I have this weird ability to fall in love with gadgets that are not yet on the market… Twice in a row when choosing my laptop tablet pcs I went for something that will be available soon. This has the unfortunate disadvantage of being firstly very pricey, and secondly not very well supported on Linux. Both times the hardware gave me countless hours of trouble. Obviously now the Thinkpad X61 isn’t such a novelty, so life is a bit easier.

I have been recently converted to openSUSE, and after eagerly waiting for version 11 I finally got a chance to install it.

As usual it’s not 100% bulletproof yet, but luckily most things run straigh out of the box.

  • The new installer is pretty sleek and does a very good job at configuring everything for you. One thing that annoyed me slightly was that it tries to mess with with my Windows partition, but this is easily overriden with the expert configuration screen.
  • With the new kernel and new alsa the sound finally works. Still a bit fiddly though, to get it to work make sure you un-mute all the channels and set the playback to pcm. Also to get the microphone to work you need to enable the capture channels, otherwise, it sounds like it is working, but you will not be able to record anything
  • Highly appreciated is the availability of the tablet pc settings in the graphics card configuration – under the tablet tab you just need to select “tablet pcs” and then the “lenovo x61 tablet pc” option. Remember to enable the pen and eraser in the “electronic pens” tab.
  • I opted for kde4, as it seemed a good time to finaly give it a go. Addmitedly it looks a lot better than the last version I checked out, and it seems workable. One problem though is the knetworkmanager – the version from the install cd/dvd crashes when trying to setup wireless. There is an update already, though to get it you might need to connect to the internet using other means ;)