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The Alternate Reality, Episode 6: The Near-Death experience

Mat Newman  September 15 2011 18:06:24
As many people noticed (especially after Ed Brill pointed out during the OGS) I wasn't carrying around my normal T61P Thinkpad for the duration of the AusLUG conference.  Instead, I had the "Aircraft Carrier" - as it has become know - the mighty Lenovo W701DS Thinkpad.

Yes ... OK ... it IS big for a Laptop. But you would expect that from a machine that has two of everything, Screens, Disks (actually 3 since I have another in the Ultrabay slot) and processors.  I love it.  It is an absolute powerhouse of a workhorse, and has no trouble running a dozen server VM's simultaneously which I often use for testing, proof-of-concept and training.  It's really cool to be able to do the testing and POC's while on-site at a customer: You want to know what?  Oh, let me try that out for you!

Ubuntu 11.04 x64 with more than a few gig of memory and a couple terrabytes of Disk running ESX - No problem! Yeah OK, even though it's a lappy it IS more powerful than many of my customer's server's, and running Linux it's just a little - well, not so little - rocket ship

For the last year the 701 has normally sat in my Hotel room while I am at a conference, but alas the Friday morning before AusLUG on my way to Sydney I put my trusty 5 year old T61P to sleep in the Qantas club lounge in Hobart, and when I tried to wake it on the plane, it wouldn't.  Investigations later revealed a dead mother-board.  OK. Replacement is a few weeks away, what to do in the meantime...

Dead laptop. All that information just sitting on it's disk waiting to be revived.

When I returned from the conference ISW's uber-tech, Dan Bryan stepped in: "Mat, I have a spare X201 that you can borrow".  He DID stress "borrow" a number of times :-)

Right, so now I have a 'little' machine that won't take up two tray-tables on an airliner, but what about my poor dead little T61's disk full information that was really what I needed.

Solution: Pull the disk from the T61, slide it straight into the X201 and boot.

Remember I run Ubuntu Linux.

An initial warning after GRUB that the graphics needed to be reconfigured (the T61 has an Nvidia chip while the X201 is Intel), 6 clicks later and then ... straight back to life!

And back to work.  No issue with data since I have almost everything in Notes, a lot of stuff in Connections, and dribs'n'drabs in Ubuntu1 and DropBox.
  1. Replicate Notes
  2. Synch Ubuntu1 and DropBox

All is good with the world, back up to date and running like a champion.  No OS rebuild or re-install, no driver garbage, no complaints about SSID signatures, etc, etc...

Missing the larger screen on the T61, but grateful that I have a "small" laptop again to do work during "disconnected" time - like now on a plane home - and even more confident that when the T61's mother-board replacement arrives, it will just be a matter of switching the disk back out again.

Linux.  Like Lotus Notes, This ... Stuff ... Just ... Works!

Life with Ubuntu Linux just gets better and better, even with a "near-death" experience!
Comments

1John Stockbridge  09/16/2011 9:35:42  
The Alternate Reality, Episode 6: The Near-Death experience

I've seen the 701 beast and whilst in theory it is a laptop, the fact that it needs a team of bearers to carry it and has it's own seat on an aircraft speaks volumes.

There is also a rumour that the 701 and IBM Watson have started a relationship.

Mat Newman

THE Lotus Notes Guy. Productivity Guru. Social Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. IBMer. Views are my own.

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