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IBM ThinkPad T22 w/Linux Review 106

Augustus writes: " has just posted the first review of IBM's ThinkPad T22 with the LinDVD software DVD player that was mentioned on Slashdot back in April. The T22 should finally be available to consumers and it's a fine piece of hardware at a decent price. The review covers the basics: software, support, price, and especially the hardware."
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IBM ThinkPad T22 w/Linux Review

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  • Mirror anyone?

    - Freed

  • I prefer the A series. Even though I can probably count on my hand the amount of times I have used the floppy drive in the past year, I still like to have them both. If you're going for the lighter aspect, then the X series is the way to go.
    • I don't really like Caldera as a distro but SuSE 7.2 installed on both an A21m and A22m like a dream. It recognised all of the standard hardware without incident. I had some issues with the wireless card but that's more to do with having duplicate config files (/etc/pcmcia/wireless.opts *and* config.opts? Why?!).

      VMWare doesn't do full screen just yet and I'm fiddling with that. Bottom line? The recent ThinkPads work really well with Linux.

  • by BierGuzzl ( 92635 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @09:13AM (#2251022)
    Eeek!! and that's not even the worst of it! First, LAN isn't even a standard feature. Second, this puppy comes preinstalled with "Caldera Openlinux", later on referred to in the article as "Corel Openlinux". <shudder/> Which is worse, the laptop being reviewed or the half-assed job of reviewing it?
    • The biggest problem is that IBM tout's that they are pro-linux but refuses to stop using low-grade hardware that they know is designed for Win-only use. It costs so little to put a real modem in there (My compaq E500 has a real modem built in.) and it eliminates 90% of all serverice calls related to modems. winmodems fail constantly and have huge issues that everyone knows about... Any manufacturer that uses soft-modems,soft-ethernet should be shot on sight unless their laptop is marked as a low-end economy unit..

      I never have reccomended any IBM laptops or hardware for linux use because of these incompatability problems that are always present by their own decision. Compaq isn't the greatest, and after the HP merger will only get worse, but at least I can install linux and have every piece of hardware work without fighting. (Note: this is the corperate class hardware, their consumer class is all crap, 100% of it.)

      I dont believe a company is behind linux until they start producing hardware that has linux in mind.... Hell, even tuxtops werent 100% linux compatable...all in the name of cutting costs and corners.
    • Hi,

      Can't vouch for IBM notebooks, but I bought a Dell Inspiron 4000 back in December 2000. Fitted with a 3Com Mini-PCI Ethernet/V.90 modem combo, it works flawlessly in Windows 2000.

      Under Linux, the Ethernet part works great, but the software modem is not supported due to a lack of suitable driver (it's one of the very few hardware issues left to be resolved in my opinion).

      The modem turns out to be a software modem, but yet, it works fantastically. Both the connection speed and robustness is on par with a NetComm hardware modem I use in the other room. Even though the notebook's 3D board isn't too leading edge (ATI rage 128 8MB M3 Mobility), it plays Half-Life Counterstrike over a 50kb connect very well.

      So from this experience, I'd have to saw that some software modems may be bad, but some others may not be.

      Joseph Tan
    • Lucent has been putting out Linux versions of their drivers for a while now, as has PC-Tel. Now, if they were only open source.

      First, LAN isn't even a standard feature.

      What is wrong with PCMCIA?

      Second, this puppy comes preinstalled with "Caldera Openlinux", later on referred to in the article as "Corel Openlinux". Which is worse, the laptop being reviewed or the half-assed job of reviewing it?

      So I was not the only one confused by this? Why support Caldera at this point? Is IBM going to bail them out too like they did SuSE (SuSE is great and I use their distros along side RH, but I have been thoroghly unimpressed by Caldera's ability to make plans that might make money).
      • What is wrong with PCMCIA?

        I just don't like the dongle. Seriously, I know it's more me than the dongle, and that I should be more careful of it, but I end up breaking a dongle every 5-6 months. My next laptop will have built-in ethernet (but a modem is a moot point :-)

  • Winmodems... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gregoyle ( 122532 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @09:18AM (#2251036)
    Funny how the review bellyaches about a Winmodem as a resource hog and a pain in the neck. I remember way back when (oh, maybe 6 months or a year ago?) if the modem was a winmodem, you didn't even bellyache about it being a resource hog. It just plain didn't work.

