Getting answers or references from existing topics just got easier, as we rolled out a new forum feature today.
Previously, users had to do a keyword search to search discussion topics within the forum.
Now, when you want to start a new thread, type in the key words and a list of posts similar to your subject will appear, thus saving you valuable time and effort.
We are continually trying to improve on your user experience on this forum; should you have a brilliant suggestion, go to the Forum Housekeeping Board and post it there.
And oh - do continue to visit our guidelines regularly to get yourselves familiarised with our community rules, which may be updated from time to time.
My heart skipped several beats last year after I ran a scan on my laptop, only to be greeted by these results:
The scan eventually revealed I had a grand total of 22 threats.
That explains why my laptop was behaving weirdly- programs would close by themselves; I couldn’t launch some browsers, and it took forever and a day to boot up.
I have always ensured that my system was protected , religiously downloading updates and running scans on my machine. But evidently this wasn’t enough as some got through (which I suspect was a result of my surfing habits.)
It thus pays to be in the know about what threats there are out there.
Recently we held a Google Hangout with two anti-malware and security experts, Kevin Haley, of Symantec Security Response, and Aryeh Goretsky, of ESET North America, and this was hosted by Lenovo Forums English Community Lead Cleo Lee.
The session saw the experts sharing their knowledge of what ‘ransomware’ and ‘watering hole attacks’ are, as well as talked about the additional security features in Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8.
What was most interesting was how increasingly, people are putting their systems at risk because of their behavior and browsing habits. Criminals now have a bigger playground as there are more and more social media platforms and apps.
All it takes is a wrong click, on an email or chat attachment, or on a dubious link, on that free giveaway from your favorite coffee joint and your system, your identity, your address and bank accounts could be compromised.
So if you missed the Hangout, fret not. Click here to learn more about keeping your systems safe.
About our Featured Speakers
Kevin Haley – Director of Product Management for Symantec Security Response
Kevin Haley is Director of Product Management for Symantec Security Response, where he is responsible for ensuring the security content gathered from Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network is actionable for its customers.
During his 12 years at Symantec, Haley has leveraged his security expertise in the development of the company’s antivirus solutions for endpoints and mail servers, and in creating network and system management solutions. Haley managed a global team of technical product managers who evangelized Endpoint Security Products and were responsible for field enable and technical training for SAV, SCS, SEP v11.0 and SNAC 11.0.
Before joining Symantec, Haley was part of the OpenView group at Hewlett-Packard, working on the company’s software distribution tools. Prior to Hewlett-Packard, Haley was a product manager at Sun Microsystems, where he managed the development and delivery of network and server software for Solaris on Intel.
Aryeh Goretsky – Distinguished Researcher from ESET North America
Aryeh Goretsky is the Distinguished Researcher at ESET, a global security provider. His areas of research include analyzing emerging threats, observing customer behavior, and helping to design and test the next generation of ESET’s software. Aryeh joined ESET in 2005 to manage its support department. The following year, he moved to managerial role within its research department and was promoted to the position of Distinguished Researcher in 2009.
Aryeh started his career in computer security as the first employee at McAfee Associate in 1989 and has worked at a variety of hardware and software companies.
Aryeh is a Microsoft MVP, and is very active not only in the Lenovo Forums Community, but also on other technical support forums sharing his expertise and his knowledge of security, antivirus, Windows and networking.
Have a question about malware? Join the discussion on our Forum’s malware and security board!
Most of us would not have even seen a Lenovo IdeaPhone, much less touch one. Lucky, lucky buddinggeek then, who got hold of one - the K860 and he shares his review of the smartphone here.
Sometime during the first week of January this year I managed to get my hands on one of Lenovo’s smartphones – the Lenovo IdeaPhone K860.
The Lenovo IdeaPhone was previously known as the LePhone and at present, sales of the phones are only available in some parts of the world such as China, India and Russia.
I was excited to be able to test out this handset as this was the first time I had held anything but a laptop or PC by Lenovo.
The IdeaPhone K860 comes with an Exynos 4412 Quad Chipset, a quad core cortex GPU pumped to 1.4GHz and Mali 400mp, which is the world’s first multi-core GPU from ARM. This provides 2D and 3D acceleration with resolution performance scalable to 1080p, and makes it easy for users to multi-task without lag.
The phone is fitted with a 720p high-definition screen, 1Gb RAM and 8Gb (expandable) storage. It also runs on a 2250mAh battery and has a 8 mega pixel rear camera and with dual LED flash.
Being an Android user I found navigation to be familiar and fast, as Lenovo stuck close to the way other Android devices work, such as the use of the swipe and pinch gestures, as well as use of the Home button. However, one distinction was made – users can customize the placement of apps on the home screen and preset most frequently used apps and widgets to appear in what is called the ‘Idea Desktop’.
As this was the first time I was using a Lenovo phone, I wanted to really put it to the test. I carried out the AnTuTu benchmark test (one of the most used benchmarking suites for mobile platforms.), and the phone, which runs on Vanilla ICS, returned a score of 15,009. This was quite decent when making a comparison against other devices of similar specs.
Apart from the standard AnTuTu benchmark test, I wanted to see how some other functionalities like HTML, graphics and hardware worked compared to the other phones out there with similar specifications. I then carried out the Vellamo mobile benchmark test from Qualcomm, which gauges a mobile device’s performance in three categories: browser performance on HTML5, graphics, and other tests like multi-touch and advanced video tests. For the full test list you can visit Vellamo’s website here.
One of my favorite parts in the test suite is the Touch analyzer benchmark, which is interactive. It tests the phone’s touch sensitivity while taking certain parameters such as refresh rate, display resolution and latency into consideration. Needless to say, the phone passed the test.
I really like that the phone has a five-inch IPS display with a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution, and with a pixel density of 294ppi. This makes reading e-books a breeze – since I got the phone, I’ve been on a reading marathon. The glossy IPS screen, coupled with high pixel density, also makes watching full screen videos fun, making it an ideal traveling companion.
However, there was something missing from the phone, which I hope the brand will look into incorporating into its line of smartphones - LED indicators to alert users about social media notifications, missed calls or incoming text messages. I feel this is really essential as else, the user will have to keep checking the phone to see if anything had been missed.
Oh - it is also fun to game on the phone;; games such as Grand Theft Auto, FIFA and the preloaded Asphalt HD run very smoothly and well. For fans of the Lenovo brand such as myself, the discovery of the hidden Easter egg in the driving game (SPOILER ALERT: the cars are Lenovo-branded) gave me such a thrill.
All in, I am pleased with how the K860 looks, feels and operates. Now, if only there could be more noise about Lenovo’s smartphones in my country!
Have a question about Lenovo's IdeaPhones? Pose them here for our community to answer!
So we recently held a poll about which Lenovo products unveiled at CES 2013 got you excited and drooling.
An here are the top three results of the poll!
1. The ThinkPad Helix
Coming in first place is the beautiful Helix, which performs as well as it looks! You get a business Ultrabook™ married with the mobility of a Windows 8 tablet. And battery life is impressive as well as, with up to 10 hours on keyboard dock.
Better yet, it comes with a digital pen option for users who want to sketch, write, and navigate with precision. And it's even got a ide-view 1080p 400-nit IPS multitouch Corning® Gorilla® glass display. Check out the full specs of this monster of a machine here.
P.S. We aren't the only ones loving this. The Helix garnered many awards, such as
• Tech Radar Best of CES Awards 2013, Best Laptop
• Gottabemobile, Best of CES 2013 Best of Show
• Black Enterprise 2013 CES Best in Show, Best Laptop for Business
• Laptop Magazine Best of CES 2013 Finalist: Best Laptop/Convertibles
• Tom’s Mobile Innovation Award
• PC Pro Best Tablet of CES
• Wirecutter CES 2013, Best Windows 8 Hybrid/Tablet
• Digital Trends Best of CES 2013: Computing
• The Verge Awards: Best PC hybrid
• GDGT: The Best and Most Interesting Gadgets from CES 2013, Laptops
2. IdeaPad Yoga11s and Lenovo smartphones
The IdeaPad Yoga11s
Both the IdeaPad Yoga11s and our newly released smartphones were equally loved by the participants in our poll.
The Yoga 11s, like its predecessor the Yoga 11, is a convertible and can be used in four modes - clamshell laptop, tent, slate and stand. The differences between the two? The Yoga 11s' Nvidia Tegra 3 chip has been replaced with an Intel Core - i processor. This means users are able to run more Windows 8 apps on their systems, like other standard Ultrabooks. There is also an additional USB 3.0 port of the newer system, which makes the transferring of files even quicker.
Click on this link to find out more about the Yoga 11s.
The Lenovo K900
The Lenovo K900 has a 5.5 inch 1080p IPS capacitative touch display, runs on Android Jelly Bean, and has a Gorilla Glass 2 screen. It even has a 13-megapixel front camera, with an f1.8 focal length lens. The 2-megapixel front camera also boasts of a wide 800 viewing angle.
The S890 is a 5-inch smartphone with a qHD (540 x 9 60 resolution) screen. It has an 8-megapixel back camera and a 0.3-megapixel front camera. The S890 runs on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).
Lenovo LePhone S720
The Lenovo S720 has a 4.5-inch, five-point multi-touch IPS display. The front camera is 8-megapixel, and it has a 1-megapixel front camera. The phone runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Lenovo P770
The P770 has a 5-megapixel camera, and runs on Android Jelly Bean. It has a 4.5-inch qHD IPS screen, and its battery can last up to 29 hours of usage on a single charge.
The Lenovo A800
The Lenovo A800
The Lenovo A800, which comes in black and white, has a 4.5-inch IPS, 5-point touchscreen and a unique textured back. It has a dual-core processor that operates at 1.2GHz and a battery with 20 hours of talk time. It also has a 5-megapixel front camera.
3. The IdeaCenter Horizon
The 27-inch IdeaCentre Horizon not only provides users with a multi-mode option, it even comes with three awesome gaming accessories to make your gaming experience even better. It can be used as a desktop or a table PC!
To keep abreast of the release dates for the above products, do stay tuned to announcements made in www.lenovo.com.
In the meantime, do check out our advocates' report in the Special Events board!
On the first day in Las Vegas, JaneL and I had the chance to take part in a meeting with Lenovo´s Chief Marketing Officer, David Roman. Before our meeting, we had asked the users in our forum and fans elsewhere to pose some questions for us to ask David in the meeting. Below are David´s answers to our questions. Please note: I am far away from being a stenotypist, so some topics/ answers might be missing here.
What are customers looking for?
Customers are looking for a great experience - computing solutions thus play an important role in achieving this. To meet these demands, we don't just look at rolling out new hardware and software. We had gained a lot from the takeover of IBM's hardware division and from making other acquisitions like Medion in Germany, which for the latter, helped to create powerful gaming systems such as the PC X700.
We are focusing more and more on software and other solutions, too. An example of this is the Lenovo Cloud Services, which we introduced last year at CES 2012. This in turn led to Lenovo´s acquisition of Stoneware, a maker of cloud-computing software to meet the demand for cloud-based technologies, which will continue to rise.
How would you describe the future market?
New technologies are being rolled out, including voice recognition, touch, gestures, or cloud services. More innovative devices will be produced, such as the likes of the new convertibles that make the PC experience more fun. We have, for example, transformed the user experience from that of a 'personal' computer, to 'interpersonal', as seen in the table PC Horizon.
Tablet sales at the moment are skyrocketing - but the normal PC is not dead; our production of ultrabooks and other products thus places Lenovo in a good position against its competitors. The market constantly demands new and different products. Our goal is therefore to move quickly and develop new products. We believe in innovation, as well as authenticity - key features of Lenovo´s personality, to make products Do for Doers.
We go for stuff that really works, taking into consideration functionality and not just the 'cool' factor. The new Yoga 11s and the new ThinkPad Helix are examples of this.
How would you describe Lenovo´s strategy in general?
One of our goals is to be successful in coming up with new products and even categories, or attaining growth in more markets. We are also aiming to more effective in these new markets. Our products are also targetting the youth and to do so, we will have to be consistent in what we do. There is still work to do, for instance, in the naming of our new products.
Lenovo is really a global company with ideas and products coming from different places of the planet. We think of the company as a whole. We are moving into a new era where we have the next generation of international enterprises, and we are looking at every country to see what products and services make sense there. This will take time, but we have made a lot of progress.
Why has Lenovo decided to split the business into two parts - the Lenovo Business Group and the Think Business Group?
We believe in planning long term and this is a matter of efficiency. We have become pretty large so our organization must evolve too, that we not only focus on products but also be cohesive. That’s the idea behind the new facilities in the U.S.
The challenge is that there are now too many products and we have the situation where sales and support don’t scale. Premium and consumer have different expectations and different needs with regard to support and supply. An end-to-end responsibility within a particular business unit ensures the ability to create the type of products our customers expect and appreciate.
Is there some sort of a master brand behind this restructuring process?
No, there is no master brand. We are just recognizing the reality of groups becoming business units with end- to- end responsibilities, and not different brands in general.
We have to send a BIG “Thank you” to Lenovo´s Global Social Media Team for being our host during one of the greatest consumer electronics show in the world. It was truly a very unique, emotional and exciting experience for us to be a part of their team!
Photo credit: Special thanks to Craig Goldstein for taking these awesome pictures!
For more details on our new products and concepts shown during the CES 2013, go to our Special Events board here.
