Author Topic: New Old Toys  (Read 1024 times)

Offline BlackBox

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New Old Toys
« on: April 23, 2006, 04:46:58 PM »
Well, here are some pictures of one of my 'new old toys', two old (1991-92) toshiba laptops that I got a few weeks ago.

The one pictured is a T2200SX, specs:
- intel 386SX CPU. not sure of the clock speed.
- 12 MB ram
- 81 MB hdd
- 3.5" floppy
- PC card slot (which freezes the computer if you insert anything, and the computer refuses to boot if something is inserted when you power on)
- Logitech PS/2 trackball mouse
- serial phone modem (haven't tried it out)
- Car power adapter
- monochrome VGA display.





As seen, it's running Linux, even X (w/ icewm as window manager, albeit horribly slow)

It's running a distro called BasicLinux (link) which is geared toward running on old PCs, such as a 386 with <4 mb ram. The whole system fits on two floppies, and has an install-to-hdd command (which I used). (Their distro includes X, lynx, PC card support, and some powerpoint clone (which did not run for me, it just froze the machine)). Only complaint I have about this is how it's using an old version of the kernel, and it's HD setup wasn't as smooth as I would have liked (it installed LILO to the primary partition rather than the MBR, and it seems the Toshiba BIOS ignores the bootable flag in the partition table. Editing lilo.conf took care of that  however, and I installed it to the MBR).

I also have a T4500, which has a 486 CPU, 8mb ram, 120 MB (I think) hdd, floppy, PC card slot (which seems to work fine with the phone modem card that came with it, so maybe my ethernet card will), and a monochrome VGA. (The display is a bit better than the other machine's display, and the mouse is a lot better as well). I'm gonna try the same distro on it too, hopefully I can get networking to work, and maybe X will be a bit faster as well.

Just figured I would post something about these, since I've told a few people about them...
-- op2hacker

Offline zigzagjoe

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New Old Toys
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2006, 07:45:45 PM »
nice-- actually, i am thinking on developing my own arm-based dev laptop, running linux and x w/ a touchscreen. prolly gonna use a SoC, makes it easy for me. chances is that pc card slot is a flash memory slot (early pccard slots were), or you are trying to use a cardbus (pci) card in a pcmica slot (isa).

Linux ftw

Offline BlackBox

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New Old Toys
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2006, 03:03:50 PM »
Erm I don't think Cardbus is PCI. Cardbus is still very similar to PCMCIA, it's just a 32 bit bus (versus a 16 bit bus).

Anyway, I looked in the bios and it seems that the slot on the 2200SX can only hold a card modem, no other type of card. It does have a separate memory slot, which is used (holds an 8mb card)

On the 4500 the bios has a "PCMCIA" setting for its slot, in addition to the 'card modem' setting that the 2200SX has. In fact, I got linux to run on the T4500 (not as well as the 2200 however, since I had to install it to the hard drive (MS DOS partition) and then mount an ext2 filesystem image file via loop. (Using loadlin from DOS to boot the kernel and overwrite DOS in memory) (The 'normal' disks would not work because it has less memory than the older system - go figure - and the initial ramdisk won't fit in its memory, which is what is used as the root filesystem, which you need to have mounted properly before you can install to the hard drive)
This creates a small obstacle, since I can't fdisk the hdd and create an ext2 filesystem on it (when it is being used because the loop mounted ext2 image is on the DOS hard drive, it would create significant problems if I tried to overwrite the running operating system with a new filesystem). I'll find a way though - maybe create another set of floppies whose only purpose is to create an ext2-fs partition and install the base system to it.

I did get networking to work on the 4500, by inserting an ethernet PCMCIA card and starting cardmgr. (It detected it as an NE2000 compatible adapter, and found its MAC address okay - I'm going to see if I can actually connect to the net later tonight).

So for the 4500 the only real obstacle to overcome is the installation problem.

Offline lordly_dragon

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New Old Toys
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2006, 04:52:10 AM »
Quote
"PCMCIA"
damn I dont know why I feel to do this but meh: PCMCIA= PC missing cruelly in action.


dont ask its 7 am and im sick  (thumbsdown)


to more serious things: I owned not so long ago a excalibur 486 with a black and white screen. I manage to run windowns 95 on it. was awfully slow and always crashed.

Running, scrambling, flying
Rolling, turning, diving, going in again
Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die
Run, live to fly, fly to live. Aces high.

Offline zigzagjoe

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New Old Toys
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2006, 06:28:13 AM »
Yes, cardbus is pci.

CardBus are PCMCIA 2.1 or later (JEIDA 4.2 or later) 32-bit PCMCIA cards and were introduced in 1995. The original PC Card bus was 16-bit, similar to ISA. CardBus is effectively a 32-bit, 33 MHz PCI bus, in the same physical form as the earlier cards.

Cite: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardbus#CardBus

thats why you can buy a backplane for laptops that you plug into one of those slots, and it gives you 3 pci slots (or more).
« Last Edit: April 25, 2006, 06:30:47 AM by zigzagjoe »