Before I turned in one of the R50e's I decided to do some testing. I had the "feeling" that Ubuntu was superior to that other OS in many ways, yet I wanted to back my words with some real life data. The most impressive difference was obtained on power-up. I was smart enough to capture it on Video:
Both machines have the same exact specs, both have been used for the same time (to be fair I have tweaked the OS on the left quite a bit to optimize it). Ubuntu is already idle by the time the video ends; while the other PC takes 30 seconds more than what I've uploaded to idle the hard drive.
Then I went for a Battery endurance test. I left both PCs running, but the results where somewhat disappointing. Battery life (screen always on, machine unused) was 2:42:12 and 2:43:28 from left to right, but, quite honestly the difference can be attributed to battery condition.
I need to do a similar head to head with a ThinkPad that has more advanced power options to see if there is an improvement on either way. Quite honestly I thought Ubuntu was going to beat the hell out of te other one in this Item as well, since I had been able to work longer far from a power source with the Linux machine. I guess this was either me wanting it to be that way or (quite possibly) that Linux and programs running on it require less resources and that disk cache is faster and better thought (due to that Cache partition one sets up, remember?).
Final test was starting up notes and SameTime (our internal IM system). Ubuntu runs Notes 8 ever Eclipse; the other OS runs 7. Notes 8 and Sametime took 1:56.6 whereas notes 7 took 2:44.1. Time was measured from click on the icon to the moment when I was able to compose a new email.
The more I learn the more I'm convinced I need to use just one OS: Ubuntu.
I've read many comments on different blogs (lenovoblogs.com amongst them), about people who had their ears bleed after unplugging the power cable while on headphones. I have suffered from this as well, so I wanted to seek for an option to disable such annoyance.
There is a way to disable it, but there is a small disadvantage in doing so. I'll get to that in a second, first the "how to":
Restart your ThinkPad, while on the first splash screen, get on the bios setup (two ways to do this: hit the "F1" key -direct- or hit the blue "ThinkVantage" button, which will start "Rescue and Recovery", on the right side links you have an "access bios" option.
WARNING! You can seriously brake things if you fiddle with BIOS and don't know what you are doing!
Once on the BIOS go to:
Config -> Alarm -> Power Control Beep -> Select "Disabled"
Save your changes by hitting "F10" and confirming you actually want to save changes and restart.
So, what's the downside? That by disabling such beeps you also disable all power-realtad beeps (suspend, hibernate and resume). I can personally rely just on the visible cues my ThinkPad provides (the Half moon), but this might NOT be your case.
Disclaimer: I have updated my T60p's BIOS only two weeks ago and can't confirm is this option has been around for a long time or just since this last update.
While lurking through the comments on lenovo blogs, I've seen some regarding the forward and back buttons just by the side of arrow keys:
I have also lost text inputs due to this two buttons, yet I knew there had to be a workaround for it. And there is: Go to Start > ThinkVantage > Keyboard Customizer Utility
Over there go to the "Key Sensitivity" tab, you'll be able to set a bunch of key's sensitivity settings.
Amongst other keys you can set the back and forward buttons sensitivity; or disable them altogether. I suggest moving the slider, hitting the "Apply" button and test until you think you're comfortable. You have a test area at the right side of the same window.
That is it! I'm sorry if you expected a longer tutorial.