The greatest Consumer Electronics Show is here once again, and this time, we have two representatives from our Lenovo Community, who will be on-site for the next couple of days to give you reports and commentaries about what they have seen and experienced.
We ask the two (very excited) participants what they hope to get out of their experience, and hoiw community members can get in on the action as well (though you may be far far away).
Supermod Jane L
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to go to CES with Lenovo. I'm looking forward to being able to see and touch the new models like the Twist, the Yoga and the X1C Touch, and I'm eager to meet the Lenovo team and other advocates in person.
Looking at the preliminary agenda, I think we're going to see and learn a lot. And there's some
free time built in to see the rest of what's being introduced at CES.
I'm looking forward to having a wonderful time!"
I"I have to say I feel very honored to visit the CES in 2013. I´m looking forward to have a great time with the WW social media team, who made our journey possible. Further I´m excited to meet all the Lenovo staff from different departments and coming from all around the world. Starting with a highlight , we´ll have the chance to meet Lenovo´s CMO Mr. David Roman, on Tuesday. Here we´ll have the opportunity to ask questions to him and discuss strategies and particular trends in product developments.
I hope we´ll see a lot of new and exciting products. For example to touch the recently released X1 Carbon Touch or ThinkPad Twist. The Lenovo booth will be located inside the Aquaknox restaurant, inside the Venetian hotel, like last year, and usually they create an awesome and unique experience!
I´ll take some inside pictures for sure!
The convertibles, like the IdeaPad Yoga and ThinkPad Twist, have created a big fan base, in very short amount of time and so I expect Lenovo will deliver and we´ll see some new convertibles. There are some rumors about a new ThinkPad, too.
It will be called ThinkPad Helix, a 11,6 inch tablet with Windows 8, equipped with a docking station and full HD resolution display gained a lot of attraction inside the German forums. Generally I expect an increase of higher screen resolution displays, fitted into the new models. They will be faster, thinner, lighter and show more battery time.
AND! Perhaps we´ll got the chance, to be part of a Google Hangout, too. So stay tuned. More will come soon, just take a look into our forums! We´ll start our reports on Tuesday, January the 8th.”
Can't wait, Jane and Andreas!
Have a question for our two advocates to ask our Lenovo executives? Or have a query about a new unveiling? Join the discussion here!
Painting, sketching, and even making sculptures – such is forum moderator yigit’s dedication to the arts. The volunteer in our community even has his own website where he showcases his diverse range of work, and even finds time to dabble in another interest – photography. He shares his thoughts in this quick interview blog.
Serene: I am ever curious as to how our advocates discovered our community. So… how did you end up here?
Yigit: I have been on the forum for almost three years. I have pretty much the same story as the other advocates . When I tried to restore my system (an IdeaPad Y550) by pressing OneKeRecovery, the process started but after two hours I noticed it got stuck. Then I tried to do a reset it by pressing the power button.
I got an error code and did a search online for a possible solution and that was how I ended up here. Other issues piqued my interest: I wanted to install Windows from scratch so I stayed at the forum to find a solution. Meanwhile, I started to reply other questions. I couldn’t find an answer for myself but I guess that was a good thing for other people that I was here to help.
After a while, I received a message from AndyP. He was asking me if I would be interested in being a “Guru”. Of course I said yes and became part of the advocate family. Around 15 months after joining the forum I became a 'Moderator'.
Serene: Interesting bit of history there. What do you do while you are not here helping out with our community’s questions?
Yigit: I’m kind of still –art student- but It will take pages to tell what happened before. I’m planning to go back to art school and complete my education this time round as it is something I really enjoy. I taught myself web coding and design whilst I was at high school and am currently working as a freelance web and graphic designer.
Serene: Show us some samples of your work - online gallery? Which are your fave(s)?
Yigit: I have couple of oil paintings but to be honest I like working with pencil. Cleaning the brushes kills the creativity.
For the past three to four months, I have been busy with more graphic/web design and illustrations. I want to keep updating my website with my new art work in the next few months. You can see my favorite works in this page.
Serene: What are some of the tools that you use in the course of creating your art pieces?
Yigit: The use of pencil/paper is enough for old school art. For digital, all my ideas start on paper, I find sketching to be an easy way to get an exact replication of the idea in my head. When I feel the design is complete, I will use software to draw it out, with Freehand before exporting the graphics to Photoshop or Illustrator. In a way, I think technology is a great tool as it often allows me to create something virtually when it is impossible to create a physical representation of an idea that I have.
Serene: A little bird tells me that you have managed to get hold of an IdeaPad Yoga 13. What have you done with it, and what are some of the places the machine has been to with you? Can you share your Yoga 13 experience?
Yigit: As some of you may know, I have couple of IdeaPad systems but I can say this system heralds a new era in computing. At first, to be honest, I was a bit confused when using Windows 8 for the first time as I was so used to Windows 7. One major difference I noticed was that start-up was really quick – all it took was a mere five to seven seconds for my system to load. The other first thing about the Yoga 13 that stood out to me is its weight. It is light and you will probably forget that you’re carrying your computer with you. Please, be careful. You can lose it anytime
Tent mode makes it easier to watch the movies and videos. It comes with Dolby Surround Sound System and with just one click, you can transform it to Video/Music player via HDMI port. It’s a fabulous feeling knowing you can do so much with just one device. About graphics, the Yoga13 comes with Intel HD. Playing games in Tablet mode by just touching the screen is pretty awesome - If you haven’t experienced anything before, start it by playing Fruit Ninja.
Because of what I do, I usually can’t find time to play games; I can only do so during summers and maybe holidays. For this reason,, I haven’t really found any chance to test any game yet but it’s on my to- do list.
The touch screen could really help me with my art and design work as I can even draw on it directly. I have since installed Photoshop and Illustrator – and am really in love with the new design and features.
Serene: Based on your experience with the Yoga13, what would you hope to have changed in future variations of convertibles?
Yigit: I hope the graphic card can be changed, such that the next version will come with a switchable graphic card, such as NVIDIA or AMD cards, so that avid gamers can play the latest games on the market.
I also hope that the wireless card can be improved; currently it is working fine but I hope that the new version will provide a stronger wireless connection ( I am using the IdeaPad Y570 as a benchmark.)
In summary, it was awesome unboxing the Yoga13, which I strongly recommend for users looking for an all-in-one as you can use it as a netbook, notebook or even a tablet.
What improvements would you like made in future Yoga machines? Tell us in this thread.
Happy fifth birthday to all our Lenovo Forum members!
Dec 1, 2012 marks this particular milestone, as the English Community was officially launched on this date five years ago. We asked some of the pioneering forum members to share their thoughts about how the Community has grown and changed, along with what they hope can be changed and achieved in the months and years ahead.
One of the biggest changes to me for the Lenovo Forum over the past five years is just the sheer amount of traffic the forum has received. It has hundreds of thousands of messages (if not more) and I would imagine easily ten or twenty times as many pages views, as not everyone is going to post or reply to a new message. It is a far cry from the day when there were just a few tens of messages scattered around various sections in the forum.
I think that growth in itself is really a measure of the forum's success: Lenovo's customers can come into this space, and more often than not, get an answer that solves that problem, whether it be from another customer, a volunteer, or one of Lenovo's staffers. The fact that the forum has grown to such volume without imploding is commendable as well, and I think Lenovo's employees deserve a little bit of credit for such as task.
Coming from other well-established forums, building this one's user base/interaction from scratch was an interesting, challenging, and at times overwhelming experience.
It has been, for the most part, enjoyable and I am very happy to have been a part of the whole process, no questions asked.
Having been invited in as an early-adopter I can only echo the thoughts of goretsky and ajkula66 and add that watching the forum develop over the past years has been an amazing and rewarding experience. It’s a privilege to have been able to take part and be part of the exponential rise in the number of members partaking, and also being involved with the designs of the forum’s functionality. For instance, at the very start we had a rating system which didn’t prove to be at all popular and this was shelved pretty quick. This was later replaced by the Kudos function. I can’t remember all of the “newer” features such as the Knowledgebase, "the Accept as Solution” button, Twitter and Facebook integration and a totally re-vamped Search option which have been introduced over time asI guess I just take them for granted today as if they had always been there.
To me, the definite landmarks in the growth of the community were the introduction of the Spanish and German language forums, demonstrating Mark_Lenovo’s determination to reach out to and assist as many of Lenovo’s customers as possible. Of the two the launch of the German forum was more significant to me as I was asked to assist with creating its structure along with moderators Agotthelf and KalvinKlein.
There has, no doubt, been a plethora of solutions which will remain in members’ minds for different reasons; one of the most memorable for me was meeting up with a member from Holland, whose ThinkPad had been stolen and he was unable to recover his computer files with the means available to him. After spending a day playing around with different options I was able to successfully recover a complete image, including files from his system’s Rescue & Recovery backups. The smile on the member’s face when I handed him his hard drive complete with files was for me a massive reward and pertinent reminder of why I still partake in the forums and the words of thanks are always what motivate me to continue.
The biggest changes are in terms of contents, the volume of information that is created by people over the years is simply amazing.
I have not been here long, so I have no idea how you all have progressed over the past five years, but there is one of the highlights about the forum here - that Lenovo is still involved technically with their forum, and all of the volunteers and staff have done an exemplary job of maintaining a professional atmosphere here.
I helped get another forum off the ground a long while back. It soon devolved into a fight club because the company no longer really cared about it. I have been involved in a competitors’ forum, and a year or so ago it was basically hijacked by the social media arm of the company, and the technical content took a header, as well as the civility of the members.
I have not been here as long as some of the others, but I can say without a doubt that I am impressed with the professional environment of this community.
It was after an open invitation for Microsoft MVPs to participate in one of Lenovo's events that I registered here. On my first day I felt welcome and sensed an aura of teamwork. I was made to feel as if I was of some value to the community, no matter how much I contributed or how much I still needed to learn.
Long live Lenovo Community Forums. I consider it the best of all the OEM communities.
All I can say is I've been lucky to be a part of such a dynamic and ever growing group of super users who participate along with community extraordinaires like Mark_Lenovo. The forums has in many ways bridged the Knowledge divide and this I think is due to result of efforts of people like Serene_Lenovo, ExJamJus and Cleo_Lenovo (who form the triumvirate of the forums) and along with the zeal and enthusiasm of Lenovo's loyal followers . May the forum reach greater heights!
Five years ago, I wanted to create a place where all the disparate, grass-roots support venues could come together in a joint effort to support the overall community regardless of their origin. I think we achieved that as I see the same people posting here, at TPF and at NBR, other forums, Twitter, FB, etc getting help and sharing information across the boundaries of their "turf".
While the forum was never billed as an official support channel from the get-go, I had hoped that by the 5-year milestone it would be staffed on a consistent basis with support personnel assigned here permanently. I think getting dedicated support would go a long way. I hope also that we would have:
1) Dedicated support personnel assigned here permanently.
2) Mobile access functionality added (the forum is terrible on a smartphone screen, and the world is going mobile). When someone's notebook or tablet is down, a mobile format on a smartphone allows them to have a better experience getting help in the forum. If other forums can provide that, the world's #1 PC maker should be able to do so as well.
Have a thought about how to make our peer-to-peer support community even better? We welcome comments here.
Community Moderator Agotthelf got his hands on an IdeaPad Yoga 13 set a few weeks ago, and shares his review of one of our latest convertibles.
I had the chance to get the new Lenovo Yoga 13" as a review unit. It came in a classic black box, see the picture below. I can tell you, I was very excited and unboxed this new model immediately.
Below you can read about my experiences and I added some links which I found quite helpful.
Touch and feel:
The feel is really great overall. From the palm rest with its leather finish to the metal base and lid covers it is a joy to use it on your lap or a different mode. And it's really thin.
For me, the 13-inch Yoga's most outstanding attribute is the remarkable 1600 x 900 IPS display. Combined with the flip function, the 10 finger touchscreen, the screen is really awesome as it is very sharp and very bright. Honestly it is one of the best Lenovo screens I have seen so far. Hint: Some users are reporting a stylus is working with the display, also. Please refer to this forum post.
The Yoga is a convertible tablet and you can use it in four different modes:
Laptop mode: I think everyone knows in which situation it is comfortable to use the laptop mode :-)
Tablet mode: for reading papers and playing games
Stand mode: for watching videos in a plane or skyping
Tent mode: for setting it up in the kitchen to reference recipes or cooking video shows
I like the tablet mode most, it is great to read scientific papers, news or playing games, while sitting in a plane or railway when I go to work. I like the pinball game really.
CPU: 1.70GHz dual-core Core i5-3317U (you can upgrade to a 1.9GHz Core i7-3517U)
RAM: 4GB DDR3 (upgradable to 8GB)
Storage: 128GB SSD (upgrade to 256GB coming soon)
Ports: 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 combo jack, 1 HDMI, 1 SD/MMC reader (able to read SDXC cards)
Webcam: 1.0MP 720P front camera
Weight: 3.4 pounds (1,5 kg)
It is very fast! I was impressed to see a boot up time which is under 10 sec, resume from stand by needs 1-2 sec only, shut down in 3-4 sec. I LOVE it! This experience is rounded up by a very good battery life. Charging times seem to me quite short, too. For browsing I use Firefox normally, but on this machine Chrome works faster and the scroll function seems a lot smoother. Navigating in this forum has become easier and faster. Oh, I forgot to mention the feel of the leather feeling palm rest and magnesium chassis - really awesome! The sound from the speakers are good and are much better than my X220t.
