overall experience was still pretty good.

At the end of the day it’s just a pile of electronics attached to a magnesium alloy chassis with some rather drab composite plastic covers, that no longer works. I should just recycle it. But there is an emotional attachment; I can’t bring myself to just take it to the recycling centre and dump it. But given that the motherboard has failed, the best I can offer it is the chance to donate some spare parts to new projects. So for now it’s going into my spare parts box; hopefully the screen, memory, disk and perhaps keyboard will show up in some future projects.

It may yet live again!

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