    One thing I wonder about, though, is what kind of support comes with this laptop? Normally you don't get support from Corel unless you bought the product over the counter, and I wonder if IBM will give it's (Linux) laptop buyers the same kind of support as its desktop buyers. A lot of established Linux users scoff at using customer support, but that is the sort of thing that convinces businesses to buy, say, 500 units for their sales force.
    • Re:Winmodems... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Overphiend ( 227888 )
      IBM's support on their laptops really only entails the hardware. If you have a problem the first thing they ask is "have you reimaged the laptop" If not then they really can't help you.
    • The reviewer is obviously an idiot. John Carmack himself has done extensive testing with winmodems. He says that winmodems give better network performance than hardware modems. Mainly because the host CPU is thousands of times faster at computing the stuff needed for the communication. Hardware modems are nothing special. and ALL pci modems have problems in linux (because they don't interface through the standard serial port, it is emulated, and linux doesnt do that yet).

      In the end, someone needs to just write a software modem driver that can be applied to all modems. They are all basically the same, once you learn how to communicate with them, you need to write software that does everything a modem does. Nobody has written software that does this yet (that is opensourced anyway) so everyone is SOL. I am not up to the task, but I think mainly its just a lack of interest. Nobody uses modems anymore.

      On the same note, software ethernet really hasn't been a problem in linux either. As long as the drivers are working decent (ie, not buggy) in the kernel, then i dont mind having software ethernet on a laptop (laptops come with 700MHz CPU's now minimum, so not too big a deal) The cpu time for a modem or ethernet card that is software is somewhere around 1%. much less than any other device will take up.

      if anybody disagrees, please give me info on the parts that you think are wrong in teh above.

  • IBM quality (Score:3, Informative)

    by macpeep ( 36699 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @09:33AM (#2251066)
    I have pretty mixed feelings about IBM.. I bought an IBM laptop (390) about a 18 months ago and within 2 months, the hard drive failed. I got it replaced on warranty but half a year later, it failed again. Meanwhile, I had bought an IBM hard drive for my desktop computer, and a few months ago, that one failed too. So three IBM drives in just over one year. I know I've had extremely bad luck, but with an experience like this, you can understand that I won't recommend IBM laptops and/or drives to anyone. Well, the laptops themselves are *very* nice, but the hard drives.... :/

    The most ironic thing is that I bought an HP 6000 Omnibook to replace my IBM laptop about half a year ago, and guess who the maker of the hard drive in it is; IBM. DOH! If that one fails within a year or two, I'll never buy IBM again.
    • If that one fails within a year or two, I'll never buy IBM again.

      Careful what you say son, you might get yourself fired.

    • And I have always had great experiences with IBM HD's. I have *never* had an IBM drive go on me. I have some old IBM SCSI drives that have been chugging along for 8+ years now. Maybe their IDE drives are not up to par with their SCSI drives, because I will *not* buy any other HD than IBM. I have had all the other brands go on me at one point.
    • I can understand your frustration. The likely cause is rough handling of the laptop while the platter is not parked (ie, spinning). Most laptops nowadays are mountes such that they have some give when the computer is jolted. Your particular model might be mounted on a more stiff bracket than other models. If this is the case, i can see the issue (most likely the case).