The battery meter shows 92% just right now and 6:50h to go. Brightness is set on Step 4, Power Manager is set to "Balanced Power" mode, Browser (Chrome) with four open tabs, Facebook, Twitter, forums and writing this text.
The Yoga's six-row keyboard is very responsive and it's a joy to tap on.
The special keys are very handy - I like the the dedicated PrintScreen key, the special key for closing Apps and the refresh page button.
Note: When you flip the Yoga's screen back, the keyboard gets disabled automatically.
Read the User Guide to learn about the particular function keys, like the hardware Volume up and down switch on the left, rotation lock button right or how to use the touchscreen.
I have to say, as a heavy Touchpad user, I like the Touchpad very much; it was smooth and not bumpy. I tweaked it a little, by turning the pointer and scrolling speed nearly to max.and disabling some gestures, which I don´t need.
For the SSD speed see the ASS bechmark below, I can say the SSD works pretty fast and there were no hiccups.
*Note: The above WEI score is based on this machine's set-up. Different configurations will affect individual machine's scores. For more information, refer to this link.
RAM and HDD is part of CRU (Customer Replaceable Unit) . Rule of thumb: If it's more than 2 screws then the part isn´t a CRU, if 2 screws and below have to be removed, then its mandatory CRU. If you want to upgrade components the check out the Hardware Maintenance Manualor the RAM Upgrade Video. Another website: IdeaPad Yoga inside pictures, I found very helpfully.
If you have a question about whether to upgrade to 8GB RAM, please check out this thread.
At first I had to get comfortable with the modern UI (User Interface) in Windows 8. You perhaps want to customize Windows 8 for your purposes: Uninstalling unnecessary software, installing Start button if needed, choose the Apps you want and learning how to close, move and install apps. To get started into WIndows 8, I found it very helpful to check out CNET's complete guide to Windows 8.
Windows Experience Index is as follows:
Gaming Graphics: 6,2
If you want to wipe the SSD in order to get more free disc space and do a clean install, and you are asking yourselves where the Windows product key is, the Windows 8 product key is stored into the bios.
The 8GB drive is for iRST while the 20GB drive is for One Key Recovery (Press Novo Button then choose recovery or press Novo Button to power on). Other drives of smaller sizes are just considered as Windows 8 system partitions.
If you need more information how to gain space on your Yoga, just refer to this thread: Information about Hard disk allokation
How to get BIOS version in Windows 8: Hit the Windows key + R --> cmd, then write into the command line:
wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion
How to get into the bios: Just press the Novo Button to power on. (User Guide)
Please refer to the Driver Matrix to get the appropriate drivers for your Yoga.
You want to upgrade to WIN 8 pro? Then check out the solution given in this thread.
In Windows 7 there was always a reminder in the right task bar, that an antivirus program should be installed.
In Windows 8 and Windows RT, Windows Defender provides the same level of protection against malware as Microsoft Security Essentials. You can't use Microsoft Security Essentials with Windows 8 or Windows RT, but you don't need to, Windows Defender is already included and you are ready to go.
Push the little round button (Novo Button) next to the power one when it is powered off. (User Guide). You should create a restore thumb drive from within Windows 8. Note that you´ll need at least 8GB of free space on your thumb drive.
All in all, I had much fun in the last two weeks, while exploring this exciting new piece of hardware with Windows 8.
The 13" model meets my needs perfectly as it is a lightweight convertible device, with an awesome screen, good battery life and easy to use input devices. There are still some glitches, but they are to be expected methinks, because hard- and software both are really new. But there will be more and more solutions to known issues, also. Just check the Yoga board frequently.
Have a question about the IdeaPad Yoga? Post your questions in the Yoga board or make a date for our first Hangout on the two time slots:
Happy 20th Birthday, ThinkPad! We were very privileged to catch up with Mr Arimasa Naitoh, who is otherwise known as the Father of the ThinkPad. He kindly spent some time answering some of the questions posed by our forum’s moderators, gurus and Microsoft MVPs.
The story of ThinkPad is very much a story of broad innovation and continuous innovation over the past two decades, but what ThinkPad concepts or technologies, if any, do you feel have reached their apex and cannot be refined any further? Or, in other words, what element is perfect?
Naitoh- San: The ThinkPad successfully allows customers the chance for location-free productivity in their businesses. What’s better than this? The ThinkPad creates more free time in our customers’ lives as better efficiency is attained through the use of the ThinkPad productivity tools. The ThinkPad’s process won’t reach the limit, as we keep having newer technologies and make more innovation.
What was your favorite obsolete technology that is no longer used in the ThinkPad line?
Naitoh-San: The butterfly keyboard was a good example – it was the expandable keyboard with the screen lid opened. The idea was to provide a full sized keyboard in 10.1” screen size form factor. In recent years the PCs and systems we produce have bigger screens and so, we don’t have the opportunity to use it now.
On the future
How do you think the world will change over the next 20 years? And how will the ThinkPad change, design-wise?
Naitoh-San: Years ago, we did not have cell phones the size they are now; we did not have high speed network to home; we did not have the internet, and we did not have online shopping. We did not have digital TV and digital video content. Our lives have been so much changed since the past 20 years, so in the next 20 years, life as we know will be lived differently. In the PC environment, we have been with a physical display and physical keyboard for the past 20 years, which will of course continue to exist. I expect new user interfaces and technologies will give us alternatives ways for humans to communicate and interact with IT.
How will the upcoming technological developments affect the next generation, in your opinion? How will kids be learning and doing things differently?
Naitoh-San: When children are born, they already live with pad and touch which are their start point. Children will generate what we could even imagine now. Children will learn things faster and in the unique way beyond something you can tell them. We just need to help them to dream big.
We'll like to have your thoughts on how technology will affect our lives in other areas, such as the way we work? Is mobile the future? The screens found in smart phones and tablets keep getting bigger, denser, brighter and clearer. Are there plans to update/ change the ThinkPad displays/ screens?
Naitoh-San: 20 years ago, cell phones, the internet, and other IT devices/infrastructure you use daily today did not exist. You can tell how your life and work style have been changed by those in the past 20 years, and I am sure that we will see the same degree of changes in the next 20 years. With regard to screen technology, today you select resolution of PC screen when you purchase such as HD, HD+ or FHD. It is very natural to imagine that you will no longer care it in future as screen will be much denser so you can’t tell how dense.
Do you have any advice for the next generation to inspire them in the way you've inspired the evolution of the ThinkPad?
Naitoh-San: To be honest I do not know if I can tell them something useful. I would maybe say ‘Watch, listen, take care of everything around you as that suggests to you what you should do.’.
On ThinkPad specs
Much thought obviously goes into each design revamp of the ThinkPad, where in its 20 years of history, there have been different variations of, for instance, the keyboard. Have you tried the various changes, from the butterfly, to the current island design? What are your thoughts?
Naitoh-San: I have used almost all of past ThinkPad keyboard. Currently I am using X1 Carbon Island keyboard, and I like it.
The ThinkPad models in the 1990’s had documentation stating that they are to be made in black cases, in accordance with Richard Sapper’s guidelines set in his collaboration with the Boca Raton Team. Why were there variations from this, where, for instance, the 700/ C, 720C and 300 are in grey?
Naitoh-San: In the 1990’s, we had the retail models of ThinkPad painted in grey to be distinguished from the original enterprise models.
Join in the celebrations with us! Check out this interview with ThinkPad design lead Mr David Hill here and go on this quick trip down memory lane in this living museum exhibition of ThinkPads held recently in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
They think nothing about spending copious amounts of time online helping ThinkPad users with technical support questions in the Lenovo Forums Community and other forums, and even traveling thousands of miles around Germany, giving on- the- spot hardware fixes to machines for free.
And get this – as a result of their participation in such activities and together with the other users in the independent german ThinkPad forum, close to €14,000 (or US$17,000) in total has been raised to date since the very first meeting held, and the funds have been channeled to various charity organizations including a Children’s Hospice, and an aid association for cancer.
Serene: How did the meet-ups come about?
Mornsgrans: The sessions started in 2007, when another ThinkPad user suggested having a meet-up in Kiel, Germany. It proved such a success that other ThinkPad users who heard about this wanted one as well. We have had sessions all over Germany, including Berlin, Stuttgart and Duesseldorf, which are attended by passionate fans, ourselves and fellow Lenovo Forum advocates agotthelf and andyP, who also help out with their expertise.
Participants hard at work helping one another.
Klaus: While most sessions occur in specific cities targeting users who live in an area, we also have special ThinkPad gatherings meant to draw participants from all over Germany – the ‘ThinkPad Woodstock’ and ‘Northstate Community Meetings’, which have both been held twice. The next meeting will be held in Hannover on Sep 29, 2012 so we are really looking forward to that.
Serene: What goes on at such gatherings, and how exactly do you get word out to people?
Klaus: Our meetings usually start with breakfast, where we get to know one another and match the ‘real’ people behind their forum handles. Once the meal is over the hard work of disassembling machines begins, followed by the replacement and installation of damaged parts. We also do simple diagnostics of a machine that is not working. Participants also make use of the meetings to sell parts and older systems, as well as show off new ThinkPad models they have, and even their modded systems.
Mornsgrans: Meetings generally do not exceed eight hours, but our meetings in Berlin can go up to 20 hours! We usually post the meeting announcements in the german ThinkPad-Forum and Lenovo Forums (German) Community. In special cases we even organize help for individuals, where we pair him/ her up with an experienced user in the person’s area.
Real-life Santa Claus-es
Serene: Do participants have to pay to take part in such gatherings?
Mornsgrans: All personal costs for travel and food are borne by participants; we do not charge a cent for our services. Participants are, however, free to donate to our charities. Since November 2008, we have worked together with members of the independent german ThinkPad community and raised close to US $17,000 through such meetings, as well as auctions, where the money is channeled to various charity organizations, including a children’s hospice and an aid association for cancer and leukemia. Most of the donations come from regular participants and organizers.
Klaus: If I hadn’t covered 20 ThinkPad meetings last year and spent more than US $2,000 the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon could have been mine! I am kidding of course - it’s all worth it; I love meeting all the wonderful ThinkPad enthusiasts in real life and helping them.
Serene: What has been the most memorable outing so far?
The Traveling Bear - the furriest participant EVER.
Klaus: See the furriest participant ever - a man-sized teddy bear that literally 'took' the train from Munich as its owner had collected it after purchasing it off eBay to Dusseldorf, where both joined the meeting. It was such a sight!
Klaus Feige was an L2 support engineer for 13 years before he started work for an urban transportation company and is a Lenovo Forums Moderator. Mornsgrans* (real name withheld by request) is an administrator in a chemical plant and is a Lenovo Forums Guru. Say hi to them when you see them in the forums!
EDITED for clarity - thanks Alroar!
He owns more than a dozen ThinkPads at any one point in time and, like the literary character Victor Frankenstein, embarks on secret projects to soup up these super machines, which he quite aptly names his ‘FrankenPads’. Meet forum guru ajkula66, or George, whose biggest challenge is to create enough spare time to share between his immediate family and his ThinkPads, as he shares a little about some of the little 'monster machines' he has put together in his romance with the ThinkPad brand.
Serene: Tell us about yourself and what you do.
George: Had someone told me 25 years ago that I'd be living here in the U.S. employed by a telecommunications giant, being married to the woman I am (and yes, I knew her back then, LOL) while calling computers my main hobby, I would've told them to seek immediate psychiatric help. But life happens...
Serene: Heard you have amassed quite a collection of ThinkPads. What sparked this off?
George: ThinkPads are addictive. There are just so many different things to love about them. I treasure the ability of my 15" units to deal with anything I throw at them, but they are not meant to be carried around a lot. That's when the smaller machines - mostly X-series tablets - come into play. The actual number of laptops in this household usually fluctuates between 6 and 10. It used to be a lot more, but I've sent all the ones that were not getting the attention they deserve - including some fairly rare examples - to good homes where they are now being showered with affection.
Serene: Cool! We know you are on secret modification projects to create monster hybrid systems which you lovingly call ‘FrankenPads’. How did this hobby come about?
George: I have always been interested in modding, rebuilding, customizing things. Over time I have gone from guitars and amps 30 years ago into rebuilding classic cars and hi-end audio systems, to ThinkPads. My philosophy? Take a good concept and make it better...
Serene: What were some of your most memorable projects?
George: Before I go any further, do note that in sharing what I have done, all modifications that I'm discussing here were done based on out-of-warranty machines. Community members who wish to do likewise should check the warranty status of their systems before attempting any of the following before proceeding with any work.
Three modifications that we'll discuss here today:
1. LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: EASY - Creating an R60F FlexView FrankenPad
A 'Level 1' Mod of the R60e ThinkPad
Take an R60e unit - one of the least expensive Lenovo products at the time of its announcement - and turn it into a workstation for a family on the budget, for a price that one could fill their gas tank two or three times over. All I needed was a replacement 15" SXGA+ IPS LCD, a Core Duo or Core 2 Duo CPU (all of the above can be had for a song nowadays), an open HMM, one Phillips screwdriver and a couple of hours of spare time. (for comparison shots between two identical R60 e units, one with a TN panel (on the left) and one with an IPS FlexView LCD (pic above) The end result was a desktop replacement with a beautiful screen that's easy on the eyes, perfectly capable of competently running Windows 7 (even today), or almost any flavor of Linux.
2. LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: INTERMEDIATE - Creating a T601 FlexView FrankenPad
This looks like a T60p right? Not quite. Read on...
The following modifications were made based on T60/p 15" frame containing a 15" SXGA+ or UXGA (as seen in pictures) FlexView LCD, while the motherboard was "borrowed" from a 14" T61. This mod can extend the life of T6x range of products for several years to come... I had done plenty of research before trying to build this hybrid and would advise anyone interested to do so to do likewise. Some frame modification is required, and also, the virtue of patience and of course, precision. The machine in the pic above is a T60p, right? Even the label says so, so why are we questioning the obvious? Well, not quite...
The BIOS page reveals specs from a T61 motherboard. Beat that.
3. LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: ADVANCED- Creating a Monster R52/ T43p
One word of fair warning: do NOT try this at home, unless you have the proper equipment and experience with board-level repair. The chances of you damaging the motherboard while performing the mod in question are fairly high, and it's best left to the professionals. So what's the "big deal" with this particular mod? The original design for R52, T43/p and X41/T models apparently called for (at the time "up and coming") SATA hard disk drives, but a decision was made to revert to PATA/IDE drives, and a converter chip was added to enable the native use of PATA drives on boards that were not initially designed for them. What this particular mod involves is the removal of the converter chip in question, as well as replacing the IDE connector on the motherboard with a SATA one, therefore unleashing the full potential of these machines.
The above pic shows the stock Hitachi 60GB/7200rpm PATA hard drive that the higher-end T43/p normally shipped with: And here's a Crucial SSD from my own, SATA-modded T43p:
A comparison reveals that there's NO comparison ...
Serene: I am amazed. And shocked. What keeps your passion going?
George: I love challenges. Of all sorts. I just relish taking ideas implemented on ThinkPads from different eras and building a machine that encapsulates all of them. I'm currently working on what I deem to be the Ultimate FrankenPad: the frame/housing came from a 15" T60 unit. A very rare QXGA (2048x1536) IPS FlexView LCD from a R50p. The motherboard came from a 14" T61 with nVidia graphics. I'm still debating which processor to use, but it will likely be a X9000 - CPU that no ThinkPad ever shipped with from the factory, rescued from an Alienware laptop with a dying motherboard. It's one very vicious FrankenPad, to say the least. I could've easily bought a well-equipped W530 just for the price of parts that went into this machine - labor and time not being considered for one split second - but this is way more fun...
Serene: Sounds like tough labors of love. Which has been your favorite project to date?
George: That's a very tough call, but if I had to choose just one it would be my personal, SATA-modded T43p. Years have been shaved off the original design when everything was said and done. My T43p is seven-year-old platform that still gets a WEI of 3.8 in Windows 7, which is not bad at all. If I were to make an adjustments or improvements, all I have to do is swap the screen for one with a different resolution. However, personally I think this is as far as the T43p can be further modified as it is a completely finished project that really can't be challenged.
Serene: As you will know, this year marks the 20th birthday of the ThinkPad. What are your thoughts on this?
George: I'd love to see the 701C "butterfly " keyboard re-born with new internals. Or an A31p with a planar from T530. I also wish for a W530 with an IPS screen and a "classic" 7-row keyboard, in traditional ThinkPad finish, which would be highly appreciated by silly old me... (Serene: NO YOU AREN’T!)
Have a penchant for pushing the boundaries of your Lenovo systems further? Share your FrankenPad stories here as well.
Having spent more years with the Idea and 3000 series, forum moderator vijaysaradhi pens some thoughts about his experiences with his very first ThinkPad back in 2009, and how the iconic line of machines has changed the way he blogs:-
"I started blogging during the latter half of 2009 after being inspired by a community member who shared his blog with me. Then, I was not really sure if blogging was my thing, or that it was something that I would pursue for a long time to come. Anyhow, I decided to take the plunge and started my blog, which I found that it was absolutely cathartic, as I am able to share my thoughts and views with my friends and readers, and keep them abreast of the developments in my life.
Then, my instrument was my trusted Lenovo desktop, which served me well (and is serving me still), but I wished for something more mobile, being inspired while I am on the go, and a portable system would allow me to jot down my thoughts as I go on my daily commute on the Indian railways.
It was as if someone up there heard my wish; a sudden surprise came in the form of a loaner machine from Lenovo India – an X200T – and I was over the moon as the lightweight but tough system gave me the opportunity to publish my blog posts on the go, or at least for me to take notes while I am travelling. I also took the opportunity to really get to really know more about the ThinkPad, as it was the first time I was using one of the machines in the iconic line (which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year!) , and I ‘experimented’ with it, porting over some of my favorite Linux applications, for instance, and chronicling my experiences/ experiments on my blog.
Despite my relatively short experience with the ThinkPad line (in comparison with the some of the other advocates in this community) I am sold on it, like the rest of the large cult following I have come across in the four years I have spent in these forums. I am so used to the TrackPoint now and the keyboard as well, and can absolutely understand why everyone else is also a fan.
‘Cos I am one now as well!"
Love the ThinkPad as well? What was your favorite? Tell us here as we celebrate its 20th anniversary!
Guess what's so special about the picture above.
Believe it or not, it was drawn entirely on a ThinkPad tablet- with the help of the stylus, of course. Forum guru MrPeter1985 got his hands on one a few months ago, and recounts his experience:
“Seeing other users’ sketches on the ThinkPad tablet threads made me want to sketch something myself. I didn't have a clue as to what to draw, so I figured -- why not something Lenovo. So I did an online search of Lenovo images and this nice bright orange laptop stood out. I also noticed the Olympics in the corner of the screen, so I figured this was perfect for this entry, given that the iconic Games just ended recently.
"I had never done much drawing on tablets before – aside from a quick doodle every now and then, the above sketch was my first sit-down attempt at doing so. I have been sketching for many years. My mum even claims that I was drawing stick figures when I was one. I can only recall getting compliments for my sketches when I was nine. But I digress.
Now onto the actual drawing itself. I must say this – anyone who can draw on paper can get the hang of the use of the stylus on the ThinkPad tablet. I used the Sketchbook Pro App from the Google Play Store and drew this using only three layers. One was a quick sketch and coloring. The second was the more detailed pinch zooming with extra detailing. The last layer contained tweaks to the background and my signature. I found the app easy to use as the layout and functions were similar to Photoshop so it was not hard to get the hang of it as all the options do it for me.
While drawing was relatively easy, I had to hover over the tablet a few times to sketch when the tablet was in Pen Only Mode, and when palm rejection set in. But I got used to this after awhile. Moving forward I will be getting me one of those tablet gloves to fix this touch issue so that movement will be smoother and my hand can then glide.
I can't wait to sketch some more on this tablet in the near future and will be adding my sketches to the ThinkPad tablet or photo submissions. So keep a lookout for them.
This cat sketch on paper (above) is my absolute favorite, which I drew when I was nine years old. I thought it would be a nice challenge to take this on. What do you think of my efforts below?"
A few days ago we announced that the release of the ICS build for the IdeaPad K1. What you won’t know that this would not have been possible if not for the collaborative efforts of the community, notably Khanning, aleafonthewind and also gmarkall, who also helped test, debug and improve on the ROM before the release.
We catch up with Khanning, or Kreg Hanning, who shares with us a little bit about himself and sheds some light as to what sparked his interest in Android development.
Serene: Hi Kreg. Thanks so much for your help. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do in real life.
Kreg: I'm currently working as a full time Technology Specialist for a university in Cambridge, MA. I am leading technology management of a three-year partnership initiative with a public elementary school to begin to integrate technology into the classroom. I also attend the University of Massachusetts where I am working towards my Bachelor Degree in Computer Science.
Serene: Sounds like you have a lot on your plate – what do you do besides working on Android codes?
Kreg: Well, Android is a big one, along with other various software/hardware programming. When I'm not working on Android you can find me kayaking on the Charles, catching a Red Sox's game, or tearing something apart to put a microcontroller in it.
Serene: That’s amazing. So what got you started on working on the K1?
Kreg: The project started with a custom firmware many are familiar with called, Cyanogenmod 9. It's a modified version of Android 4.0 ICS. My (K1) build had basic functionality, but it had some large bugs that caused most people to stay away (No Camera, No HD Video Playback). At the time it was only me and another user named krook1 working in an IRC chat to try to figure out the remaining issues. We were able to figure out what the fixes were, but since Lenovo already made a commitment to an official ICS release, we couldn't justify investing the huge amount of time it would have taken to try it. Forward to today and we have an official ICS release from Lenovo. I now have been able to compile a fully functional AOSP ICS build that I'm about ready to release. Then onto Jellybean…
Serene: Were you surprised when the code was shared with you to work on?
Kreg: It was nice to have the kernel source provided quickly after the release. A lot of Android devices are released without proper kernel source codes, which is a clear violation of its licensing agreement. I believe the open source nature of Android has played a fairly substantial role in its success, and it's amazing to see companies like Lenovo begin to reach out to the open source community. I was also very pleased with Lenovo's decision to release a completely "Vanilla" Android build.
Serene: As are many people, we hope. That said, thanks so much for working on this! Here’s to many more chances for collaboration!
Have a question about ICS? Or about our tablets in general? Join in our discussion here.
He proudly calls himself a Coder, Thinker and Dreamer. And he has the chops to back him up. Meet Michael Archambault, a multi-hyphenate who at 18, is already CEO of his own software company, and who still manages to find time to indulge in his favorite past-time of gaming, and entertain his one-year-old parrot on top of juggling school work/ projects/ work commitments.
We managed to tie down this entrepreneur for a few moments to find out what his experience with our Ultrabooks have been like (he owns a U300s), as well as his thoughts about how the future holds for this series of products.
Serene : Hey Michael, glad you could spare us some time to do this! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Michael: Hi, glad to be here! I'm currently a student studying at the New York Institute of Technology and I run a software development company, NARAUK, which works on various projects for consumer and enterprise use. I'm also a blogger in my free time.
Serene: What got you interested in Lenovo?
Michael: There is a ton of technology companies (both hard and software) out there trying to push the limits of computing today and Lenovo is strongly at the forefront. Its ThinkPad line has established for
itself a solid reputation for reliability and toughness, and with the wild designs coming out from the Lenovo Beijing team as seen in the IdeaPad line, Lenovo really is raising the bar for technology and innovation and catering to both businesses and consumers.
Have you seen the touchscreen IdeaCenter A720 and IdeaPad YOGA yet? They are amazing and I bet my bottom dollar that they will be two of the best machines available when Windows 8 is released later this year.
Serene: Your personal machine is a Lenovo U300s Ultrabook. Why did you pick it?
Michael: I was a ThinkPad user until recently, and only made the switch as I was drawn to the form and functionality of the U300s. I really needed a machine with an i7 processor, but also a light machine to carry around frequently.
In short, the U300s looked and felt good - it is tough (many people don't know it has a roll cage), powerful, and is a super thin machine like no other. Other manufacturers have had some decent Ultrabooks, but Lenovo was able to perfect a unique and strong design while instilling interesting innovation into the machine, such as the ultra silent fans and heat ventilation system that uses the keyboard to take in air -how cool is that?!
Serene: So what has it been like making the switch from Think to Idea?
Michael: So far my experiences have been wonderful. When I'm at my desk I connect the unit to my external 1080p monitor and USB Hub and it zooms along, compiling code and handling whatever I throw at it. And I can do my work on the go as it’s so light and portable. Plus the fact that it looks so good just adds on to the feel-good factor as it is such a head-turner – I have actually had people stop me and ask what machine I was carrying. People cannot believe just how small and light this machine is.
Serene: What improvements would you hope to see in the future? Do you think Ultrabooks will take over the world?
Michael: The U300s is a solid machine, but I would hope to see the addition of a backlit keyboard and a higher resolution display in the next model.
I think Ultrabooks will definitely obtain world domination! Ultrabooks are just the next step in computing - they are a bold attempt from Intel to take machines and thin them down while still keeping the specifications and standards high.
A good way to predict what is around the corner is simply to look to more expensive and larger machines. Today's premium and ultra sleek systems are tomorrow's standard, so I think we can simply look to more
powerful laptops in the two to three thousand dollar range to see what will be coming. For example as we move on in the future the idea of an Ultrabook with a quad core processor, dual dedicated graphic cards, longer battery life and an even thinner frame is closer than most people think.
Catch Michael Archambault as he shares his gaming experience… and on an Ultrabook no less, in the Lenovo Blogs soon (we’ll update this link when it’s live). And if you have a question about Lenovo Ultrabooks, stay tuned for something very exciting coming your way in the Lenovo Forums from Jun 20-22!
So you’ve gotten your hands on an IdeaPad A1 tablet and plan to tweak it? Here’s a handy tip on how you can create a custom ROM (Read Only Memory) by current PhD student gmarkall. Those of you who are active in the IdeaPad tablet discussion boards will probably find his name familiar. A hardware junkie- turned-avid- Android developer discovered a new passion for building apps after getting his first smartphone – and has never looked back.
So why concentrate on developing Android apps, and more specifically, why share this particular tip with our community? gmarkall reveals:
“One of the great things about Android is that it is open source - this means that anybody is able to download a copy of the source, and build a completely customized Android system (a custom ROM) from scratch. When you buy an Android device, you get it with the stock ROM – the Android system developed by the manufacturer for that device. By installing a custom ROM, you replace the stock ROM with the system of your choosing. Many devices have a number of custom ROMs available for them, usually maintained by individuals or small teams of developers from the community, completely independently of the manufacturer.
