Craig's IBM Butterfly page

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Toshiba Portege 3010CT 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.

IBM X22 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:
Pluses Minuses
1. Keyboard expands to 85 full sized keys 1. VGA display (only 640×480)
2. Sub-notebook size and weight 2. Older technology batteries
3. Swappable disk drives 3. Largest disk only 720 MB
4. IrDA-compatible infrared transceiver 4. Modem speed only 14.4 Kbps
5. Upgradable to 40MBs of memory 5. Fastest processor only 486 DX4/75
6. Genuine Intel processor 6. Satan Inside
7. It will run Unix 7. It comes with Windows pre-installed

Information from IBM

Here's the main IBM page for the ThinkPad 701. It has the complete specifications for the Butterfly series.

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 Windows 95).

The Butterfly comes with a User's Guide. The IBM part number for this is 25H4900.

Operating systems

Butterfly's come with PC DOS 6.3 and Microsoft Windows 3.11 preinstalled. The 75 MHz models also come with OS/2 Warp. 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 Linux and NetBSD.


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 IBM 701 was produced in 1952. Other sources indicate this was IBM's first computer.

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:

satan inside

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Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002
Craig Leres