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I took my Butterfly out of daily service in January of 1999 when
I bought a Toshiba Portege 3010CT. At 2.8 pounds, the 3010 was
great for travel. But over the years it lost the ability to charge
its batteries and eventually died.
I replaced the Toshiba in February of 2002 with an IBM X22. At 3.8
pounds, the X22 is lighter than the 701 (but heaver than the 3010).
But it's nice to be back using the IBM trackpoint again. And the
X22 has the nicest keyboard of any laptop I've used.
One last item, my laptops belong to the Ernest Orlando Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory and so (obviously) I cannot sell them.
Which laptop to get?
I was in the market for a laptop to take on the road and wanted
something small. But since it was going to spend most of its life on
the coffee table in my living room, I wanted something with a nice
keyboard. These factors make it pretty obvious why I latched onto
IBM's ThinkPad 701 sub-notebook series. In the process getting and
using the the Butterfly I picked some interesting information which
I've tried to incorporated here.
Pro's and Con's
Here's my take on the strengths and weaknesses of the Butterfly:
Information from IBM
Here's the main IBM page for the
ThinkPad 701. It has the complete specifications for the Butterfly
IBM has an
ftp area for mobiles.
The main file of interest is for the Butterfly is called
IBM ThinkPad 701 Technical Information, Tips, and Techniques.
Aside from listing the current versions of software and firmware
it gives memory maps, IRQs, DMA assignments, etc.
One other file worth mentioning is the
version 3O BIOS upgrade
document which describes how to upgrade
your BIOS to the current release. This is something you should do
(especially if you're planning on running
The Butterfly comes with a User's Guide. The IBM part number
for this is 25H4900.
Butterfly's come with PC DOS 6.3 and
Microsoft Windows 3.11
preinstalled. The 75 MHz models also come with
They will run Windows 95;
this is one of the systems I regularly run on mine.
I'm told it runs Windows NT.
You can also run Unix.
I'm currently running FreeBsd and BSD/OS.
I've also heard that some people are running
Here are some of my favorite software
to run on the Butterfly. (And it's worth mentioning that
Butterfly runs DOOM quite nicely!)
One of the first things you'll probably want is an ethernet adapter.
Traveling with the Butterfly
The whole point of getting a sub-notebook is to take it places. Here's
some information that's useful when you
travel with your Butterfly.
You might want to get a carrying case.
Another concern is security;
you want to do what you can to keep some cretin from
making off with your machine.
The butterfly has the standard two type I/II PCMCIA slots.
There are more slots in the optional DOCK.
This means you can have fun with the many
PCMCIA toys that are available.
The MultiPort II port replicator allows access to a number of peripherals.
Not the first 701
One final note, the Butterfly is apparently not the first 701;
according Harold Rogers'
The History of Computing at Los Alamos, a vacuum tube based
was produced in 1952. Other sources indicate this was IBM's first
The Butterfly is now a movie star
The Butterfly has a cameo in the
Mission: Impossible movie.
It's also in the GoldenEye movie.
Information from other sources
Here are some
links to other sources.
Maybe the last with a folding keyboard
One final note, the Butterfly has been discontinued.
Here's some information on its successor.
Here's a list of all of Craig's Butterfly pages:
Back to Craig's home
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