Above: Screengrabs of the Cyanogenmod 7
“There are several reasons why you would choose to install a custom ROM. Often the developers of a custom ROM will be able to respond quickly to bug reports as they have a direct connection to the community – they can often provide new features and bug fixes in a shorter space of time than the manufacturer. Custom ROMs are usually built from the very latest version of the Android source code, which means that the latest features are added to custom ROMs sooner than they appear in the stock ROM. Better performance or efficiency can be gained by using a custom ROM, since un-necessary features and bloat are not included, and performance enhancements and tweaks may also be added. Different custom ROMs will have had different features added or removed, so you can choose the ROM that is right for your needs, and get exactly what you want out of your device.
“From a developer's point of view, the Ideapad A1 is a great device to do development for in comparison to some other tablets that are currently on the market. First and foremost, Lenovo has provided the device completely unlocked – there is nothing preventing the flashing of custom ROMs to the device. It is often the case with other devices that some level of protection has been added that prevents the stock ROM from being modified – this protection is inconvenient for users who want to customise, and the protection is invariably eventually broken, but at the cost of time that could be spent doing ROM development instead. The A1 is built mostly from components that are open hardware, for which the full specifications and datasheets are freely available on the internet. These are invaluable resources because they explain how to control the hardware, so developers don't have to spend time reverse-engineering how the chips work, which is a time-consuming and complicated process. Finally, the A1 is very “safe” to do development for, as it is resilient against bad software being written to its internal storage – it has an undocumented feature that allows you to start up the system from an SD card, which allows you to repair the internal storage, much like booting up a PC from a live CD allows you to fix software problems on the hard drive.
“There are a number of custom ROMs and other modifications that have been created and are under active development for the Ideapad A1. Here's a short run-down of these projects:
Have a question for gmarkall about his tip? Join in the conversation below.
Do YOU have a handy tip that you want featured here as well? Shoot me a PM here and tell me more!
Check out this clean Windows 7 installation guide compiled by berryracer, who did so shortly after getting his IdeaPad Y570 laptop . The lifestyle manager, a self-professed ‘PC Tweaker’ who just loves exploring ways to improve the performance of his systems, joined the community a mere month ago and is already off to a great start with this great tip.
To berryracer and thousands of others - thank you for helping us grow this community, whether you are here with a question, or helping everyone and anyone by sharing the knowledge and tips you have, or have encountered in your travels around the web.
Have a good idea or tip? I’d like to hear about it – leave comments, or shoot me a PM!
Who knows, someone else like me out there will be forever indebted to you (someone like my IT guy, who has since been removed from my speed dial after eight excruciatingly painful months for.. him.)
Lenovo Community Advocate Program Manager
Ensure that you have backed-up all the files you need. This is because you are performing a ‘Clean’ or ‘Custom’ installation, and this wipes out everything from your system. Do keep these files in an external HDD or burn these on a CD/ DVD.
Download the official versions of Windows 7 ISO. If you have an existing Windows 7 CD load this. If you don’t, the following link is a compilation of sites you can go to get the ISOs. Once you have identified your system, click on the relevant link and burn it to a DVD using programs such as ImgBurn.
Note that users who have the purchase key (look for the Windows license key sticker at the bottom of your laptop) can key this in when the system prompts you for it. For users who do not have a valid license or key, you may be prompted for one at the end of the 30-day trial, which commences the day you downloaded and set up Windows 7.
Extra tip: Do switch off your Windows Updates until you have completed installation as to prevent the machine from automatically downloading drivers. Just remember to reactivate this once you are done.
Insert the DVD you had prepped in Step 2 or your Windows Installation disk and restart your computer. Get into the BIOs by pressing the ESC key button during POST to get into your BIOS set-up, until you get a choice of boot options available, then select BD- ROM driver as your boot source. Alternatively you can get there by pressing F2 at Start.
Once you have done so, you will be prompted by the ‘Press any key to start’ message. Just click on any key on your keyboard. The Windows 7 basic set-up files will then be loaded and the set-up process initialized.
Restart your machine. After this, accept the license agreement, then proceed.
The system will now prompt you to select the installation partition. Choose the partition that previously contained your Windows files, click on Advanced, then Format.
After this, restart or reboot your system.
For a more detailed guide, click here.
Have an awesome tip or trick and can’t wait to share this with the rest of the world? Send me a message by private messaging me!
My wail of despair probably reached ears as far as the North Pole earlier this year when my external hard disk suddenly and catastrophically failed. For reasons unknown, the drive spontaneously leapt from the edge of my coffee table – plummeting tragically, and landing with an ominous ‘thwack’ . What followed was a loud whirring sound that soon turned scratchy and rather high-pitched. Soon, the realization set in that all my data on the barely three-week-old drive was now gone, all gone.
The agony. The pain. The desolation.
Photo courtesy of www.sxc.hu
Months later - déjà vu - a second HDD failed. (this one just died – it wasn’t anything I or anyone did, I swear!) This time, I was desperate enough to call several data recovery services to see if they could breathe life back into the drive and return my precious data and files to me.
They could try – albeit for a price steeper than what I was willing to pay, with no guarantee of success. What else could I have tried?
Last month, our very own zoltanthegypsy shared this odd sounding data recovery tip for drives damaged by heat on his personal blog:
“Sometimes a dead or dying hard drive can be resurrected long enough to rescue important files, or even pull a full clone.
"Drives sometimes fail in a heat-related way. Freezing and then quickly pulling off important data works in a surprisingly high percentage of cases.
"I wrap a drive in plastic to prevent condensation (and anti-stat bag is preferred) and freeze it for 2 or 3 hours. Then pull it out of the freezer and quickly attach to a computer. If necessary, re-install it in the original host machine, but it’s better to connect via an external USB to IDE/SATA adapter so it can be kept cold longer. Another approach is to connect to a desktop machine with the case open so the cables can be brought outside the machine.
"If using an external adapter or cables to the outside, with the drive still wrapped in plastic, sandwich it between two freezer gel-packs (or bags of frozen peas) and wrap the whole mess in a towel.
"If you are lucky, the drive will return to life long enough to copy the important stuff. In the best case, you may be able to clone the drive and avoid a long re-install process.”
Would this have worked to solve my most recent trouble? Maybe, maybe not. But I sure wish I knew about this earlier so I could have tried to save my files.
This reminds me, I need a better data backup strategy… but more on that later.
Do you have a unique tip to share? Send me a PM with your ideas!
Who knows, you just might save someone out there time, money and perhaps even a few tears.
This series of write-ups celebrates the Lenovo Forum's family of volunteer advocates - moderators, gurus and outstanding members of the Forum, who consistently go out of their way to help out in this community through sharing what they know, dissecting, delving and diving into various issues to educate other users and solve one another's problems. We salute and honor your dedication and hard work!
You may have noticed a relatively new community member, ExJamJus amongst the troop of gurus in the forum, and you may find his style vaguely familiar – and rightly so. This is because ExJamJus is actually… JameZ.
While James may have left Lenovo to explore other opportunities, his passion for helping others and his dedication to this community that he helped support remains. Thus he returns, trading in his blue staff colors for the green of the gurus.
We catch up with James as he spills the beans...
Serene: I never got to ask you this when you were still with Lenovo as a staff, but how did you discover the Forums?
James: I had been thinking about what to do career-wise before I joined Lenovo – I was then working in a rival company as a technical support agent and stumbled across an advertisement about a job opening as a Technical Support Specialist (Japanese speaking). I then scoured through the job scope and saw that my skills were actually relevant (all, barring the language aspect – my knowledge of Japanese is restricted to food names). I decided to just go for the role and sent in an application. A few days after this was sent I received a call from the Human Resources people at Lenovo and I landed an interview with the company and was told that my job (that is, if I did get it) revolved around the Lenovo Forums.
James at the Lenovo Malaysia office.
I then ventured in to the Forums to have a look at what this was all about and noticed that there were quite a number of helpful people - advocates amongst the community members, on top of those who clearly identify themselves as employees. This is so different from other communities I visited, and I thought this was amazing how it was run – that there are so many great people out there who return to this forum time and again to help strangers out with their technical issues.
Then, my heart was set racing when I heard the next piece of news from Human Resources that I got a second interview with the community team.) A Time article featuring Lenovo Chairman Liu’s commitment to driving the brand using a different approach made up my mind even more.
I really wanted in.
Thank goodness I managed to impress the interviewers and eventually hired on!
Serene: Wow! So what are you doing right now?
James: After spending about a year and a half in Lenovo, an opportunity came up and I decided to leave to explore my options in a sales-orientated position. I am currently working as an IT consultant in a recruitment company. My future plan is to go into networking in order to expand my knowledge on IT. I just couldn’t give up the community I have grown to love and hence, came back as ExJamJus, with the old handle being ‘retired’.
Serene: I can imagine it being a difficult period of transition for you, with the switch in roles and of course, with a new career direction.
James: Definitely. The decision to even leave Lenovo as a staff was a very tough one to make as I thought I would have to forego my friends in the company, both human and non-human (the equipment and computing gadgets I had access to… ouch, though I am currently using the U300s now, which is awesome. The boot up time is fantastic and the laptop goes to sleep in an instant. The battery life is amazing as well. )
It took two whole weeks, for instance, for the realization that I was no longer a staff to sink in.
I’m better now – and am trying to manage the time I have to come in daily to help out in the forums – and with the shoe now on the other foot, I can understand where the other volunteers come from and why they continue to help out – it just feels good to be able to help others, and I make lots of new friends while beefing up my own computing knowledge.
We are winners, all
Have a question about a Lenovo product? Or have a tip about computing to share? Join in the discussions today and while you are at it, say hi to ExJamJus and our other advocates!
This series of write-ups celebrates the Lenovo Forum's family of volunteer advocates - moderators, gurus and outstanding members of the Forum, who consistently go out of their way to help out in this community through sharing what they know, dissecting, delving and diving into various issues to educate other users and solve one another's problems. We salute and honor your dedication and hard work!
Notice anything different recently about zoltanthegypsy’s handle? What about community user PeterTWJ’s, which now sports a different hue? You’ve probably guessed it – yes, there have been some additions to our Forum’s Advocate group! Zoltanthegypsy, or Bill (as he prefers to be called), has now moved to become one of the core people who help keep our Community clean, informative, and what it is today - our moderators, whilst PeterTWJ, or Peter Tan, is now a guru, one of our recognized and valued tech experts.
Serene: Welcome to the family, Peter, and congrats, William, on being made moderator recently. So tell us – how did you two discover the Lenovo Community in the first place?
Bill: I showed up in 2008 with a couple of technical issues and an attitude. The tech issues got sorted out thanks to the good folks on the boards. I still have the attitude... (Serene: Really? We really don’t think so!) My first interaction with a forum moderator was JaneL scolding me - entirely appropriately - for language It was a "mild oath" that wouldn't have been noticed most other places... I think it was my 2nd post
I actually thought the community was rather more technical, and more "reserved", than some of the other wild-and-woolly boards I had visited. And these are both good things. I came to realize pretty quickly along with the more-formal approach (compared to other sites) that it was also a very friendly place. And the atmosphere is even more so on the Guru and Mod boards. There's always someone quick to lend a hand.
Peter: For me, I discovered the Lenovo Forums through the Lenovo Support Website as I also some issues with my machine (a W510 I got from school), and I posted in the forums for a solution.
Over time, I realized that the staff, moderators and gurus are in general a very friendly bunch (who have gotten even friendlier after having known them over the past few months.)
Serene: Now for the big question – tell us a bit about yourself – what do you actually do in real life?
Bill: I graduated from the University of Washington in 1971 with a degree in electrical engineering. Prior to that, in 1968 I landed a job helping with drafting and technical writing – and I ended up taking over the engineering department. I also did hardware designing of ad-hoc projects for several years, dealing with customized interfaces for different systems including flight simulators and mini – computers, before branching out to projects such as interfaces for workstations and PCs and networked-based products.
I guess I deal primarily with hardware design and device driver writing - in recent years most of my work has been for Unix - Linux and Solaris primarily compared to IRIX and HP-UX in the past. I work in a small business so I also do testing and support. I’m also interested in getting into the nuts-and-bolts stuff, such as multi-booting laptops and desktops back when that was hard to do, and also getting Windows, Linux, and Solaris to play nice (more or less) with one another. When that got relatively easy to do, I moved on to multi-booting flash drives, Live Linux, Windows Installers and repair tools, and utilities for recovery and forensics. And all of which is done a lot easier now than back in the day. I actually have a website of my own chronicling my multi-boot struggles but I also maintain a more current blog here.
Peter: In real life, I am a student majoring in Network Security Technology and the course I am taking is about managing networks, servers and storage systems with security in mind. Outside of school I spend time with different groups of friends with all sorts of interests – I like getting to know people so that I can expand my circle of friends and also gain more knowledge. I would be graduating from school this March and will then lose my full head of hair as I will be enlisted into the army for two years. This period of time will be very important for me as I will be seriously considering what I want to study and plan for my future. But no worries – while I serve my nation, I will still be here contributing as well!
Serene: Bill, you were a guru like Peter. What was your experience like so far, and Peter, how have things been for you?
