Information and Software for the ThinkPad T43 / T43p

System Type: 2668, 2669, 2678, 2679, 2686, 2687

Released in 2005, the T43 was the last official ThinkPad before Lenovo was brought into the picture. This meant that the T43 was the last ThinkPad to have preferable 'awkward' features such as: omitting the Windows keys, native OS/2 support & drivers, a characteristic colour scheme, the 'Access IBM' button, IBM BIOS splash screen etc.

While it has been hotly debated whether or not the T43 is a 'true' IBM ThinkPad (since the PC division was sold just a few months before the T43 went into production), IBM refers to the T43 as an 'IBM ThinkPad' and by the time Lenovo purchased the PC division the T43 would have been largely or fully completed borrowing designs largely from the T42 to accelerate production and reduce costs. Furthermore, the T43 has the aforemention features that Lenovo would never in a million years agree to or implement; this explains why the T60 *immediately* introduced a Windows key and dropped OS/2 support (entirely Lenovo's doing and not IBM's). So while Lenovo bought the PC division in midst of the T43, the transition was a lot slower while IBM had to hold onto promises for large corporate clients and honour a lot of legacy features (OS/2). We can take this even further, in the January 19th 2005 T43 hardware announcement it clearly states ThinkPad is a trademark of IBM and not Lenovo:

Trademarks
Ultrabay, ServiceSuite, and UltraNav are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both. ThinkPad, OS/2 Warp, TrackPoint, Lotus SmartSuite, Lotus Notes, HelpCenter, and ServicePac are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.

So with all of that weighing in, I believe it safely douces the rumour that post 2003 ThinkPads are Lenovo and not IBM. Technically 2006 is when Lenovo started to act, and it's worth noting that Lenovo actually used some of IBM's designs in a mutual relationship (for instance, IBM allowed Lenovo to use their IntelliStation M Pro 9229 chassis in a watered-down state for the Lenovo ThinkCentre lineup, but that's another story for another day).

While on the topic, it hasn't been too widely discussed why IBM omitted the Windows keys from the (majority) of their ThinkPad line especially considering the T43 was being manufactured well into 2006; which is an almost unthinkable act. I believe it can be chalked up to the following:
#1 IBM's feud with Microsoft led them to omitting the Windows key
#2 IBM wanted to stay faithful to the Model M 101/84 key layout
#3 IBM wanted the ThinkPads to be OS/2 friendly and not display the Windows key to interrupt the experience
#4 Corporate power-users by volume of preference didn't want the Windows key, particularly also compromising the size of the Ctrl and Alt keys
#5 It wasn't seen as necessary since the 'Fn' key provided more useful functionality

After the assessing the following list, it could be a combination of more than one (I think it has to do with practicality, it's not practical compromising the keyboard for meta keys that were rarely used back then). It's very important to note that only when Lenovo was involved with ThinkPad development did the Windows key appear. At that point Lenovo didn't wish to hold onto aged IBMisms that reduced the ThinkPad to a more niche 'power users' market versus the mainstream, but the flipside is that the ThinkPad never really was a 'mainstream' product. Lenovo is actually facing this problem now where they've aliented their power user base, and aren't selling any ThinkPads to the mainstream users. The backlash when Lenovo removed the TrackPoint buttons was immense.

 

Manuals

--> T43/p Hardware Maintenance Manual

--> T43 Hardware Announcement (ATI models)

--> T43 Hardware Announcement (Intel models)

 

Software and Drivers

--> T43/p Complete OS/2 Driver Package (OS/2 Warp 4.52)

This contains *all* of the necessary drivers and software needed to get OS/2 Warp 4.52 fully functional on a T43/p ThinkPad (files are already extracted to eliminate the need for diskettes). This includes the SoundMax OS/2 driver, the Broadcom OS/2 driver, the complete SciTech SNAP driver and SMOUSE.EXE for the TrackPoint. Only the ATI-based T43 systems are supported on OS/2, the Intel GPU ones were never officially supported.

--> T43p modified TTAV BIOS

Removes the '1802' and '2010' error messages from the BIOS and adds SLIC tables

 

T43 info

More information on the T43 coming soon.

 

Specifications

----CPU Options----

*Intel Pentium M

----Audio----

*SoundMax

----Video----

*Intel Graphics, ATI Mobility, ATI FireGL

----Memory----

2GB is the maximum allowed memory by the memory controller (the usual intel memory controller crippling).

 

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