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Huh. Not immortal after all


Richard Sapper, mastermind of the first IBM Thinkpad, croaked on New Year’s Eve. I had one of these and loved it to bits. Mine was the classic and bestselling — I think it was the T43 — and it was bombproof.

Reading the obit, I might have knowed he was a German working in Italy. You can see both those influences in the Thinkpad.

Well, the early Thinkpads, anyway. Uncle B paid a flippin’ fortune for one of the last models, and it was a dog.


Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: January 6, 2016, 11:20 pm

Not in the Dead Pool? Carry on!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 6, 2016, 11:56 pm

Ha! I always thought he’d nicked the concept from the monolith in 2001. Now I learn he was Churman I see it more as a bauhaus kind of thing…

Those early Thinkpads were astonishing. I had a T summat or other too and loved it – till the lid broke.

Words cannot describe how much I hated my Z61, though. It was overpriced and it overheated. The sound was a joke. They put a titanium lid on it. All that meant was that it wouldn’t break when I wanted it to. And I did. Badly.

RIP Mr Sapper. You created an icon – not many can say that.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 7, 2016, 3:30 am

For a few years, Thinkpads were the corporate notebook choice, and for good reason. It was a shame to see where that line ended up. RIP Mr. Sapper, and thanks for a fine technogizmo.

Comment from Iamfelix
Time: January 7, 2016, 6:49 am

I seem to be going backwards in technology. Pretty soon I’ll be chiseling things on stone tablets.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 7, 2016, 4:39 pm

It is perplexing to see how the various computer companies thrive or fail. IBM was the dream company and now: nada. Husband and I were diehard Dell users (we still have all seven of them stored in a closet). Now I’m driving a honking big Toshiba and Husband loves his razor-thin Asus.

Comment from BJM
Time: January 7, 2016, 6:21 pm

I too loved the early Thinkpads…I bounced one in a stairwell and other than denting the corner of the case it kept on keeping on.

Having struggled with IBM corporate mainframes I’m not at all sad to see IBM fall…they were bloodsucking gifters…and don’t get me started on HP running Citrix.


My problem with Toshiba (and others) is the proprietary driver/system bloat….however I really can’t bitch about a $250 laptop I bought for a “throwaway” situation…ya gets what ya pays for and with Win 8 who can say whom is the worst resource hog.

I still run XP on a 3-yr old Dell XPS for web/email. Soon I’ll have to make choice…build a Linux web box or go tablet and a gaming platform for the fun stuff.

Anyone here tried the Steam box?

Comment from bikeboy
Time: January 7, 2016, 6:46 pm

I was never able to get comfortable with the little “pencil-eraser” mouse-director in the middle of the keyboard on ThinkPads. But it’s probably just a matter of what you grew up with.

They built ’em sturdy – everything is disposable nowadays.

IBM still builds a fine enterprise computer, but they are no longer in the PC business… sold out to Lenovo.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 7, 2016, 8:33 pm

Betty White did not die today.
That is all.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 7, 2016, 10:13 pm

Funnily enough, I replaced my last Thinkpad with a Dell Latitude and I’m very impressed with it. I doubt it’s physically as strong, but everything works so much better than it did on the Z81 and the keyboard (the most important element for me as I type a lot) is a dream compared to the IBM’s (which is strange as TPs were famous for their great keyboards).

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: January 8, 2016, 1:45 am

But Pat Herrington, Schnieder from One Day At A Time, did.

Comment from OldFert
Time: January 9, 2016, 2:45 am

Lenovo is a chicom company now. US Military bought a bunch of Lenovo thinkpads for medical record keeping purposes. They’re all over the hospitals now. But given that they’re commie, I expect some “modified” chip inside to be ordered to call home some day and dump all the military electronic medical records to the commies.
Kinda funny that instead of selling commies the rope to hang ourselves with, we’re BUYING the commie-produced rope.

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