Bill: The guru "promotion" was excellent. It gave me access to some really smart and capable people, and some behind-the-scenes technical resources. Kudos to everyone, but a special shout-out to andyP and topmahof (two of our community moderators) for their help. I'm still getting my sea-legs. It's a real difference going from tech geek to "net nanny". In my user and guru days, I pretty much kept to the boards where I might have had some direct experience (ThinkPads, Windows, and Linux mostly). Now that I have authority to nuke spammers, I roam all of the boards.
Peter: I was initially quite surprised when I was first approached – I love helping people in the first place, which is why I started talking to the community members and helping out with the questions that are posted in the forums. I totally didn’t expect to be identified for this, and I am very excited about it. I feel that I can reach out to more people in a better way when becoming a guru. At first, I was not used to my ID becoming green and having that extra Guru logo on my handle. I’m still going to be myself – I seriously enjoy spending time helping around and hey – I get to learn stuff too as well.
Have a question about your system or want to find out more about a Lenovo product before deciding to make that purchase? Join in our discussions today, and feel free to pose your questions to our peer-to-peer community and advocates as well!
This series of write-ups celebrates the Lenovo Forum's family of volunteer advocates - moderators, gurus and outstanding members of the Forum, who consistently go out of their way to help out in this community through sharing what they know, dissecting, delving and diving into various issues to educate other users and solve one another's problems. We salute and honor your dedication and hard work!
The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 has come and gone, and whilst you may not have had the opportunity to be physically present to imbibe in the electric atmosphere and indulge in the smorgasbord of new devices in the works being displayed, our Community's Agotthelf did. Still basking in the afterglow of the Event, he set aside some time to reflect on what he experienced, and shares his thoughts with us here.
Serene: It must have been a crazy few days since you returned from the CES in Las Vegas. So how was the experience in short for you?
Andreas: The Lenovo setup at #CES inside the Aquaknox was really awesome this year. I think the location was more crowded as last year. Lenovo offered a great range of new products and technologies, like S2 10”, new IdeaPads and ThinkPads or the Lenovo Cloud and the shiny new smart TV.
Serene: Nice. Which were your favorites, and what were some of the highlights?
Andreas: Honestly, I cannot decide between the Edge S430 and T430u when it comes to the business lin.e or the U310/U410 within the consumer line. I like them both. When it comes to the desktop models I like the IdeaPad A720 all-in-one PC, because of its multi-touch capabilities. Check out the product showcase to see the full range of new products.
I also really like the X1H. It has got two hearts and two brains, literarily as it features both an Intel and a Qualcomm CPU, and also has Windows 7 and Android as operating systems. It combines the great features of Windows OS with the flexibility Android based devices. I like the IdeaPad Yoga tablet, Lenovo's first multi-mode notebook with its a 360 degree flip and fold technology serves 4 different kinds of user tasks. And it´s a power horse too, it can get up eight hours on a charge.
I like Lenovo´s philosophy, which isn´t about just to gain new user segments e.g market share. Through the development of new products. Lenovo´s approach to focus on creating a great user experience seems to be the right answer to a growing market. which appears as an internet driven ecosystem, where it´s all about sharing pictures, videos, meeting friends and connecting people.
So the IdeaPad Yoga and the ThinkPad T420u are not simply closing gaps between different product lines or operating systems. They are the way to form a new and unique user experience. The same could be said about Lenovo´s Cloud. It is about connecting people and through different devices and operating systems, through, for instance, its Cloud.
Serene: Awesome. Besides seeing and previewing all these, who and what did you see?
I got the chance to meet David Roman, VP of Marketing Lenovo and Tracey Trachta, VP of consumer Marketing. I also got to meet and even interview John Mese, Software Architect , and who is responsible for Lenovo´s Enhanced Experience Technology.
I felt very lucky because I had the chance to talk to him and asked him some about Lenovo´s Enhanced Experience 3.0. You can read the interview and if you have any questions, just ask them here:
Through the show I was able to meet a lot of interesting people from different departments inside Lenovo. It was a joy to talk to them, about their every day lives and what they are doing inside a global company. I also got to share my experience as a forum moderator with them.
I´m very happy about meeting a lot of old friends and making new friends, too! Overall, it was a feeling like being a member of a global team, which was very exciting. And last not least I want to send a big “Thank You” to the WW social media team, who hosted and guided us so well through this exciting show!
Do not forget to check out http://social.lenovo.com/ for exciting news and updates from Lenovo!
Check out Andreas' reports from CES 2012 here, and join in the discussions as well!
CES 2012 - The Countdown Begins!
Imagine having the opportunity to attend the biggest, brightest, and most anticipated show in the universe – at least we think it just might be! Our very own Agotthelf, one of the community moderators in our English and German forums, prepares to attend the CES (or Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas) for the second time in two years, and shares with us a bit about what he does outside of the Lenovo forums, as well as what he hopes to see at the Show of the Year.
Serene: Tell us about what you do in real life.
Andreas: In one part of my life I´m a student, studying political sciences, psychology and philosophy
and in the other part I´m working as a community manager in a German digital agency, where we develop and manage specialized support 2.0 communities, like forums, blogs, Facebook or Twitter accounts for different companies and their particular departments, support, sales and marketing.
Serene: How long have you been a moderator? How were you introduced to Lenovo Forums?
Andreas: I visited and registered in the forum in 2008. Then, I was simply searching for more knowledge about my R60. After I became a guru in 2009, I got more and more addicted to the forum and it was a pleasure to meet and speak with Mark and all the other phenomenal moderators, like AndyP, Jane, Erik and of course the other gurus. Then I got promoted in 2010 to be a moderator and I felt very honored to be a part of this team! I don’t really specialize in anything, because my interests are more general about issues and problems which appear in both Lenovo Forum’ German and English communities. It is an opportunity and a challenge to combine different areas and bring together people who are dealing with the same issues and help them find solutions to them.
Serene : What are some of the things you hope to see at CES 2012?
Andreas: I think the key question for all forum members and customers is “What products will @lenovo launch?” I expect to see more powerful tablets (Tegra 3?) and even more powerful laptops, which will likely have more battery life, more power and perhaps a higher screen resolution than before.
Serene: Who do you wish to interview? Why?
Andreas: I would like to meet Lenovo’s Matt Kohut because he is an expert about upcoming technologies and trends, and it is always a joy to read his blog posts. I would also like to interview John Mese (his forum handle is “perfguy”) – I want to ask him about the newest technologies regarding Lenovo´s Enhanced Experience. There is a lot of interest about the Enhanced Experience e.g how it works and so on. Perhaps we´ll see version three at this CES? And of course I would like to talk to David Roman and David Hill about Lenovo´s new direction in marketing and design.
Serene: What are some of the things you are preparing for in anticipation of CES 2012?
Andreas: Well, last time I didn´t have a good camera with me, so the pictures could have been better and clearer. This time I´m prepared and will be carrying a better one with me. I will also try to make some videos, but given the limited bandwidth (and I anticipate mass uploading of pictures and videos during the CES), these may take slightly longer than usual to upload (but I am targeting to at least render the clips soonest possible post-CES). I will take loads of pictures though.
Serene: Sounds like you have a plan of attack – so what can forum users anticipate from your participation at the CES?
Andreas: As mentioned, I´ll keep up posting interesting pictures and videos, in the special events area of the English and German Lenovo forums. But I would also recommendreaders to watch out for Lenovo´s social channels to keep on track on the latest information, updates and upcoming events.
Are you, like the rest of us, not attending CES 2012? Fret not! Tell us what you want Andreas to check out at the Biggest Show of the Year, who you want him to speak to in our Special Events board! And if you are going, share your pictures and videos with us there as well!
He’s a buddingeek (buddingeek.wordpress.com) and a train buff. Meet vijaysaradhi, one of our forum’s
community moderators, whose passions in life include reading, watching the X-Files and scouring the internet for the latest technological updates. Vijay, a former Microsoft MVP, has been active in our forums since February 2008, and has helpful knowledge of various operating systems, and is a frequent contributor to discussions about our essential products.
Vijay, whose day job is with a prominent search engine company, following an internship with a global marketing and communications agency specializing in digital, answers a few of our questions.
Serene: Our forums began in end 2007 and you registered as a member shortly after our launch – what brought you to the forums in the first place?
Vijay: I was pursuing my engineering degree when my mother bought me
a Lenovo Desktop for me to practice C++ programming on. I had also been fascinated by Linux since school days – and these two factors ignited a fire within me, and I started to play around with the system I had. One fine day, I screwed up the partitions while installing a new distro as I removed the factory Recovery Partition by mistake. To try and salvage the sticky situation I was in, I did a search on Google and this then landed me in the Lenovo Community.
Serene: Was it a difficult decision for you to make to become a Lenovo moderator? What makes you do it?
Vijay: Before I joined the forums, I was already a moderator for a small Lenovo community we had in Orkut. Most of the customers owned Value Line systems and we would help one another. I think being a moderator in the forums is a unique experience for me as it gives me a chance to interact and collaborate with a diversified global audience, where the so- called "Digital Divide" between me and the world is then bridged in some form.
Serene: It sounds like you spend a substantial amount of time tinkering with digital products, and blog about your discoveries pretty extensively. What keeps you going?
Vijay: Curiosity keeps me going. There was a time when we did not have a PC in our home. It was the very same period when India was becoming a major IT hub and people would start buying computers to learn programming. I would go to my friends’ homes on some pretext to just look at how a Windows 98 machine would look like. This is also one the reasons why I pursued my engineering degree in Computer Sciences so that I can know about a computer, inside out. I must confess my curiosity did lead me down the path of mischief – I used to play pranks on my hapless friends by manipulating their program files so that they became unreadable, and even delete them remotely from my Linux terminal.
Serene: One of the more recent entries in your blog showcases your experimentation with improving the auditory experience on an IdeaPad with you playing with the Dolby settings. Care to tell us more about that?
Vijay: The IdeaPad which I had came with Dolby Certified speakers. What I really wanted to see was whether the profiler application which was not supported on my system would run at all. This led me to discover that this was indeed possible, and I discovered other tricks with the system as well.
Serene: What other experiments do you have in store? Care to share with us about this?
Vijay: I recently rooted my Sony Experia which I brought weeks ago as I wanted to use an app but was unable to.. It took five hours for me to figure out how to do it without bricking the phone. It was fun though. I had to dig a lot of stuff from the internet and perform some trial and error techniques before I could succeed. I’ve been tinkering with cloud based operating systems for a while, such as Chrome OS and Intel's MeeGo. They may well become an alternative platform for people who cannot afford costly and propriety software. In 2012 I plan to build a customized Linux OS of my own.(The ground work is already in place for that).
Serene: The end of 2011 is in sight, and it’s time for New Year Resolutions, and our Forums also just very recently celebrated its fourth birthday. What are your thoughts and wishes for the new year?
Vijay: We have seen the rise of the tablets and the fall of the netbooks. The convergence
of Entertainment and Technology is allowing people to interact like never before. The information superhighway a.k.a the web has made the world into a global village. I wish to see that whatever technologies are being invented would be available to the public en-masse at reasonable prices. This would ensure that the flow of knowledge is continuous and would connect people with one another till the last mile. It should be a win-win situation.
Want to read more about vijaysaradhi? He invites you to visit his page to do so!
“As a tech enthusiast and student currently learning about IT security, I was really glad to see the recent malware and security special event held in the Lenovo Forums. I had the opportunity to ask and learn from security experts who work at top tier AV / Security companies, professionals involved in supporting others in battling malware, and from other community members. I learned a lot and even got a few things cleared up that weren’t addressed in my classes,” says community member PeterTWJ, in a message posted during our Security and Malware special event Nov 28-30.
The event’s panel of experts featured members from leading AV companies like Symantec, security firm Trend Micro, anti-spyware website SpywareHammer, and several Microsoft MVPs who work in the security field. The group fielded questions about system bugs and all things nasty, discussed common and emerging security threats.
Given the broad range of industry experience and perspectives represented by the panel, it was interesting to explore the contrasts in view. Pieter Viljoen, a Senior Technical Director at Symantec, agreed that, “…running two real-time protection products at the same time is a recipe for trouble”, while offering contrasting views on the direction of cloud based scanning.
A sign of the times, malware concerns on mobile devices surfaced as a hot discussion topic and Aryeh Goretsky, a Microsoft MVP, was first to weigh in on the issue… “as more people use smartphones for payment services, I would expect criminals to look for vulnerabilities in those processes and find ways to exploit them for financial gain as well.” Microsoft MVP Corrine Chorney, who also specializes in Consumer Security, also shared an article she wrote in her blog on Tablet Security and reminded users to ‘only use your clean, secure home computer for online banking, shopping or other financial transactions.” Trend Micro’s Rose Gabillette likewise contributed an articlefrom Trend Labs, noting that smartphones are the next target of one-click billing fraud.
Another hot topic that saw both collaboration and corroboration amongst the panelists was a question raised about the safety of programs that clean a user’s systems. Linda Layton, another Microsoft MVP, shared a checklist for users who wish to use such services, and offered a cautionary tale when using registry cleaners. Likewise, co-founder and administrator of SpywareHammer Allen Weil chipped in and reminded users that “as a general rule, users should never try to edit their registry except under the personal direction of an acknowledged expert. It is horrendously complex, and interconnected. One significant misstep and you may be forced to reinstall your entire system.” Dave Kliros, another Microsoft MVP, reflected on the topic of exploits, saying “there are programs written with the intention to defraud. Some of these have bundled with them, a rootkit which allows its designer to take control of your system… (and that) there are very real possibilities of downloading and installing malicious software under any name, much less disk or registry cleaning programs...or antivirus programs”.