      We have had similar problems on Gateway and Dell computers. I fix dell/gateway computers for warranty, and about 80% of the hard drives i replace had them mounted in the case upside down, or sideways. I don't care what people say, but you cannot mount a drive sideways or upside down reliably. I did some statistics on drives that came back a SECOND time, and 100% of them were mounted sideways or upside down. This is a real pain in the ass just because whoever designed the case is an idiot.

      oh well, in the end, IBM drives are the best you can buy. WD, Maxtor, Fujitsu, Samsung, Quantum, segate are all crap when it comes to IDE.
      • Nope. No rough handling. Definitely not. I'm very careful with laptops - almost too careful. Most of the time, the laptop just sits on my living room table and I use it from the couch when I watch TV.. The few times I take it with me somewhere, I have it in a protective bag with soft cushioned sides and I'm very careful not to bang it anywhere and I make damn sure the drive has spinned down and is "parked" before I move the laptop.. That's why it pisses me off that I've had 2 drives fail within a year from buying the laptop. Oh well..
        • was the drive by any chance mounted upside down? As I said earlier, this is a major problem that a LOT Of manufacturers do. They claim that it has no affect on it, but I know from mass quantities of experience that it is a problem. Also, maybe you just had a LOT of bad hard drive karma. I know people that end up with dead hard drives so often, and i have never had one dead HDD.

          Another thing about laptop hard drives. when you spin them up and down a lot, it lessen's the life of the drive. ie, when the battery is active, most laptops default to like a 1-2 minute spin down time. this is just crap. if you did this every 2 minutes, the drive will go bad in no time.
    • It's pretty simple, actually. As soon as you buy your first hard drive Someone rolls a die and checks a table, choosing one or two manufacturers. Every time you buy a hard drive from that manufacturer, it'll die in some way.

      As for me, I got Quantum and Conner, and to a lesser extent Maxtor (I think I got a bonus roll for some reason)....Seagate bought Conner, which became their IDE division, so all Seagate IDE drives now tank for me. Maxtor bought Quantum, which reinforces (but at least consolidates) that roll. Quantum was in my original Tivo, though, and I replaced it with a Maxtor. I'm praying I got a re-roll sometime in the past couple of years........
    • I've had a 390E for about the past 2 years as well, and have NEVER had a problem with the drive (or anything else on it, for that matter). Sounds like you just had a patch of bad luck...
    • Those that have failed and those that will. Backup early and often.
    • I had my IBM laptop harddrive die too. Which was surprising since none of the IBM drives I bought for my desktops have ever died. Only once I opened up the laptop I realized the hd wasn't even made by IBM.

      I guess its cheaper for them to use non IBM disks.
    • I've got IBM T20 which worked fine and then suddenly died on me. Then support told me they had the WHOLE BATCH of T20s with defected motherboards. Just imagine that! Got a replacement, and it rocks. Literally rocks. I just love this box. As of now I"m runing Win2000 but will be putting SUSE soon as well. The bottom line - don't give up on IBM.
    • I have pretty mixed feelings about IBM.. I bought an IBM laptop (390) about a 18 months ago and within 2 months, the hard drive failed.

      I've a lot of IBM desktop PC at users site and the harddisk failed miserable from time to time. When we took them out we found that they are not installed with IBM harddisk, but some other brand like 'Carver' something.

      In the past Thinkpad has the best line of hardware, we all loved it. However, some boneheads started to cut cost by replacing best parts with sub-quality parts like they've been doing to desktop PCs. Most annoying thing is that same model may have different combination of hardware in it, depends on the shipping.
  • Price (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @09:34AM (#2251069) Homepage
    • it's a fine piece of hardware at a decent price

    Debate over the modem/LAN specification aside, if you're swapping a $400 (retail) M$ OS/office suite for a $30 (retail, with discs) Linux distro, then you've just bought yourself $370 of retail margin right there to spend on goodies, or to leverage at point of sale.

    • Re:Price (Score:3, Interesting)

      by spike666 ( 170947 )
      seriously, at $2649 this is way overpriced. i thought the idea behind linux was to reduce costs...

      for the cost i would seriously look at an Apple iBook for $1299 and throw in the Airport card and Airport Base station. and with those added in, we're still only at $1600... and i'm running OSX which is pretty decent. or i could run linuxppc. and i'll still have $1000 to use to buy drinks for all those who say my new iBook looks gay.

      • I don't think you even have to throw in an Airport card. I believe all the new macs come with intergrated wireless.
      • Re:Price (Score:3, Insightful)

        by edremy ( 36408 )
        Hell, for $2600 get a damn G4 TiBook. Nicest laptop on the market today, runs Unix (OSX/Linux), and you don't even need the PCMCIA slot since you've already got every connector built in. (Including a real modem.)


