The IBM StinkPad

Posted by CJD on October 8, 2012

The IBM (sic) ThinkPad is 20 years old today.
As a piece of technology, it’s as iconic as any other lump of hardware in the IT world. And a lump it was then and probably is now. It was built like a brick outhouse, looked like a slab of dull black granite and could be used as a bog door lintel.

I had one in the mid 90’s, wrote a degree dissertation on it and lugged it half way round the world, using it’s 56k modem to drag down my emails from FreeServe, back home in the UK.

It became famous for its little red joystick plonked in the centre of the keyboard, which was immediately named a nipple (and worse) by the press and users alike. And, in our even more childish way, they were always referred to as a StinkPads in our group, for no other reason than we thought it a jolly clever play on words.

The damn things were – and probably still are – unbreakable so that the only way you could get a new one was to leave it on a train. Which I did.

It’s now owned by the Lenovo Company, of course, and seems in good hands.

So, happy birthday old buddy, and many returns.

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