My Happy Place
Laptop Battery

Image by wblo
I just now realized that my laptop could be untethered from my desk and used ANYWHERE thanks to its internal wireless card and battery! Yeah, well when you use it at a desk for three years you kind of just somehow associate it with the desk.

The important thing is that I can sit on my bed, back against the wall, which puts me directly in the sweet spot between my two oversized loudspeakers. They’re designed to project sound outwards 5-10 feet, from a wall to someone’s couch. When I sit at my desk I’m less than a foot in front of them.

The difference here isn’t readily apparent until you change where you sit. The music sounds normal when sitting at my desk. When I moved to the bed, I could feel much more bass, and the high end was much higher; cymbals rang and crashed instead of just sort of fading out, for example.

So, basically what I’m trying to say is that I’ve found my happy place, I suppose. There is so much shit that is completely fucked in my life, but this thing right here, this is right.

Yeah, I guess I’m going to spin some wax for awhile…I don’t know, it’s kind of like an in-flight refueling for my soul or something.

Core 2 Duo rocks
Laptop Battery

Image by craig1black
So I just got a new IBM Thinkpad T60 today at work. Core 2 Duo T7200. I cannot believe how fast this laptop is!

But here is the best thing, using the great "RightMark CPU Clock Utility" I got the on-battery power consumption down to 10.7 watts at idle! This is while running at 1ghz and screen at minimum brightness. And since it’s Core 2 Duo this power consumption is with both cores running at that speed. Also, my T60 has the 1440×1050 screen and ATI Radeon X1300 graphics, which probably use more power.

This equates to about 5 hours of run time off the standard battery!

Using the same program, I got my old Thinkpad T41 (Pentium M 1.6Ghz) down to about 9.7 watts on battery at idle. A little better but that was with the cpu running at 600mhz and of course, only a single core. This T41 has Radeon Mobility 9000 graphics and the 1440×1050 screen.

Back to the T60, I was able to under-volt the CPU from 1.20v to 1.15v — right off the bat this reduced max load CPU temp a few degrees. (Down to about 66C) I need to try lower settings as they may work and reduce computer temps even more. Sadly I cannot lower the voltage anymore than 0.950V at the 1Ghz speed as that is the default and the minimum supported by the chipset. If I could notch that down a bit I could lower consumption even more.

Since I’m using "Performance on demand" even when running on A/C, the computer runs at 1ghz until more power is needed where it seamlessly throttles up to 2ghz. This keep temps nice and low and the fan off.

As I said before, max CPU temp is about 66C. The fan on the T60 is very quiet so even running two copies of super_pi the thing isn’t loud at all. Idle temp with the fan off is about 45C. What is odd is on battery the unit is about 48C but on A/C actually cools down even though CPU speed is the same.

The wrist rest is only slightly warm to the touch and actually cooler than my T41. (And the T41 was already cool.)

The T41 hard drive idles at about 98F but the T60′s new SATA drive runs at 91F, a nice reduction.

On the underside, the T60 is about as warm as my T41. I don’t have my pyrometer with me — but I would guess about 35C/95F. Under full load my T41 used to warm up a little underneath, but not much. The cooling assembly is pretty efficient and I would imagine the T60′s is as good. There are no vents on the bottom.

Oh and a final note, I see on the "Intel Mac Temperature Database" that many Macbook Pro’s idle at 10C higher than my T60 and max out at 20C-30C higher under load! This is crazy.

If you are in the market for a new laptop, I really recommend the Thinkpad T60 series. I’ve had my T41 for a while and it’s one tough little notebook. Other than some of the soft-touch coating having rubbed off on the corners, it’s still as good as new. No squeaks or looseness — just one well put together computer. The T60 seems to have kept the same ruggedness and chunky good looks of the T4x series while upgrading its internal bits with the times.

Packing for Paris
Laptop Battery

Image by Jeff Hester
Leaving tomorrow for Paris, but still have some packing to do. Really looking forward to the photos in the City of Lights.

#171 of Project 365.

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