        • Yeah, but it has that *horrible* touchpad as a pointer. Some people love them, but I hate them.
          IBM is one of the only laptop makers that I know of that makes a _proper_ laptop mouse. It has that little nub, and _three_ buttons! :)

          Of course for some people it doesn't matter, and some people love the touchpads.

          I'd kill^H^H^H^Hmaim for a TiBook with a Thinkpad style of mouse. :)
        • With a bit more, I have a thinkpad A21p with a 1600x1200 screen and everything built in . . . FreeBSD can even run the silly internal modem. I have yet to figure out what to do with this dvd drive . . .

          yeah, it's all about pixels. The next model down honly had a 1400xsomething screen.


      • here at rpi [] all the frosh had to buy a t22 (or an equivalent). i think they got them for $2400. you can bet your sweet booties that lots of the dorks around here are running linux on them, as i would :-)
        i'm not an underclassman so i never was forced into buying a laptop (so i'm chained to my office)

        they've had them for at least a week now. aren't we special?

      • IBM's deal with MS probably requires os royalty payment for each unit shipped. If so, there is no savings. Also, for sure, MS doesn't allow dual booting; so, you end up paying for a MS license but not really getting it (partially a good thing).
        • i thought the idea behind linux was to reduce costs

        Internally, but you don't pass the reduction on to your customers. The idea is really to maximise profits (or at least the appearance of profits) so that the CEO can talk the company up, send the share price through the roof, cash in his options and golden parachute to retirement in Arbua.

    • Debate over the modem/LAN specification aside, if you're swapping a $400 (retail) M$ OS/office suite for a $30 (retail, with discs) Linux distro, then you've just bought yourself $370 of retail margin right there to spend on goodies, or to leverage at point of sale.
      Do you really think IBM is passing these savings along to you, Joe Consumer? If so, I have some M$ software licenses to sell to you. ;)
    • Re:Price (Score:2, Insightful)

      by carlos_benj ( 140796 )
      Right! And to add insult to injury the reviewer says that the buyer isn't being punished for their choice of Linux. While I understand that the meaning is that the price isn't higher than the Windows equipped laptop, the fact is you're being charged Windows prices for something that's available for $0.00.
    • You also buy yourself $300 more dollars of support costs. Linux isn't free. One main reason it is hard to offer Linux on OEM computers is because the Support costs are way up there. for windows OS, the manufacturer can outsource the Tech Support, and not be too bad of a deal. for Linux, they can do no such thing. they must train staff and hire new people to man the telephones.

      For enterprise level, this is not a problem, because coporate can pay the extra prices. but for end user laptops, i just dont think it is economical yet.
        • One main reason it is hard to offer Linux on OEM computers is because the Support costs are way up there

        Got figures? I reckoned that it would go something like this (translated into what Joe Corporate user would actually hear):

        • Linux support: Doodle the flange grommit with smoo. With smoo. Not fleem, you fool, smoo!
        • Windoze support: Buy a newer laptop, you slow track loser.
  • Reinstall?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Strog ( 129969 )
    Can you reload LinDVD if you wipe it and install another distribution??

    If so then maybe I will take another look at IBM for my linux laptop.

    • Re:Reinstall?? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Who cares?

      PowerDVD exists for linux [].

      It works. It's faster than anything else I've tried, including PowerDVD under Windows (which, in turn, is as fast as I've seen for that platform). The interface is clean, and everything works as expected.

      Hopefully, some day, Cyberlink will get around to actually releasing it so that I can pay them some money. Until then, I'm happily using the copy that I war^H^H^H found somewhere...

      • Re:Reinstall?? (Score:1, Redundant)

        by cotra ( 113393 )
        The link is [] [] Haven't tried it yet though
      • Hopefully, some day, Cyberlink will get around to actually releasing it so that I can pay them some money. Until then, I'm happily using the copy that I war^H^H^H found somewhere...

