Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Thinkpad X220 and Ubuntu 11.04

I just got a new Thinkpad X220.  It is a nice piece of hardware.  I installed ubuntu 11.04 and am playing around with various setting to optimize its performance.

First, install gpointing-device-settings.  This will allow you to tame the touchpad.  Second, install laptop-mode-tools.  This enables all sorts of battery saving tricks when you are on battery power.  With the stock 6 cell battery, I am getting battery life estimate of 8-10 hours, although I have not verified this by leaving the laptop running.  Although I should also say that most of the time, I am programming, which may actually be a fairly low power operation.  I do have wifi enabled and firefox open as well.

So far I really like it.  The keyboard is great.  The layout is vi friendly and most of the buttons feel like they are where they should be.

I am getting used to the touchpad, it does feel like I am getting better with it, (and using gpointing-device-settings definitely helps).  However I would not say the touchpad is great.  Due to the thinkpads having the trackpoint, the physical buttons are above the touchpad, which is not what I was used.

The X220 seems to work fairly well out of the box with Ubuntu 11.04, I did not have any showstopping driver issues.  That said there are currently a few shortcomings with the linux support for the HD 3000 graphics, those may not be resolved until 11.10, so that kind of sucks, but accelerated 3D is not a big reason for me getting this laptop.  Compiz runs fine, so that's really all I need.

Anyway, I am very happy with this little laptop.  The design is simple, but most things seem to be just right.

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