Information Superhighway

I have had this T41 running Windows 2000 for a while, but for the longest time I had a problem with the drivers for its internal Intel wireless chip. Its configuration embedded right into the Network Adapter properties window, which was neat, but there was no way to save profiles and more importantly, it only supported WEP encryption. And you’d know that wouldn’t fly today.

The annoying bit is that I had used AntiX and MX Linux on the laptop during its past life, and wireless (and WPA2) worked perfectly, albeit with some issues with range. It’s possible that had I used XP on it, WPA2 would have worked there too since there’s a native wireless stack. Unfortunately for me though, an updated Windows 2000 driver was nowhere to be found.

That brings us to probably the best $10 (or 10000 Microsoft Rewards points if you want to be specific about it, or 6.02214076×10²³ Neopoints adjusted for inflation, not including $0.74 sales tax) I had ever spent. And, as it turns out, it even came early instead of the Feb. 24-March timeframe I had expected.

And surprisingly enough, it came new in box, installation CDs and all:

Installation was fairly simple. I worried a little when I noticed the Standalone Driver CD was meant for XP/Vista (versions of Windows that did ship with a wireless stack), but the Resource CD fortunately did have the software that’d run on 2000 SP4.

Connecting to my home network with the software seemed to be a little problematic at first, with it saying Connected to Router and not having obtained an IP address or found the default gateway, but connecting to my Time Capsule worked out fine. I’ve checked again and it seems that was just a temporary issue, now works fine. And with that, here it is:

Guess it really is the mid-2000s.

I’ve always liked the PC Card form factor, whether it be the original PCMCIA standard, CardBus or the newer ExpressCard. All those sleeker, slimmer, modern laptops tend to forgo this type of expandability for the promise that USB-C will eventually solve everything and that dongles are the answer. As for that, I’ll always prefer the T41.

About dotcomboom

Software developer, photographer... blogger...?
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