IBM Thinkpad 500

Model 2603-17N
Operating System DOS, Windows 3.1, OS2
CPU IBM 486SLC2 50/25
RAM 4-12Mb
Hard drive 80 or 170 Mb (The 8N or 17N denotes the drive size)

This is what it looks like.  The ruler will give you an idea of how small this puppy is.  Heck, if someone is just needing a basic portable computer for rudimentary stuff and has access to some DOS programs, this will scream!

Okay, does everyone know who IBM is?  Kinda thought so.

Anyway, the Thinkpad 500 is an extremely compact laptop.  At the time when it was introduced, it was a very capable little machine.  To save weight, IBM pulled the floppy out of the case and hung it externally.  If you didn't need it, don't take it with you!  If you did have a need for it, you could grab it out of your bag and plug it in and away you'd go.  Actually, this idea is starting to come back, but for a different reason.  Now you can just use a memory stick or USB drive.

I picked this little beauty up at a flea market with the bag, AC adapter and the computer else.  I fired it up and just fell in love with it.  The unit is built extremely solid and the keyboard has a wonderful feel.  Eventually I found a floppy drive, VGA adapter and external keyboard adapter to go with it.

While most of my machines are strictly non-Windows units, I just happen to like this little unit, so I  keep it around.

By the way, for those who don't know, the Thinkpad moniker came from the 1950's when IBM handed out little notepads to all its employees with the word "THINK" stamped on it.  When IBM was developing the line, one of the developers dredged that old memory up and the press fell in love with.  Staid and stuffy IBM relented and the line has been Thinkpad ever since.

Back to McCain's Museum of Ancient Personal Computers

Back to front page