Blonde Guy

Lenovo Thinkpad T540p (Strobopeep)

strobopeep

This IBM Thinkpad model is a desktop replacement, with powerful CPU and graphics and a DVD Writer. The VGA adapter is suited to an external monitor. The dock provides an easy way to take the computer with you and then later return to your desktop. The built-in screen is 1080p, and the IPS technology provides a display that is bright and clear.

This laptop was purchased as an open box from a computer store in September, 2016. The eComStation installation was unable to make a bootable computer. ArcaOS 5.0 has modifications specifically to support this computer. Nevertheless, Wifi and USB 3.0 are not yet supported.

This laptop computer is configured to boot ArcaOS. No Windows is installed, nor are instructions provided to install Windows without harming the ArcaOS installation.

Support for an external WiFi bridge is installed.

Build Notes

This section documents what I did to get this computer to work under ArcaOS. It is intended to show what goes into this computer, and also as a guide to the user who wants to build it himself.

The computer arrived on Sept 23, 2016. I booted it to make sure it would run the installed Windows 7. The hardware maintenace manual explains how to upgrade the hard drive.

The installed BIOS is 2.23 and the EC is 1.14. The current BIOS is 2.24 and EC is 1.07. I updated the BIOS to the current level with the BIOS update CD. The video displays on an external monitor without issues. I made sure that BIOS is set to Config->USB->USB 3.0 Mode = Disabled and Config->CPU->Intel (R) Hyper-Threading Technology = Disabled. Then I powered the Thinkpad down and up.

Ordered 1 TB hybrid hard disk. Boot from eCS 2.2 beta 2 (Dec 30) installation CD-ROM, fails on loading OS2LVM.DMD. Failure is the same with existing hard drive or new hybrid hard drive. Failure is the same with eCS 2.2 installation CD or Blonde Guy recovery DVD.

ArcaOS 5.0 released May 15, 2017. Development continues...

Hard drive preparation

ArcaOS Installation

I installed one bootable volumes, J:. The J: drive has a Single Volume install from the ArcaOS installation.

To get audio to work, I added a Trond USB audio adapter. I replaced the AN USB stack with Lars Erdmann's stack 10.217. I uninstalled Uniaud, and installed USB Audio. I installed the USBWAV codec. Audio works well, but external speakers or headphones are required.

DOS Window does not work. Dos Full-Screen does not work. Added /int10textgrfxsafe to the line that loads VSVGA.SYS Also added mode co80; cls to autoexec.bat, DOS Window still does not work. DOS full screen also does not work.

A fix from Arca Noae does allow DOS Full-Screen to work. Alt-Home from a DOS Full-Screen then allows a DOS Window to work.

Using Suntan Special I run sequences ArcaOS50, apps, games and cleanup. This is saved as the Factory image. This is normally what would be supplied on the computer.

External WiFi

There is not yet support for the internal WiFi. Instead, support for two external WiFi devices, the Asus RP-N12 Wireless N300 Range Extender and the TP-Link Nano Router is provided.

Instructions and details about external WiFi: http://www.blondeguy.com/TravelRouters.html

TP-Link Nano Travel Router

TP-Link Nano Travel Router

Asus RP-N12 Travel Router (front)

Strobopeep Travel Router (front)

Asus RP-N12 Travel Router (rear)

Strobopeep Travel Router (rear)

USB Audio

The built-in audio does not have OS/2 support yet. An external USB Audio adapter provides audio support. Lars Erdmann's USB stack replaces the standard Arca Noae stack, and appropriate drivers are installed.

Strobopeep Audio

Dock

If a dock is included, then this is how it will work. The computer is set to the native screen of 1920 x 1080. If your monitor is the same, then nothing needs to be done docking and undocking. If the computer monitor is different than 1920 x 1080, then the screen resolution can be adjusted to the optimal values. For example, I tested with a computer monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1200. When I plug into the dock, the computer changes to 1600 x 1200. I enter 1920 x 1200 into the screen applet and reboot for optimum resolution. When I leave the dock, the computer switches back to 1920 x 1080, and no further action is needed.

Capabilities

The USB 2.0 ports support keyboards, mice, scanners, thumb drives, cameras, MP3 players, external hard drives, floppies and CD Writers.

The laptop can use any memory left over from 32-bit usage as a RAM drive. For 8 GB RAM models, this RAM drive has 4.7 GB, and is formatted HPFS. For 4 GB models, the RAM drive has 700 MB.

