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Buzz Buzz

The Thinkpad Fan Buzz Of Death is getting louder and louder. Going to have to get another laptop very soon. Am looking at another Thinkpad, at Cory’s suggestion, one with a bit more oomph under the bonnet… but, ooh, pricey.

‘Course, the thing about a laptop is that, after two years, you’ve often just about got it how you like it.

What I dread is having to get my net connection going. I use AOL UK as my internet provider, because they provide me very fast internet very cheaply and a phone service that’s close to free. Their customer service has actually been terrific. But their system for setting up the router they supply is… arcane. And I always have to get on the phone with them to set it up anew, and they always have to walk me through it, and it always doesn’t work until suddenly it does, apparently through no process I or the tech support person initiated.

I want to keep this laptop just so I don’t have to go through that again.

CAPTAIN SWING #2 and SUPERGOD #4 should be along imminently, by the way.

Published in daybook


  1. Peter Peter

    Lemme recommend the Lenovo x200. Portable and astonishing battery life.

  2. You know, if you would switch to a Mac, you would never have to set up your computer again since you can just copy the system from one mac to another when switching computers.
    It really works!

  3. Warren Ellis Warren Ellis

    I could switch to a Mac, but I like using the programs I have. And I’d still have to install AOL UK proprietary software to make the router work.

  4. Sterling once compared laptops to hamsters. Cute, fun to play with, but don’t get too attached because you’re lucky if they last five years.

    Or was it gerbils?

  5. Warren – what model is it? Parts are readily available, and usually Thinkpads are pretty easy to field strip and replace parts on. I’d be shocked if it wasn’t easily repaired.

    Also, you may want to check your serial number against the Lenovo/IBM website – it MAY be under warranty. I know my X60’s got the warranty where if anything happens to it in 3 years a Lenovo guy parachutes out of a plane with parts to fix it, or he’ll give me a new one.

  6. Drax Drax

    Looking forward to Captain Swing #2. Pestered my comic dealer about it yesterday.

  7. Warren Ellis Warren Ellis

    I’m not in a position to do repairs myself, and since the one reliable computer repair shop in town shut down, I’m not in a position to easily get it repaired right now.

    (One reason why I don’t get a Mac – the nearest Mac repair centre is at least an hour by train away)

  8. Philelzebub Philelzebub

    How old is your AOL router? Just checking as my brother is with AOL UK and his old router was an absolute bloody nightmare to sort out, and I have never been a fan of their own software. Anyway, they sent him a new router about a year ago and it’s been a breeze to get it working… even on 2 new laptops with Win7…

    So, anyway, dunno if it might be worth you trying to get a new router out of them…

  9. Glad to hear Captain Swing #2 will be on it’s way soon. Good luck with your future laptop shopping.

  10. I find it amusing that they bothered with the name “AOL UK”. America On-Line UK? What, UKOL didn’t test well?

  11. Owen Owen

    I hate having to get a new net connection going, I’ve changed twice in the last five years and it’s like pulling teeth every damn time. Fingers crossed for you.

  12. Zarathud Zarathud

    Tried blowing the crud out of the fan with some canned air? It helps with my thinkpad T60 sometimes. Failing that…. headphones to block the noise?

    Thinkpads really are not that bad to open up. Lenovo has handy docs online with pictures and verbose instructions.

  13. Matt K Matt K

    I’ve replaced the ‘rattling fan of death’ on my Thinkpad T40. It’s about a half hour job and I got the new fan on eBay for about ten quid. There was no significant agony in taking the laptop apart and putting in the new fan.

  14. Warren Ellis Warren Ellis

    I’m not what you’d call technically minded. I opened up a Dell XPS once while on the phone with customer support, just to reseat a video card, and covered everything in so much blood that I had to wait a day to try it again.

  15. Another consideration, and what I’ve considered for when my poor trusty T42 finally kicks — find an aftermarket/refurbished unit of identical model (often easily found via eBay or IBM directly, for very little money, particularly older models) and simply swap hard drives with the dying patient.

    Even for the non-technical, that’s hard to mess up. Usually a one-screw, unplug, plug-in sort of operation.

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