Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

Dated 11 December 2017: IBM Thinkpad T42p now on its seventh life

Thinkpad 25
In unrelated news, I also bought one of these.

This actually happened in late 2015, but I never got around to updating this list until now. The CCFL died again, but at least replacing it was much easier this time around than the last time(s). This time I was able to acquire a replacement with new wires already soldered onto the bulb instead of having to get it just right (read: just a little off from just right) myself, so it was a much simpler swap. Plus, I've already torn apart and reassembled the screen so many times it's just easier to do now. So, if I've kept track correctly, this Thinkpad has gone through the following repairs:

  1. Fan died in 2006, but was replaced under warranty.
  2. CCFL broke in 2008 and I replaced it myself.
  3. New fan burned out too in 2009, and I replaced it myself.
  4. Screen went out again in 2009 because I did a lousy job replacing the CCFL in 2008.
  5. Hard drive failed in 2010, and I replaced it myself.
  6. CCFL failed again in 2015, and I replaced it myself.

So, this laptop has died six times and is now on its seventh life. That's probably going to be the last time (not counting inevitable battery failures), since I never use the computer for anything anymore. I guess there are still a few old video games I never finished, and I could theoretically fire it back up for old time's sake, but we'll see.

Dated 14 June 2010: Well, the T42p died again

Re-installing Ubuntu 10.04 on the T42p
IBM Thinkpad T42p now on its sixth life.

This time the hard drive died. Well, I was running out of space anyway, and this gives me an excuse to upgrade to something larger, although buying a PATA hard drive seems kinda silly nowadays. At least everything was backed up on the server anyway. I think.

Dated 25 October 2009: IBM Thinkpad T42p now on its fifth life

The screen went out again, this time thanks to my shoddy workmanship earlier. Disassembly was easier than before, but re-soldering the CCFL and properly insulating the ends was a bit more difficult as was re-assembly. My eyes are definitely not as sharp—nor my hands as steady—as they once were.

Dated 9 August 2009: IBM Thinkpad T42p now on its fourth life

IBM Thinkpad T42p fan
IBM Thinkpad T42p fan.

So, to recap, my IBM Thinkpad T42p with the sweet ass (and extinct) UXGA monitor died once in 2006 when the fan stopped working. That one was covered by the warranty and IBM fixed it right away even though I was out of the country at the time. Then the CCFL stopped working (again while traveling) in 2008, but that was my fault for trusting it to checked baggage, I'm pretty sure. Well, the fan burned out again a few weeks ago. (Note to self: Do not run Chinese-built Thinkpad 24-hours per day, seven days per week.)

IBM Thinkpad T42p fan
IBM Thinkpad T42p fan.

Well, thanks to the magic of eBay, I was able to find a replacement fan easily enough. Swapping them out was a lot easier than replacing the CCFL, let me tell you. Typing on a different keyboard in the interim? A nightmare.

Dated 28 December 2008: Great success

Working CCFL
Testing the new CCFL.

It's a miracle. I managed to swap out the CCFL on my IBM Thinkpad T42p notebook computer. I am finally back to full UXGA glory. It was actually relatively easy to install the replacement CCFL. The only scary part was snipping off part of the leads before soldering; I was afraid I had cut them too short. (I don't think you're supposed to trim the leads before installation, but mine were definitely too long.) Taking out the old CCFL was a different matter. Because of the way the original was secured with tape, I completely destroyed the old light while removing it from the screen in November. I fell into despair after that, to tell you the truth. As you can see, it took me weeks to muster enough nerve to install the new one.

My R50 next to my reborn T42p
My R50 next to my reborn T42p

If your laptop screen dies, I recommend just buying a whole replacement from eBay for $60 if you're not reasonably comfortable with soldering and handling extremely fragile objects. I also definitely introduced some dust particles between the sandwich of layers comprising the LCD monitor while replacing the bulb. I presume I was not diligent enough in ensuring clean conditions. Alas.

28:13:15< Evirus> The art in Marvel Mangaverse isn't that great until the 2006 series.
28:13:16< Divine> I couldn't read something called "Marvel Mangaverse" on principle
28:13:17< Tir_McDohl> Marvel Moeverse

Dated 31 May 2008: Man, I thought Thinkpads were supposed to be tough


Apparently all this traveling was too much for my Thinkpad T42p. Okay, I didn't kill it kill it, but either the inverter or the CCFL is dead. (With my luck it's both, eh.) I hope it is the inverter and not the CCFL, because I know I can replace the former myself easily. However, I don't know if I can replace the CCFL myself without acing the screen.

The dead screen wouldn't bug me so except that it's a 15" UXGA 1600x1200 beauty, and it's basically impossible to get a notebook computer with a high-resolution screen anymore—not around the five-pound mark at least. I despise glossy screens, and I don't care for today's widescreen offerings. Widescreen? More like shortscreen. (1280x800 on a screen larger than 10 inches is pathetic.) I don't really want to buy another Lenovo, but it doesn't look like I have much choice. Come back to me, IBM! I love you forever!


I told you that story to tell you this one: My mostly-dead Thinkpad gave me an excuse to buy an Asus EeePC 900. I can watch anime away from home again, but it drops frames on more resource-heavy videos. So far, instead of trying my patience, this shortcoming makes me nostalgic. The stuttering takes me back to the days when the beginning of the Love Hina OP (the part with the cherry blossoms whipping down the title screen) crucified my computer. And I invested in a Pelican 1490 laptop case/briefcase, so I should be good to go now. Never again.