[TenTec] New Computer

Steve Berg wa9jml at frontier.com
Sat Oct 28 17:54:03 EDT 2017

I use a Lenovo Thinkpad 410 as my shack computer.  I maxed out the RAM 
to 8 gb.  I bought it from their off lease/refurb website.  I am now 
experimenting with using it with some digital modes on VHF, and it works 
fine for computer logging.  I run it under Windows 7 64 bit.

When I emptied out my cousin's house after her demise, I found a 1999 
vintage IBM Thinkpad in a case on the floor.  It had been dropped and 
kicked a bunch and I wound up reinforcing the display hinges with 
epoxy.  I plugged it in and fired it up and it worked.  It had a small 
hard drive in it, and was set up for her job at the railroad and was 
running under WIndows ME.  I had an older and larger IDE laptop drive, 
so I formatted it, and installed Windows 2000 pro.  Then, I maxed out 
the RAM to 256 megabytes.  It runs a Pentium 233 MHz processor.  It 
still works fine for word processing and some spreadsheets, so I will 
keep it.  It now runs under XP.  It is a real testament to the 
durability of the Thinkpads.

Steve WA9JML

On 10/28/2017 3:36 PM, rick at dj0ip.de wrote:
> I concur with Jim.
> The fear that Lenovo would fail to keep up the excellent product quality and
> service that IBM had with its ThinkPad line (luckily) proved unwarranted.
> IMO they are as good now as they were then.
> I was a Dell fan for many years but only of their business line of products.
> Consumer products are consumer cr at p, regardless of who builds them.
> They use Tier-2 components which means when it's time to buy, the OEM buys
> from the cheapest bidder that day.  Identical computers from different
> production runs may be completely different on the inside.
> Business machines use only tier-1 components and simply last a lot longer.
> They use identical components throughout their product life, unless
> something becomes unavailable.
> The keyboard is much more rugged and the plastic around them is a lot
> tougher, built for the road.
> But you pay the price; at least double.
> What I have done each time I need a new computer is buy the most powerful
> off-lease (= 3 year old) business laptop.  Previously I was buying Dell
> Latitude but in the meantime I tend to favor Lenovo, but only their ThinkPad
> line.
> I have 4 Laptops, my XYL has 2.  All are Thinkpads or Latitudes except for
> one HP business laptop.
> AND here I differ from Jim: for the first time EVER I bought a tiny (Ultra
> Small Form Factor) Lenovo desktop for my shack, rather than a laptop.  The
> reason was ergonomics.  The operating desk only supports the keyboard.  A
> riser supports a huge monitor. It was simply a better fit than the laptop.
> When I buy off-lease, I pay about half price and get one year warranty, but
> it is still more expensive than an similar new consumer laptop.  And it's
> worth it.
> 73
> Rick, DJ0IP
> -----Original Message-----
> From: TenTec [mailto:tentec-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Jim Brown
> Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2017 9:39 PM
> To: tentec at contesting.com
> Subject: [TenTec] New Computer
> On 10/28/2017 11:21 AM, denton sprague wrote:
>> am due for a new one here and am wondering which one with its power supply
> is least likely to create rfi.
> Over the last 20 years, I've owned at least 6 different generations of
> T-series Thinkpads. All have been pretty well behaved with respect to RFI,
> but I do recall having a problem with weak signal work on 2M with one of
> them in a very quiet environment. I DO wind AC and DC cables for the PSU
> through #31 cores, and I do the same with extension video cables. BTW --
> wired Ethernet cables also radiate noise at both HF and VHF. So do internet
> modems and WiFi routers. Chokes can suppress the HF and 6M components, but
> you may need to get serious if the cables are close to antennas.
> Note that these comments are based on having computers in close proximity to
> antennas in very quiet locations for county expeditions, and with a 160M
> vertical right outside my shack. If something in the shack is noisy, I'll
> hear it on that antenna!
> The last time I studied consumer product reviews (a year or two ago),
> Thinkpads scored near the top for reliability, and I've gotten good warranty
> service the few times I've needed it. Documentation is very good -- both
> user manuals and service manuals are online. Accessories are also widely
> available, but are fairly expensive. I've bought genuine Lenovo docking
> stations and port extenders from the big auction site for 30-50% of retail
> cost. Some new, some off lease.
> Lenovo has a website and sells direct. I strongly suggest that you study
> their product line and look for their occasional sales. I've bought five
> laptops that way over a period of 6-8 years, and always at a discount of at
> least 20%. That shack computer was at a discount of about 50%
> BTW -- the last time I bought a computer that wasn't a laptop was about
> 1999, and it was a loaded 2-processor Dell running Win2K. A major virtue of
> laptops is their built-in battery backup! UPSs tend to be RFI generators,
> and most go through batteries because they overcharge them.
> 73, Jim K9YC
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