I would like to express my admiration for Richard Sapper, who died at the age of 83. Not surprisingly, I first learned of Richard Sapper through his work on the initial designs of the IBM ThinkPad. His design ethos remains twenty-four years later in the newest ThinkPads: Simple black bento boxes that belie the technological wonders inside. Since, I have admired not only his work with IBM and Lenovo, but also his other industrial designs that range from the Tizio lamp to his two-note whistling kettle.
Richard Sapper will surely be missed, but his designs will remain timeless. To learn more about Richard Sapper and the origins of the ThinkPad, please read the following article written by Lenovo's David Hill in 2013. http://blog.lenovo.com/en/blog/richard-sapper-the-origins-of-the-thinkpad-keyboard
The story and artwork I created encapsulated so much that I found endearing up to that point: Yoshi's Island, The Little Prince, Donkey Kong Country 2, and The Phantom Tollbooth were all influences in both my tale (and if you notice, I did borrow quite a bit of the art from The Phantom Tollbooth). The technology I utilized was primitive, even for then, but I embraced it. I used my 566 MHz eMachines with 64 mb of RAM and a 20 GB hard drive and a Celeron processor, a set of watercolors, crayolas, a UMAX Astra scanner (pretty decent, actually),a CD-RW, an HP laser jet, and very basic photo editing software from the 1990s to create my book. I do not have fond memories of the experience at all,--the computer froze constantly, it was slow, the CD-RW was unreliable, and my artistic ability was almost non-existent (yes, my Lenovo Yoga 900 with nearly 300x the memory would have made it a much more pleasant process). But I created something that means more to me now than it did then. I stowed it away, never intending for others to see it...but, it's time. So here it is:
I do apologize for the low-res, crooked scans…and I do apologize that the book is far from professional…but, regardless, these pages capture something significant. The story is less a tale of Christmas and more a declaration of my greatest fears. There was a fear, I recognize now, that I somehow wasn’t worthy enough to those who meant the most to me. It’s a fear that many of us face. So during this Christmas season, when you’re enjoying your shiny Lenovo Yogas and iPhones, do not forget that there is something far more meaningful to the season. And to Mr. Tavares, who has since passed, thank you again for teaching an English class that went beyond analyzing Hamlet and memorizing rules of grammar.
Sorry for my lack of recent posts, but life has been busy (I hope future posts will discuss what I've been up to). I had to get on here to acknowledge the 23rd birthday of the Thinkie! It's hard to imagine that if the ThinkPad were a person, he would likely be in grad school right now (at MIT or Harvard...or maybe he'd be a rebel and eschew traditional schooling). Even stranger is that since his birth, he's been through Bush years, Clinton years, more Bush years, and modern Obama times. He's witnessed the rise of the Internet, the transition from VHS to DVD to streaming content! You get the picture...a lot has changed in two decades, but one thing hasn't: The ThinkPad is still among the most reliable, comfortable laptops on the market.
I've been using a ThinkPad for seven of those fine years, beginning with a ThinkPad 560--since, I've owned too many to count. A few notable examples include my T400, T420s, X40, TransNote, and Z60--save for batteries unable to hold a charge, none have failed me yet. I look forward to many more years with my black box! If you're curious about my laptop that started it all, here's a little essay I wrote in 2008. http://blog.lenovo.com/en/blog/one-mans-trash-is-another-mans-treasure
If you haven't completed survey 2 for features you'd like to see in the retro ThinkPad, I highly recommend taking ten minutes to do so. David Hill's survey this time focuses on "display size, aspect ratio, resolution, system status indicators as well as volume/mute controls." I know how divisive aspect ratio, resolution, and indicator lights can be, so let your voice be heard! You can take the survey here.
The survey should not take more than ten minutes, so give it a go! David Hill's latest blog, with the link to the survey, can be accessed by clicking here.
I thought I was only dreaming off the possibility that Lenovo would introduce a retro ThinkPad….so imagine my excitement when, on Tuesday, June 23, David Hill, the Vice President of Lenovo Corporate Identity & Design, announced to us Lenovo Insiders (yes, I knew before you…it was hard not spilling the beans!) that Lenovo is mulling over the possibility of introducing a modern take on the original ThinkPad. In David’s latest blog, you can read up on his thoughts on the retro ThinkPad first hand. If you are interested in one—if you are dying to get your hands on one—comment on the article found here. Use the hashtag #retroThinkPad. Let him know what you think of the renderings and what could be improved upon (I’m thinking the red, green and blue logo is gonna go).
Sorry it took me so long to catch up on my blog, but I’m so happy I get to do so on a positive note!
I was fortunate enough to be the judge of a contest Lenovo held, inspired by my trip to South Africa. The description of the contest can be found below:
We hope that you’ve had a moment to check out our latest contest, “Where would you take a Lenovobackpack,” which will be running from now until March 27th!
Here’s the gist- Gregory Costa, a fellow Lenovo INsider, is crazy about his Lenovo backpack! He takes his Lenovo backpack with him everywhere … and we mean everywhere! Gregory, an INsider from the US, recently took a trip to South Arica. And, yes, he took his backpack. His exact words were “…the Lenovo backpack went everywhere”. So Gregory has inspired us to run a contest named “Where would you take a Lenovo backpack?”
For more information, read about it in the Lenovo INsiders Social Platform.
And check out Greg’s blog post for more details about his South Africa trip. There were other surprises along the way.
We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
The Lenovo INsiders Team
I had difficulty choosing the winners of the contest, but I announced my two top choices yesterday, via Twitter (yes, I finally I have a Twitter). I would like to congratulate Robyn Wright, for her inspiring, original photo. Eric Xu, I finally made the trip to the Statue of Liberty this past summer. It was one of the most memorable trips I've had. Thanks to all who participated!
About Gregory Costa
Gregory Costa is a decent biologist, mediocre writer, terrible formatter, but true Lenovo enthusiast, who admires the use of their products in both the academic and industrial setting...when he's not busy delighting himself in science, nature, or his OkCupid profile.