Dan Appleman: Kibitzing and Commentary

My personal blog

This Old Machine

I’m still looking for the perfect portable computer.
When I’m traveling on business, I’m like most “road warriors” – I have a full featured powerful laptop that can handle not just the basic Email/web stuff, but development work, run virtual machines, etc.
But sometimes I travel for fun, even take a short vacation now and then. And on a vacation, a developer laptop is like a sailing with your anchor dragging behind you. You’re constantly worried about it getting lost or stolen, or breaking. That’s not much fun.
My needs for a casual laptop are different. It has to run Windows and be full featured, but doesn’t have to be fast – I won’t be doing any serious development work on it. It has to be light, maybe a few pounds. Oh, and it has to be cheap – so if I lose it or it breaks or is stolen, it’s no great loss.
There are some very nice ultra-portables out there, and more coming, but they aren’t cheap. In planning for this summer, rather than shopping for something new, I decided to explore another alternative. I have a Thinkpad 240 lying around that I hadn’t used in a while. Could it be brought up to date?
So for those of you who are interested in a nostalgic trip into ancient (2000) technology, or picking up one yourself ($75-$125 on Ebay), read on…