Defects

This laptop boots to the desktop in under 60 seconds. That's important, because suspend/resume does not work. To make up for that, the laptop can do a clean power down when the lid is closed.

Printing support for some printers is broken.

There is no ArcaOS support for the bluetooth or fingerprint reader. Support for the internal WiFi, Internal Audio and USB 3.0 is under development at Arca Noae.

DVD writing works on Strobopeep's drive, but not yet on USB optical drives.

Software

Suntan Special

I use Suntan Special to install the software on all Blonde Guy computers. Suntan Special software can be used to install all updates to the system and its applications and to install additional applications. When newer versions of software are released, Suntan Special can keep your Blonde Guy computer up to date.

Recovery DVD

The recovery DVD supplied is a bootable ArcaOS DVD with a backup of the hard drive as delivered. You can boot the machine from DVD, and perform maintenance functions. The maintenance folder is available on the recovery DVD. The factory backup is stored in the \Factory directory. The backups are simple zip files. You can use 7z or unzip to extract some or all of the files in a backup.

DFSee

DFSee is a generic disk, partition and filesystem utility for maintenance and data-recovery. It supports partition tables (FDISK, LVM), FAT, FAT32, HPFS, NTFS, and partly JFS, EXT2/3 or REISER filesystems. DFSee is commercial software which requires a license key for continued use.

Specifications

Physical Dimensions

Height: 1.3 inch
Width: 14.8 inches
Depth: 9.8 inches
Weight: 5.31 lbs

Power Consumption

Power consumption is 16 Watts, measured with the computer booted to the desktop. This computer consumes less than 1 Watt if it's plugged in, but switched off. When charging a depleted battery, it consumes up to 45 Watts.

Photos

Front and Right

Strobopeep Front and Left

Right

Strobopeep Right

Left

Strobopeep Left

Back

Strobopeep Rear

Dock Back

Strobopeep Dock Rear

Dock Front

Strobopeep Dock Front

Disk Layout

The disk is partitioned to provide two bootable partitions, one for use as a server and including SAMBA server, and the other is set up for as a tradtional NetBIOS networking using the IBM File and Print client. User data is stored on a separate volume.

This is the layout for a Seagate Hybrid 1 GB hard drive.

Volume NameDisk FormatDrive LetterVolume SizeDisk Name
BlueLion-JJFS J:10,025 MBSeagate1000
eCS-N JFS N:10,009 MBSeagate1000
server-H JFS H:10,009 MBSeagate1000
Data JFS D:903,820 MBSeagate1000
RAM Disk HPFS *:4,581 MBPAE_RAM_DISK

ArcaOS version

ArcaOS 5.0 (May 15, 2017) is the version used for this installation. This is the output of the version command.

For the BlueLion-J volume:

Installed Component Name                          Version  Service Level  Drive
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OS/2 Base Operating System                        4.52     XR0C008        J:
Base Device Drivers                               4.52     XR0D005        J:
Base Networking (MPTS)                            6.01     WR08708        J:
Internet Applications (TCP/IP)                    4.32     UN02335        J:

Performance Benchmarks

This table reports the SysBench 0.9.5 benchmarks for this computer. You can download SysBench 0.9.5 here: http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/

CategoryMeasurement
PM-Graphics-marks 282
CPU integer-marks 10264
CPU floating point-marks 434
DIVE-marks 11243
File I/O-marks 50431
Memory-marks 14103
Simultaneous I/O-marks 47
Disk I/O-marks 597
CD I/O-marks 260

Ordering

To buy this computer, fill out an order form and submit it to Blonde Guy. Blonde Guy will review your order and send you an invoice, payable using PayPal or any major credit card. If you prefer to pay by check, note that in the notes field of the order form, and I will e-mail you an invoice payable by check.

If you have questions, you may enter them in the notes portion of the order form.

The final price of the computer depends on tax, shipping and options.

An order for the computer is for the hardware as descibed on this page and for the software licenses. The $99 price for ArcaOS represents a $30 discount which will expire on Aug 15, 2017.

ProductLicenseCost
ArcaOSCommercial $229
Personal $129
User's own copy $0

The ArcaOS License is available three ways. For a business, the comercial license is required. For most other uses, a Personal license is sufficient. If you already have an ArcaOS 5.0 license available for this machine, there is no charge for ArcaOS.

Last Modified: 15 Aug 2017
Graphics by Colorful Language
Copyright 2017 by Blonde Guy