Rounding up the discussion, Trend Micro’s Cyrus Ramos provided an interesting compilation of many tricks hackers use to break into accounts.
At the end of it all, what users have to remember, says co-owner and administrator of SpywareHammer Jim Stables, is “there are going to be times when a PC cannot be rescued from infection no matter what you do. However malware writers gain nothing by destroying a PC. They infect the PC to either use to their advantage (bot nets), to hold your PC hostage and demand a monetary ransom, or to steal your personal information. So they will leave the PC usable. By doing so they leave the user the opportunity to rescue the PC.”
So beef up your knowledge today – the event may be over but the knowledge shared can still be accessed in the community knowledge base here.
I’ll close with a big SHOUT OUT to our panelists who helped make this event a success. THANK YOU!
So you have gotten your hands on the latest tablet in town and can’t wait to download the smorgasbord of apps available in the market, so you can play games or stay digitally connected all the time, even while you are on the go.
But did you know tablets, being similar to laptops, are also vulnerable to malware attacks?
Microsoft MVP Corrine, who will be sitting on our panel of experts for our very first online event ‘Malware and Security: How you can keep your systems bug-free’ and answering your questions from Nov 28 – 30, shares some tips on how you can protect your latest investment, so that you may have peace of mind while you surf or play that game of Angry Birds.
TABLET SECURITY TIPS
Tablet computers have been available for many years. Early versions required a stylus and were built around handwriting recognition. Generally, consumers found those early tablets more difficult to use than a desktop PC and the handwriting recognition frequently inaccurate.
Along came touch capability and, with the on-board keyboard, Tablet computers have taken on a new life. With many units having battery life of 10 or 12 hours with Wi-Fi enabled and weighing in at less than 2 pounds, Tablets are very desirable in the mobile lifestyle of today.
Included with that mobility are risks. Let's look at ways of protecting your investment and minimizing the inherent risks.
Ease of Portability for Thieves Too
One of the most desirable features of a Tablet is the ease of portability. A 10-inch Tablet weighing in at less than 1.7 pounds is easy to grab and go as you head out the door. However, with that same ease of portability in mind, Tablets are a desirable target for thieves. It only takes a few seconds to unobtrusively slip an unguarded device off the table at your favorite coffee shop while you step up to the counter to pick up your beverage or make a quick trip to the restroom.
The best security is not to leave your Tablet unguarded in public venues.
Because Tablets are such easy targets, many Tablet models include software protection such as Computrace® Mobile by Absolute® Software for tracking lost devices. If not included on your Tablet, download a security app such as Prey that can be used to locate your device if you lose it or it is stolen. When activated, this type of service provides the ability to track the location of the device from the GPS chip. Many of the programs provide the ability to freeze the device, delete data, as well as perform other remote security functions.
Use a Strong Password.
Using a strong password is not only important for protecting your online identity. It is also important for protecting your tablet. Select a unique password for your Tablet, not the same password you use for another device or account.
Ideally, your password should be at last 12 characters long with mixed case (upper and lower case) alpha and numeric characters. Include punctuation and symbols and do not use repeating characters. Suggested reading: How "safe" are your passwords?
To create or change the password on an Android tablet, tap the open arrow to view your apps. Select “Settings,” then “Security,” then “Change Screen Lock.” Choose “Password.”
Tablets Are Not Immune to Malware
Regardless of the operating system, Tablets are not immune to malware. To protect your investment, you need to install an antivirus software. A quick search of the Android Marketplace yields a variety of choices, including many of the well-known antivirus vendors such as ESET, Kaspersky, McAfee, and Symantec. Many of the options are free for personal use.
Almost all Tablets have Adobe Flash installed. Unfortunately, Flash has become a favorite target of malware writers. As a result, it is necessary to be aware of Adobe security updates. Generally, when Flash is updated, Adobe AIR also gets tweaked. The Tablet version of Adobe products is not the same as that for desktops and laptops. In order to get Adobe updates, it is necessary to navigate to the Android Marketplace with the Android device.
Apps Are Great But...
Part of the fun of a Tablet is adding fun applications, games and utilities, making it uniquely your own. However, caution is required when selecting apps for your Tablet. There are malicious apps disguised as useful, legitimate software. In addition, apps from unofficial third-party or peer-to-peer sites are more likely to contain malware.
Security at Wi-Fi Hotspots
Always remember that traffic is public at a Wi-Fi Hotspot. This also applies to places where you pay to access a Wi-Fi network. The access fee does not guarantee a secure connection! This means that any information provided on a webpage not using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to encrypt your communication can be both seen and captured by anyone else on the network. If the URL does not start with "https", you are not on a secure site.
Although most shopping and financial sites use SSL for login information, it is still safer to avoid any financial transactions while on Wi-Fi. Save that purchase until you are home behind a router!
Corrine, a Microsoft MVP whose forte lies in consumer security, is an active crusader against malware. She maintains a blog dedicated to this purpose, and also serves as an Administrator on several online forums and is a member of UNITE.
Join her as she, together with bugbatter, goretsky and other anti-malware companies representatives, will be answering all your queries about malware and security from Nov 28 – 30 in our community. See you at the event!
Beware, malware. And you should too, warns Linda Layton, aka Bugbatter, one of Lenovo Forum’s stalwarts, who has dedicated much time and effort on a personal crusade against such malicious attacks. In this guest entry, she highlights 10 things one should do to plug the loopholes which malware creators love making use of, and lists the steps you can take to ensure that your system is not compromised.
10 Things You Do That Puts Your System At Risk of Infection
1. Social Media - Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are being used by attackers, spammers, and others. For example, in the past, attackers and spammers used Twitter to send victims to malicious sites through the use of the automatically shortened URLs. Fortunately, this has been addressed recently by special add-ons for some browsers, and by the sites’ allowing members to preview the actual URLs, as well as protect users from dangerous links that lead to malicious websites and malware sites.(Refer to this website). However, social media sites make changes in Settings every so often and those changes may be made without adequate testing. It is imperative that users routinely check their privacy settings and not get a false sense of security. Scammers, spammers, and malware writers are always one step ahead of us. Continue to be vigilant when clicking links to photos, videos, surveys, and other “fun stuff”.
2. Installations from games, tools and applications – As the saying goes, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Sometimes those fabulous fun can't-live-without apps can be tempting. While not malware as such, even some of our favorite “free” applications are now earning income by including toolbars in their updates and downloads. Before installing new software and/or updating, always uncheck any toolbar or other offering that you do not want.
3. File Sharing (aka: P2P), Crack, Keygen, and Warez Sites – Peer-to-peer file sharing is not technically malware, but it can install infection because it opens the door for any number of worms, adware, and spyware infections when you use their network. Even the safest P2P file sharing programs that do not contain bundled spyware still exposes a user to risks because of the very nature of the P2P file sharing process. By default, most P2P file sharing programs are configured to automatically launch at Startup, and are also configured to allow other P2P users on the same network open access to a shared directory on your computer. File sharing relies on its members sharing unfettered access to computers across the P2P network. This practice can make a system vulnerable to data and identity theft. Even if risky default settings are changed to a safer configuration, the act of downloading files from an anonymous source greatly increases the exposure to infection. Files being downloaded may actually contain a disguised threat that spreads across P2P files sharing networks because of their known vulnerabilities.
It is a given that if you use keygen and warez sites you will become infected. Not only is pirated software illegal, but the sites themselves can be a breeding ground for infection.
4. Malicious Advertising - This type of advertising is used when the product or service is a little more than you anticipated. Do investigate a program from other sources prior to investing in that product.
5. Malicious Websites – These sites can be specially crafted to use the latest discovered vulnerability in major browsers. Because they can infect by downloading without the user doing anything more than visiting the website, these are often called “drive by downloads”. Do ensure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and always question the authenticity of a website – if it seems dodgy (such as, for instance, a website may seem to be by a reputable company or source, but there are many instances of misspelling or inconsistencies in design, follow your gut feel and stay away.)
6. Insecure Passwords - The methods used for breaking a password vary. The analysis of 32 million passwords showed that 300,000 accounts used the password “123456”. For more information refer to the following link.
7. Internet Probing - Operating a system without an effective firewall is extremely risky as port scanning is a fact of life, and is one of the insidious ways hackers use to invade your system. Open, unprotected ports have always been attractive to internet worms. There is more information on software firewalls in the KB article here.
8. System Vulnerabilities and Outdated Software - Unfortunately, malware writers are constantly looking to use exploits to take advantage of software vulnerabilities. It seems that as soon as a patch is created, the bad guys have found a way around it. Keeping the operating system and other software updated will mitigate the risks of malware finding its way into a system.
9. Incomplete Malware Removal - End users often run one or two simple, general DIY scans and claim that the infection on their system is gone. Not only is there no one-size-fit-all fix, but some types of malware can be planted so far down into a system that remnants are just waiting to become active when the user visits a certain website, or launches a specific program. Ensure that your system is thoroughly cleansed.
10. Malicious Emails - Although these are not as prevalent as in the past, as malware has expanded to using social media, and users have become more security savvy, these types of email messages still exist. These would be emails including such things as phishing, infected attachments, and links to sites that have embedded malicious code. For anyone not familiar with phishing, there is a very comprehensive article here.
Nothing is 100% secure, and there is no “magic bullet”. As noted above, there are ways that we can become victims if we are not careful. The prevention is always easier than the cure.
Linda Layton, Microsoft MVP
Catch Linda and other panelists in our first Special Event on Malware and Security from Nov 28 – 30, where you can pose questions you may have about this topic and get them answered. Have a question about this topic? Post them in this board here!
This series of write-ups celebrates the Lenovo Forum's family of volunteer advocates - moderators, gurus and outstanding members of the Forum, who consistently go out of their way to help out in this community through sharing what they know, dissecting, delving and diving into various issues to educate other users and solve one another's problems. We salute and honor your dedication and hard work!
Imagine yourself as a graduate student who poured months into your thesis, only to start up your computer one day and find your work being wiped out in seconds by a virus. Or perhaps your personal banking or investment accounts are compromised and your accounts are depleted, or your identity stolen through some kind of Trojan attack. Increasingly, these situations are becoming less science fiction and more general news of the day. Fortunately, there are many talented individuals working to combat these events on a daily basis. Aryeh Goretsky, or simply, goretsky, as he is known in our Lenovo Forums, is a well respected malware researcher. Read on to find out what inspires him in the ongoing war against malware.
Serene: You are now a Distinguished Researcher with ESET, and I am sure the road to attaining that honor must have been very interesting. Tell us more.
Aryeh: I began my computing career in 1989 at McAfee Associates (now simply McAfee). I was the first employee hired and did many things while there, but my job was technical support, and I started as an engineer and later, moved on to managing the department as the business grew. Back then, information was not as readily accessible as it is today; internet connectivity was rare, slow and expensive, so I relied heavily on books, magazines and co-workers for my technical education. Managing technical support is more about metrics and numbers than technology, aside from mentoring the newer techs, I never lost my passion for troubleshooting or educating others. After I left McAfee Associates, I worked at one of the first instant messaging companies as their director of support, and later, as a consultant for small businesses, followed by taking up a position as a senior engineer at a VoIP hardware manufacturer, where I made such gear as handsets, PBXes and Ethernet switches. Ten years after I left McAfee Associates, I came full-circle and joined anti-virus firm ESET. At ESET I ran support for North America for a year and then moved over to research, where I initially held the post of a manager, but now hold the position of Distinguished Researcher.
My interest in computers was sparked since I first used one, an Apple II at school; I wanted to understand how they worked and how to make them do interesting things. Later on, I got my first computer, a Commodore 64, and soon after a modem, which allowed me to reach and connect to the broader computer-using community online. There was no public accessible Internet back then, but I did make use of local bulletin board systems, one of which was operated by John McAfee. That eventually lead to occasional meet-ups for things like pizza parties, where I met other users as well. A few years after that, John left his day job and started his anti-virus company. After a few widely-publicized malicious programs appeared (the Datacrime virus and the Morris Internet worm) it seemed to me like John had the makings of a business and I asked him for a job. Thus began my career answering the single phone line at John McAfee's kitchen table.
Serene: That’s an amazing back story. As a researcher now, you must come across many variants of malware –which, in your opinion, is the worst, and why?
Aryeh: I would not classify the malware's damage by its specific actions but rather by its affect--not on computers, but on people. I remember speaking to a PhD student who had the single copy of her thesis completely overwritten by a computer virus (years of work gone in a few seconds), saw small businesses close because they lost all their records and spoken to people who had their bank accounts emptied. These are horrible things to have happen; it's not necessarily physical damage like having your home burn up in a fire, but the feelings are similar: People tend to personalize their computing experience, and there is an incredible sense of violation when one runs afoul of a computer virus or worm or bot or whatever malicious program it was that took their livelihood or their savings away from them.
Serene: Scary stuff. Given the proliferation of technology and the accelerated rate with which digital products are being rolled out , how do you keep abreast of what’s new and what’s happening?
Aryeh: The threatscape changes constantly and a large part of my job is monitoring what is going on, both on the offensive and defensive sides. I read constantly about the latest developments, as well as share information with colleagues around the globe about the latest threats. In some respects, the job consists of going from one emergency to the next, and it becomes important to compartmentalize that very stressful work and take time for oneself. I have some fairly regular hobbies like reading and movies, going out to dinner with friends and so forth. One activity which is perhaps a little out of the ordinary is that I like to troubleshoot computer problems; not just those involving malware, but those involving hardware, software and networking issues. I tend to think of them more as a type of intellectual puzzle which needs to be solved--a kind of cerebral recreation.