        You might find Videolan [] an interesting alternative. They don't have menu navigation yet, but apart from that it's a nice player. It plays quite well (though it sounds as though it has higher processor requirements than PowerDVD), has a nice interface with native support for gtk+ and qt, and finally has usable if ugly subtitles. Of the available free players I've found it to be the best.

      • "Note: PowerDVD Linux is currently available for IA Developers only."

        I think that's why the person was asking.

  • Anyone get a chance to mirror?

    Cheers, Tim
  • /. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @09:51AM (#2251113)
    For those of you wondering as to whether the site actually goes down during a slashdot effect or not, I just thought that I'd let you know that the server has never died during a slashdot posting and that I simply do not have enough bandwidth on the site. We are currently looking for a hosting site to increase the available bandwidth from the measily 500kb connection we have now to at least enough to handle a slashdot. If you know of a hosting faqcility (preferably in the Atlanta area) that would be willing to donate bandwidth to the site please have them contact me at

    Augustus (LH.o Site Manager)
  • by Balinares ( 316703 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @10:01AM (#2251130)
    Alright, so the site is slashdotted. I've found a short LinuxHardware article about LinDVD on ThinkPad in Google's cache []. Here are the specs of that T22 beast [] on IBM's site.

    ... You know, I realize we'd need a Karma Whore moderation for certain posts, that mods the post up without giving the poster karma. Just an idea...
  • by Raleel ( 30913 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @10:21AM (#2251189)
    Is the distribution choice. I just plain do not like caldera :) I'd prefer something else (without being specific what).

    I am also disappointed that I cannot buy lindvd yet, separate from the laptop.

    And the winmodem...well, ok, fine, it works, but geeez. How much more is it per unit to just use a normal modem?
  • by IceFox ( 18179 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @10:23AM (#2251192) Homepage
    LinDVD is almost identical interface-wise to its WinDVD counterpart and should perform about the same on comparable hardware.

    Ugg, talk about speaking out of your ass. Because the gui is the same means that everything else will be? Why would that be again? Speaking from first hand experiance (I was on the lsdvd team) the underlying code is entirly differenet. Heck other then the "skin" on the gui it to is probably a re-write too. There are many many spisific things that Linux is a part of that affects the end result that have nothing to do with the fact that it "has the same ui" The entire unerlayer (unless they ported direct show) is different then what was there before.

    Where are the test disk? Motion menu's? Subpics? Stream tests? This is not a DVD player review by any means.

    There is bit all about scsi vs ide. This is a very very moot point. It may be an issue under windows, but not linux. There is nothing special about saying that it can do both. Kinda like me saying I can boot off of both. Woopie.

    The all important LinDVD performs quite well but not perfect. With most DVDs you will notice no difference from that of a standard hardware decoder but there are a few points on some "action-packed" movies that will skip a bit. Keep in mind that this is still a software DVD player on a laptop and the first iteration of the Linux version.
    This is no excuse. They are running 2.4, A 900mhz machine and they are using video acceleration. Cough my 450 cough... Unless the problem is with pthreads (which it might be if they didn't fix that) I would say that they have some work to do.

    So here are some real questions that I want to know about. How about macrovision? Is it there? Can you take screenshots? Is there an video out? How about the kernel. Does the dvd player use a spesific kernel to run? Can I upgrade to 2.4.9 without it blowing up? What about changing distrobution? Will it blow up then? Are only Cakdera linux 2.4 binaries provided? What about the defacto red hat 6.x?
    What about CSS, I presume it is kernel mode. Does that app barf when you run gdb on it? Did you test out the player with a large number of dvd's to see if any of them would fail? What about region changing. How well does it support that? Do you have to mount the drive before playing? How much cpu does it use while watching your average film? Can it play files? Can it play vcd's? How about SVCD? Does it do Kariokee mode? Can it play regular pcm (wav) file streams? How does the audio sound on the laptop? Can you pump it out to real speakers? Can you run more then just the DVD player at once? Does the ui play frendly with the rest of the desktop (kde, gnome, etc) How fast can you fast forward it? Can you make it go slow? Can you frame advace? Do multiple angle's work? Can it handle cool things like the Ghostbusters msk3000 subpic overlay and not loss performace? Can it handle non-css content (i.e. porn). Can you use 2 cpu's?

