Resuscitating my ThinkPad T43p

My ThinkPad T43p was on the way out, the XP/Fedora dual boot was slowly grinding to a halt and the cooling fan sounded like it was trying to take off, literally. What to do?

I still liked the machine, the screen resolution is as good as anything I’ve seen on a portable PC and  the ThinkPad is a great looking machine, sleek, black and straight off the set of The Empire Strikes Back. Moreover they used the very same model on the International Space Station, which is a good enough reason as any to give it a second chance.

First, I doubled the RAM to 2GB and ordered a new cooling fan from Hong Kong, both slotted in after removing and replacing about 60 screws, each one of a different length (not really but it seemed that way).

Second, the new operating system. Jolicloud. Well hyped as a lightweight and fast alternative to a Microsoft OS, especially on older (but no less capable) machines like my ThinkPad T43p inherited from Firebrand Training. I’d been using Fedora as a dual boot for a few years but never really had the time to explore it properly, I’d also become frustrated with the lack of intuitiveness. This last point is slightly ironic given that Jolicloud is a Linux derivative.

Installation was via an old USB stick with an ISO image downloaded from the Jolicloud site.

So now I have a brand new cloud machine with a wicked lightweight operating system, free from all that usual bloat and unwanted software. It’s got apps for everything I need to run my online life, perhaps stopping a bit short at full scale development, although I haven’t looked into that yet.

It looks and sounds great.