Serene: Do today’s punishments fit the crimes?
Aryeh: My opinion of those that create or use malware for criminal activity is that they are criminals. They may be better educated than the average street mugger or bank robber, but at the end of the day, they've done the same thing.
Serene: What do you think the kind of threats will be like in 2012?
Aryeh: I do not expect there to be many truly novel security threats in 2012. What I do expect, though, is an escalation of existing types of malware. In particular, I expect to see more malware targeting Android as well as an increase in rootkits. In 2011, I watched Android malware go from something that showed up every few months to something every few days. While most of it tends to be relatively unsophisticated and modifications to earlier code, it is gradually increasing in complexity. On the PC side, I saw an increase in bootkits. A bootkit is a particular form of rootkit that infects the boot areas of hard disk drives, such as the master boot record (MBR), boot sector or volume boot record (VBR). These are not files, per se, but rather small pieces of code located at the beginning of a hard disk drive that get read into memory and executed after a computer finishes initializing its hardware. Originally, they were just used to load the actual operating system, but malware authors have taken to replacing them with their own code. This allows malware to run before an operating system in order to circumvent its security procedures. What is interesting to me about this is not that it is a new technique; but rather a very old one, dating all the way back to the very first computer virus for the IBM PC, the Pakistani Brain. What happened is that the concept has been reinvented, and now targets additional security measures in 64-bit editions of Microsoft Windows.
Serene: Sounds like in addition to our PCs, our phones and tablets are at risk too. Short of unplugging and embracing our inner Luddite, what can we do?
Aryeh: There really isn’t any reason to stop using computers, but people have to be realistic about protecting them. Practicing good computer hygiene by keeping your operating system and applications up-to-date, using good passwords and only using software from trusted sources like the author is just as important as running anti-malware software. There's no panacea, but you can take measure to reduce the likelihood of being infected.
The public don’t really make mistakes regarding protecting their systems. Rather, they have misconceptions about the nature of malicious software, as well as the software which combats it.
Malware these days is financially-motivated, which means that the goal of the malware author or operator is to make money in some way. The criminals who use malware have been successful in this regard and, as a result, have developed highly automated systems which search for compromised systems and infect them. At any given time, they may have thousands, tens of thousands or even more computers infected. Infected computers are managed by other infected computers, sometimes in a hierarchy, reporting into tiers of what we call "command and control servers," and other times in decentralized peer-to-peer swarms. Unless an attacker is targeting a specific computer or network, they often themselves may not be aware of which individual computers are under their control. What does this mean? Well, for one thing, it means that individuals and even businesses usually are not specifically targeted. They were infected because a vulnerability was exploited on a computer, or perhaps were tricked into clicking on a piece of software to install it--what we call "social engineering."
On the anti-malware side: People, and this is mostly home and SOHO users--SME are more understanding of this--tend to think of and treat their security software as a kind of invisible forcefield which protects their computers from malware and frees them from the consequence of their actions while using a computer. No anti-malware program offers perfect detection for all malware; detection rates can be very high, but there is always some small percentage of malware which is going to get through. Unfortunately, since the host population for malware is so large--potentially all personal computers out there--even a small fraction of a percentage getting through means that large numbers of undetected malware appear each day. At my employer, we typically receive around 200,000 new samples a day, and there have been a few days where we have received over 300,000 samples a day. That's a large number, and requires a concomitant expenditure of effort for analysis. In my view, anti-malware software is perhaps less of a forcefield and more like an automobile insurance policy. You may not like having it, but if you ever need it, you will be glad that it's there.
Sun Tzi’s Art of War proclaims: “ If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” Get to know more about malware and security in our English community’s inaugural special event, from Nov 27 – 30, where expert panelists including Aryeh Goretsky will be on hand to answer your questions about keeping your systems safe.
Having been involved in the IT industry for close to a decade, Peter Barnette, otherwise known as MrPeter1985 in the Lenovo Community, very recently edited his forum signature, proudly declaring his wish to be a Tablet evangelist. Intrigued, we catch up with the guru to find out what inspired this change, and also learned how he used the IdeaPad K1 as, get this, a parenting tool.
Serene: You changed your signature recently and declared yourself a Tablet evangelist. What inspired you to do so?
Peter: As a volunteer, I have limited time to contribute to the community, but I really enjoying talking with people who are passionate about new technology and helping where I can. As tablets are new and the community around them is still small, I thought it would be a great area to get more involved. I really want to see a self sustaining support eco-system develop around these new android powered Lenovo tables and really want to be involved in making that happen so as soon as I got my hands on a K1, I joined as many of the active discussions on the product that I could.
Serene: Do you think tablets are just a fad? Will it be here to stay, or just a blip and be forgotten?
Peter: Tablets have actually been around for a long time (if you think about it, the first ThinkPad was actually one!) At the beginning, these touch-based devices never took off due to their size, cost, weight, short battery life and poor application support. They only really did so when the iPhone and iPod Touch came to the market, where you have a device that had longer lasting battery life, is responsive to touch interaction, has smooth graphics flow and a gorgeous design. Most importantly, it has a large range of apps to give the device more utility. Hence, the growth in the size of such tablets is a natural progression. The iPad came to the market with its wide offering solid hardware and has a great industrial design and great trove of applications. Best of all, it had a ravenous fan base willing to get their hands on a set at all costs.
Tablets will evolve, of course. With the advent of technology and birth of opportunities to extend their capability, such as cloud computing, as well as improvements in hardware and apps, I predict the Tablet will eventually occupy a greater slice of the pie smartphones and netbooks combined have today.
Serene: How do you think the tablet trend will evolve?
Peter: Judging by the past and current trajectories of notebooks and netbooks, one would conventionally predict the tablet trend will evolve in terms of hardware - having more memory, better CPU/GPU and improved battery run time, etc. However, perhaps the more meaningful evolution for Tablets may be made through software development.
The Tablet looks set to become more powerful and the ways in which it can be used could be expanded. Improvements are made in technology, even as we speak. As it is we have the implementation of faster wireless network connections and the use of cloud computing. However, it will not rule the world. This is just another step in a longer evolutionary path. Perhaps one day a new device might supplant the touch-based system by directly interacting with your mind. Maybe some kind of head band you would wear that would pick up impulses from your brain and move the pointer around via a Bluetooth connection. Hey, it could happen!.
Serene: What are some of the things users need to look out for or check before buying one?
Peter: It all depends on what you, the consumer, want or need. Do you need a big screen? Must it be scratch-resistant? Have a decent camera? There isn’t really a list of tips for this – you must remember you are buying this for yourself and not because it looks good, and so, your purchase should suit your likes and habits.
Serene:Is there a specific audience most suited to its use?
Peter: No. They naturally have a wide range of fans as they have many applications and software services. You can use it to read e-books, surf the web, watch a movie etc. Its uses are varied and as technology improves these do so as well.
Serene: How has the Tablet impacted your life?
Peter: I’ve only had one a short while, so it is a bit early to say. The Tablet has enriched it somewhat. I am using the IdeaPad K1 tablet, which gives me more freedom to do other things that my ThinkPad T500 did not allow me to do so. I can read an eBook, watch flash media without having to carry around a 6 pounds of notebook, and do simple web browsing with near instant on capability.
Serene: You have an adorable son - does he like the K1? Any plans to get him a tablet as well?
Peter: I would most certainly get my son a 7-inch tablet (The A1 would fit the bill nicely. * wink wink*) when the chance arises. He loves playing on his Mom’s iPod Touch, and he refers to the K1 as the big iPod. He really loves the coloring and drawing apps. Last night the K1 even read him a few stories before he went to bed and was almost like a digital computer babysitter!
Got a question about Lenovo’s range of Tablets? Pop by our boards, check out and join in the discussions, and feel free to ask away! And while you are at it, say hi to Peter!
A guru who spends an inordinate amount of time online, ColonelONeill, aka Jason ***** (sorry folks – we have been sworn to secrecy on his last name), counts Star Trek’s Spock as an inspiration (“just because he is Spock”), and plays a mean game of Crysis (though he claims he stinks at it – so modest, this one!) Somehow, we managed to pry him away from his games and studies for a little bit to let us in on what keeps his engine running, as well as steal a few tips on getting that good buy for gaming.
Serene: Tell us about your handle. Why settle on ColonelONeill?
Jason: As a Stargate SG-1 fan, I've always found that Richard Dean Anderson's character added that extra bit of wit and charm that put the whole show a cut above the rest. Hence, I adopted his canonical character's name. This was a fair bit before his promotion to General in the show, and I've always found that his previous rank rolled off the tongue easier (this, and the fact that his role as Colonel was most influential in the show).
Serene: So what do you do in your spare time, besides visiting the forums?
Jason: There's life outside of the Lenovo Forums? O_O The following diagram taken off the net (what else?) nicely sums me up.
I read, do math, and surf the internet. As far as I'm concerned, 10% of my time goes into studying and 90% gets piped into NUL or something. I hang out with friends either in person or on MSN. I'm often the go-to guy for computer issues -- calculus, linear algebra, and physics questions; correcting grammatical mistakes; and, frustratingly, a human proxy for Google. On a sidenote, one isn't exposed to much rigorous mathematics in a Commerce program, and as a Commerce student with a side interest in math, it follows that to learn more math one would need to allocate otherwise spare time to mathematics. I suppose you could say I collect knowledge? O.o Then there's always time spent pondering the philosophical mysteries of the universe...
Serene: How did you get so smart about computers anyway?
Jason: Computers are more logical and rational than the emotional, human mind. A computer will do exactly what you tell it to do, but also behave in such a way which may not be what you want it do to. Of course, it takes some dedication and interest in the subject matter for you to go anywhere beyond day-to-day usage, so it depends (on) if it's your cup of tea. I play a lot of games, but I tend to suck at them anyway. I like Crysis (the first one, not so much the second one), Shadow of Chernobyl, Tiberian Sun (before EA ate the franchise for breakfast), Counter-Strike Source (a gaming staple), Left4Dead 2 (for LAN parties with friends), and as a quick break from studying, Audiosurf. My main gripe with newer games is that a) they've become mind numbingly simple, b) there's a lot more restrictions on where you can explore, c) too many things are handed to you on a platter and d) the lack of replay value. Sure I've played Dead Space 2 (good for a play through), some of the Call of Duty-s (meh), and what-have-you, but they don’t amuse me for long.
Serene: As an avid gamer, what tips would you give someone looking for a machine to play games on?
Jason: Personally, I'm a "if it runs the game, then that's good enough" kind of guy; I played through quite a few games on an underpowered T400... although near the end of its life, I had given the graphics card a nice kick in the clock speeds, which have helped with frame rates.
When it comes down to specs, there's a few key components you have to take note of. The core of a computer is arguably the CPU, which is nowadays generally offered in dual or quad-core variants. Most games still aren't highly multithreaded, so that quad-core with eight slower threads would probably not help much compared to a higher-clocked dual-core cousin (Turbo Boost tries to get the best of both worlds.) You'll get a bit of an increase in battery life, and probably a bit lower temperatures due to the lower TDP of Intel Sandy Bridge's dual-cores (duals are 35 watts, quads are 45 watts). When it comes to gaming, the bigger graphics card the better (up to a point). My W520 has a Quadro 2000M, which is a workstation branded card but is no slouch in gaming. The major concern with all of these high powered chips is that they don't do so well in terms of heat output, especially in a laptop form-factor. Therefore, it is imperative that one gets a proper cooling system, much as one would do in a desktop, but there's way more flexibility there in terms of custom coolers and such. These two points will probably be the major factors involved with the gaming experience, as long as one doesn't neglect the amount of RAM in the system (4-8GB should be plenty, and improves responsiveness by reducing paging).
Serene: What other tips or advice do you have for those who wish to enhance their gaming experiences?
Jason: A good screen is key to gaming. Personally, I found first-person shooters to be best experienced on one of those old-school CRT monitors as LCD screens tend to have a noticeable lag time. A "low-response time" screen can compensate, but the pixel overdriving isn't good for the screen, causes some ghosting artifacts, and reduces panel longevity, which are all trade-offs. There's not much choice in a laptop though.
Another factor to consider is sound. Now, I'm clumsy and drop things a lot (explains why I have a ThinkPad, and how quickly I go through ear buds), so I haven't invested in a good pair of ear buds. Although we'd probably all wish for movie theater surround sound, a nice pair of headphones or speakers can do nicely. The current spatial virtualization algorithms aren't bad and can project sounds from many directions using only stereo speakers.
Lastly, we have the input systems. A gaming mouse and a good keyboard is a must. A key point of the keyboard that is often neglected outside of the gaming community is n-key rollover. This means that one can press any number of keys and not confuse the keyboard controller. Most non-gaming keyboards suffer from key jamming, where pressing more than two keys will often lead to some or all of the keys not being recognized (ThinkPads will beep when this happens by default). This makes it difficult to perform complicated keyboard macros without jamming, and can make the difference as a soldier in the field or as an army general during heated battle.
So there you have it - ColonelONeill’s words of wisdom on what to look out for when getting a machine for gaming... What is your favorite laptop for gaming and why? What matters most to you? Join in the discussion here.