    Sigh this isn't a review this is just a add for

    • I tried a copy out and really liked it, I really wish they'd start selling it so I can order a copy. Let me answer the questions I can.

      Can you take screenshots?

      No, you just get a black box in the shot where the video was. I think it had a snap shot button, but I didnt try it.

      How about the kernel. Does the dvd player use a spesific kernel to run? Can I upgrade to 2.4.9 without it blowing up?

      There is nothing kernel specific about it. I tried it out on a 2.4.7 kernel that I built. There a no kernel patches or modules to load.

      What about changing distrobution? Will it blow up then? Are only Cakdera linux 2.4 binaries provided? What about the defacto red hat 6.x?

      I tried it on Debian Unstable. I havent tried it on any other distros, but it should work given the prerequisites. RedHat 6.x probably wont work unless you install the required dependencies ( QT 2.something and XFree86 4.x). It does require an X Server that can handle XVideo extentions.

      What about CSS, I presume it is kernel mode.

      Nope. No nonstandard kernel support needed.

      Did you test out the player with a large number of dvd's to see if any of them would fail?

      Tried it with 5 dvds, they all worked. (No Way Out, Mystery Men, and Highlander 2, Donnie Brosco, and Peacemaker).

      Do you have to mount the drive before playing?

      No you dont.

      Does the ui play frendly with the rest of the desktop (kde, gnome, etc)

      The tool bars are a skinned interface, looks like your average video player. Underneath it was writte using qt.

      How fast can you fast forward it? Can you make it go slow? Can you frame advace?

      It will go fast and slow, sorry I cant be more detailed. Didnt see a frame advance ( didnt look very hard).

      Do multiple angle's work?

      There was an option to view different angles, but I dont have any dvds that I know support the feature.

      Can it handle non-css content

      Yes, Highlander 2 wasnt CSS encrypted and played fine

  • why caldera? what advantages does tis offer over say redhat (I though IBM were in bed with rh).

    also do I need a business desktop? wtf is a business desktop? are we talking an easy to use/install desktop encapsulating some raw power in order to acheive ease of use?

    do I have one? assuming emacs is not the ultiamte business desktop :-)

  • A while back people were chatting about the possibility of developing some open hardware standards. I want to buy a new laptop but vendors all have proprietary designs and can charge mega-$$$$ for upgrades and replacements. Has there been any new effort towards developing open hardware specifications?
  • ...what's the deal on the good IBM laptops? Some of their machines have 1.13 Ghz chips and up to 1024MB of RAM, which in these days of really cheap RAM, should be a minimum.

    Has anyone put linux on one of those puppies?

  • What bothers me the most about all these sort of reviews is the claim that 2.5 hours of battery time is "right up there".

    It's not. I assure you. Running my Apple PowerBook with a MachBSD on it, I can easily run 4 hours on a single charge, no problem. In fact, I have often forgotten my charger at home and managed to eek out the entire day at work, about 6 hours. But that is REALLY pushing it.

    Typically, when using Mac OS 9.1, I can get 4 hours, with no problem. So, how does 2 hours compare to that?

    And, if you want a stable full featured Linux in a Notebook, get one of ther Macintosh Linux distro's. Or, perhaps get a serious business oriented OS, like openBSD.

    You don't even need to go the full PowerBook route, you can use an iBook and get the same performance in a sub $2000cdn package.

    And lastly, if I pop 2 batteries in, I can easily run 10 hours on a single charge. Enough to do an entire week long mountain expidtion, reviewing the days photos and saving them to a SuperDisk.
  • I'm sick of all this BS about IBM being pro Linux. There is absolutely no reason why IBM can't atleast release binary drivers for all its hardware. Example: My A21p 2926HWU, the 3COM software modem does not function under linux. I am happy that 90% of my new laptop functions under linux but it still chaps me that a company that is supposed to be so pro-linux has any consumer hardware that only functions under windows. I realize that I'm a dumb ass for not making 100% sure that the modem functioned, but you can blame that on IBM's vague product descriptions on their website.
  • by josepha48 ( 13953 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2001 @01:30PM (#2251972) Journal
    Up until I saw that it comes with Caldera or is it Corel, I was looking at it as a possibility. I am not sure if there are laptop specific drivers in the kernel, that are not available in the default kernel. I guess with the dvd it is a maybe.

