mintCast 326.5 – Biscuits and a Thinkpad


In our Innards section, we talk all things ‘Lenovo Thinkpads’

And finally, the feedback

Linux Innards:

  • Maybe the first thing to say is how many Lenovo laptops we have or have used in the past ** indicates still owned.
  • We missed two predictions from Discord!
    • Katya predicts that there will be an official red hat version of fedora IoT
    • Cryptodan predicts that Microsoft will acquire Ubuntu
  • Tony H – x61s, x200, x200 Tablet**, x201**, X230i** 
    • None of the ones I still have are in daily use so the x61 has just gone to go to Egypt with a package of other stuff as a donation to a school there.
    • Back when I first started to use Lenovo laptops about 8-9 years ago the thing that I appreciated on the X200 series was the portability (12” screen) battery life and robustness, these laptops were built to be used on the road and were very well built.
    • If it weren’t for aging eyes, I would probably still use my X230i as it is a great little laptop but these days I use my Dell E7440 as a compromise of portability and screen size. The bigger 400 series are just that little too heavy for toting a couple in a laptop bag which I can do with the E7440.
  • Tony W –  
    • Had an old IBM thinkpad, 2004 or 2005 machine but do not have anymore and don’t know the model (before my Linux days)
    • Using a Lenovo H50 desktop in the house, budget desktop from 2015
      • Was given to me by my grandfather because he couldn’t stomach Windows 10
      • 4th gen i3 processor
      • Upgraded RAM from 4GB to 8GB
      • Added low profile 2GB nvidia card to it
      • Works fine for most purposes and will play low resource steam games
    • Current work laptop Thinkpad T480
      • Processor i7, 8GB RAM
      • Internal + External Battery
          • Internal battery is used until depleted, then external is used
          • Can hot swap batteries
          • Seems to be some debate online about lack of option to set external battery to drain first
        • Extremely solid feel
        • Trackpad is great in my experience (though not a lot to compare to)
        • Perfect size
        • Appreciate the built in webcam cover
      • Only very minor CONS 
        • The thing is a finger smudge magnet (don’t really care)
        • HDMI and USB C display out cannot be used simultaneously – one or the other
      • WHY are the Thinkpad docks so expensive?
        • They are nearly $200
        • Many aftermarket hubs are a lot cheaper
          • Aftermarket hub w/ actual working dual displays seem to run about $80
          • My workaround dock situation: USB C hub with one display + one USB C to HDMI adapter.  Cost ~$40
  • Popey – 
    • Main machine: ThinkPad T450 – Ubuntu 19.10 (i7, upgraded to 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 250 GB m.2 SSD, replaced screen with matte display.). Docking station, 2 external displays. Multiple external batteries.
    • Previous main machine: ThinkPad X220 (i7, 16GB, swappable hard disks) – mainly used for testing various distros
    • X61s Command line only system – C2D 1.6GHz / 6GB RAM / 250GB SSD
    • T43 – Pentium M 2.0GHz / 1.5GiB RAM / 40GB disk
    • R50e – Celeron 1.4GHz / 1.2GiB RAM / 40GB disk 
    • 380XD – Pentium / 32MiB RAM / 4GB disk / Windows 98
  • Joe
    • Thinkpad x120e
      • One of the few early netbooks with a 64 bit processor
      • Not quite fast enough for daily use
      • Works phenomenally as a batocera machine playing old games including ps1’s armored core masters of arena. 
  • Leo
    • Thinkpad T450s
      • My daily driver. Bought it second-hand about 2 years ago now. My first and only Thinkpad. I’ve used others before, and quite liked them. Best laptop choice I’ve ever made.
      • i5 5300u, 20GB RAM, 512GB SATA SSD with Mint, 256GB m.2/SATA with Windows. Considering putting something else on it since I haven’t booted into Windows on this laptop for over a month.

Vibrations from the Ether:

  • Erik Lietz

I didn’t realize I would be the only listener to submit my 2020 predictions. Thanks for reading them! I accept the challenge to beat the rest of you on your predictions! I will have to figure out some audio equipment if I’m invited onto the show.

Since you asked some questions about my predictions, I will offer some clarifications.

  1. Purism will go out of business – the Librem 5 phone endeavor will put it under
    (Purism’s reach into so many products will be their undoing and even with some products doing well, this will be too much for their business to sustain)

  2. The PinePhone will be an amazing product and success story for Pine64
    (I am waiting for the second offering after the Brave Heart edition. The PinePhone product development will set a ‘gold’ standard how to correctly launch new product)

  3. An major industry specific software company (Adobe, Autodesk (for AutoCAD), or similar) will offer a Linux version for a flagship software product
    (Adobe, Autodesk, or another specific flagship program dedicated for a very specific task. Running natively, no Wine, no web apps – AutoCAD can already run as a web app)

  4. Microsoft will offer Office 365 on Linux
    (MS Word, Excel, Power Point at a minimum will be running natively on Linux, no Wine, no web apps)

  5. Linux preinstalled from a major hardware supplier will be available in big box stores available off of the shelf
    (a large hardware vendor (Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc)

As Moss said, it very well could have been Martin Wimpress or Alan Poppe who first stated this. I give credit where credit is due, but I can’t find this quote again on my other podcasts to confirm who said it.

By the way – our Linux conversion at the office is now complete! We have all of our workstations (CAD, engineering, and office support staff) running on Mint 19.1 with the 5.0 kernel. We have a server running Ubuntu Server 18.04. Hardly any issues at all, and the issues we do have is with network printing on copiers and accessing files on older Synology NAS boxes. Which, has forced us to do some much needed upgrades on both the copiers and network storage. One main benefit to switching to Linux has been enabling my wife and I as business owners to do all of the IT work ourselves, instead of outsourcing this work. Another benefit is that the setup and maintenance on the Linux machines is easily less than half the amount of time. Time = money! Linux has enabled us to take back control of our computing.

Thanks again for the great podcast!

  • G

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to say thanks for the great podcast. I have been listening since 2018. On episode 325, I would like to shout out a big THANK YOU!  to you all for being diplomatic about the recent Purism news and for reminding us of the differences between the Pine Phone and the Librem 5. Bravo! 

  • David

I applied the 19.3 latest updates which required a restart and now Mint hangs after I get the new LM boot screen, it never gets past this screen.  I’ve only been using Linux Desktop for about a year, so still learning and this is the first time I’ve had a single issue with Linux.

I do have TimeShift running Daily, Weekly, Monthly but I can’t even get to that point.

Any suggestions on how I can get to ??? So I can do a restore from TimeShift?


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Before we leave, we want to make sure to acknowledge some of the people who make mintCast possible … 

  • Josh for all his work on the website and the livestream
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting and our Mumble server
  • for hosting our audio files
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about (Thanks, Clem!)

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