    So the table says Caldera openlinux 2.4 and the paragraph on software says Corel openlinux 2.4. I think there is a typo, I think it shoudl be Caldera.

    Unfortunately for me right now it is priced a little to high. I need a laptop for under 1000. Preferably around $500 would be awesome, and I could live without dvd for now.

  • "Also of note that this model with Linux installed is exactly the same price as the with Windows installed. It's nice to see that Linux users aren't being punished for wanting their OS as an option."

    Ok, so if Linux is a free operating system, shouldn't the Linux OS laptop be a couple hundred dollars *less* than the Windows OS laptop?
  • I have got through 2 IBM stinkpads in the last year. I am really dissapointed by the construction and the performance of the machines.

    I would check out before you make any major purchases on a notebook.
  • Is it just me, or does run on a friggin dialup?
  • What's the story with LinDVD? If it's not vapor, why doesn't Intervideo sell it to consumers (as they do in fact for WinDVD)? Xine and Videolan work quite well for watching movies, but it would be nice to have a player that can interpret the menus, special features, etc.
  • I recently purchased an IBM T21 800 MHz with Windows 98. The first thing I did with the machine was remove Windows and installed a linux distro (that I'm sure some of you hate so I won't mention it). I purchased the machine with Windows 98 rather than Linux because I wanted a better model than was available at the time with Linux preinstalled. I wanted that 1400x1050 screen dammit!

    My resoning was that as long as all the hardware was supported by Linux I'd be able to get it to work. I wasn't worried about the DVD player working or not, I've got enough DVD players already. I also thought, perhaps too optomistically, that I'd be able to get someone at IBM to send me a copy of thier Linux distro so that at least I could see how they did it.

    As it was I had a hard time getting everything working properly. Video wasn't too hard to setup, I ended up using XFree86 3.3.6 because I found a copy of someone's configuration file on the web after a search and I'm lazy. I wasn't able to get sound working on it because none of the sound tools I looked at which supported the sound chip would work with the 2.4 kernel. I believe that has changed by now. I didn't bother fooling with the modem since I already had a PC Card modem that works like a charm. The NIC was supported by the kernel. No one I talked with at IBM was helpful. Ever. I was a bit suprised by that, but I'm young and idealistic and I believe that hardware vendors should help out the people who have problems with the hardware they purchased.

    All in all though, I decided that I loved my Thinkpad anyway. It was fast, rugged, relatively light even though I had two batteries installed and that screen looks great.

    I recommend the Thinkpad T series, I've had a number of Compaq, Sony, Dell and Toshiba laptops that sucked in comparison.

    I hope that the Linux Preinstalled laptops from IBM and other vendors sell well so that eventually the linux community has a greater voice with Hardware makers. After that perhaps all of the valid concerns expressed in other posts will be dealt with. Of course, I'm young, idealistic and I don't have my laptop anymore since the .com that bought it for me went broke and I lost my job.
  • I'd stay away (Score:2, Informative)

    by blubber32 ( 519447 )
    Where I work we have purchased a lot of T22's (not my choice). We have had nothing but problems so far. They have a tendency to really overheat. IBM patched the BIOS to make the fan run continuously, still they get damn hot. We use 3Com NICs, they will get so hot in the slot that they shutdown and you have to pull them out until they cool off, VERY hot to the touch, then they will work again. I thought that the Lucent modems that came with ours were hardware, mini PCMCIA, not winmodems, maybe not though. Can't be worse than the MWave IBM previously used. We used the 3Com modems before in our Toshiba's and our users are complaining of slower (sometimes half) the speed the 3Com got. Also the modems will a lot of times not work if the thinkpad is plugged into the port replicator. Also they occasionally stop working if they are _bumped_. Seriously. Not looking so good so far.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern