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View Full Version : Need an excellent piece of hardware for GEOS.



facattack
October 14th, 2013, 07:19 AM
http://www.breadbox.com/

I would prefer a laptop of some kind. A friend wants to word process. She has little room to work with. I was thinking of something that I can install GEOS onto is an ideal. She doesn't want to be distracted by internet jazz or modern aesthetics and focus on writing a novel.

Preferably the machine be a desktop publisher with built-in daisy wheel printer into a keyboard. I used to have a Brother device which was a "Desktop Publisher"' but forget the model number.

But it could be a cheapie laptop. I'm wondering if Geos works with a modern printer. Like a Cannon Pixma. So... hard drive below 80 GB is what I'm thinking. We can go retro if we want but it has to be a dependable device.

vwestlife
October 14th, 2013, 12:59 PM
Look for a Brother GeoBook:

http://www.brother-usa.com/typewriters/default.aspx?src=NB80c

It's an AMD 33 MHz embedded 386 running ROM DOS and GEOS. You can break out to a DOS prompt and then run DOS software on it. It has a standard 3.5" 1.44 MB floppy drive and PC Card slots.

Al Hartman
October 14th, 2013, 01:10 PM
I'd get her an older Macintosh iBook, or iMac G4 or something. Just don't hook it up to the Internet. Then, get her a good word processor, and off she goes.

Maverick1978
October 14th, 2013, 01:11 PM
... or just get an old, cheap P133 laptop and interface w/ a cheap printer. Probably cheaper than finding an AIO word processor.

barythrin
October 14th, 2013, 01:22 PM
Obviously she's looking for a nice Panasonic Sr Partner. (http://www.digibarn.com/collections/systems/panasonic-sr-partner/) In reality the only big suggestion I would have is a backlit screen. That does weed out some vintage gear for practicality purposes. That Brother Geobook looks really neat. Not sure what the difference though would be with those vs a typical old cr^H^Hlaptop since it looks like it's basically one with a VGA screen.

dorkbert
October 14th, 2013, 01:49 PM
I was going to suggest a netbook running ubuntu and openoffice...

facattack
October 15th, 2013, 03:13 AM
... or just get an old, cheap P133 laptop and interface w/ a cheap printer. Probably cheaper than finding an AIO word processor.




??? Nice laptops? (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=m570.l3201&_nkw=P133+laptop+&_sacat=0)

Stone
October 15th, 2013, 03:57 AM
I've got a Compaq Pressario 1690:

http://www.cnet.com/laptops/compaq-presario-1690-14/4505-3121_7-30000125.html

It's in excellent condition and comes with the original manuals, setup CDs and power adapter. It has a DVD drive, not a CD drive as listed in the above link.

Stone
October 15th, 2013, 07:54 AM
The OP is not interested in this laptop so I'll open it up to anyone who might be. You can see the specs in the link in the post above this one. The memory has been maxed out -- I added a 128MB SODIMM so it has 192MB total.

It works great with no problems at all. It is both cosmetically and functionally a tip-top machine. The screen is in excellent condition without scratches or other discrepancies and is sharp and clear with bright color. It came with WIN98 but has XP on it now. You can use the factory CDs to wipe it and that will put WIN98 back on it.

Lemme know if you're interested and we'll work something out.

barythrin
October 15th, 2013, 09:28 AM
I think just the biggest thing to be practical is going to be making sure the data can easily get to a newer computer so pretty much make sure you get a floppy drive :-) That'd be my nightmare for someone. Offering a vintage system for the fun of the clacking and lack of distractions only to end up with them losing their work at some point. A working battery or UPS would solve a lot of issues too.

Caluser2000
October 15th, 2013, 10:05 AM
PC Geos, aka BreadBox Ensemble uses VESA drivers for higher screen resolutions, similar to DSL, and the screen flicker may be quite annoying compared to using an x86 with windows 9x/NT, imac with OS X etc when using it for long periods of time. Try the free download first. Also although the the output is nice the screen fonts are chuncky but it will get the job done. Also look at what printers are supported and you'll find they're all old school types of dot matrix, ink jet and laser- ie no usb support at all IIRC.

What version of Dos are you planning to match it up with?

facattack
October 15th, 2013, 06:15 PM
Oh......... no USB?

Maybe I'll just stick Ubuntu on something or some similar OS that is free... Why ask about DOS?

Caluser2000
October 15th, 2013, 07:32 PM
Oh......... no USB?

Maybe I'll just stick Ubuntu on something or some similar OS that is free... Why ask about DOS?Because PC Geos needs Dos installed to be able to run. It's not unlike Windows 3.x in that regard.

facattack
October 15th, 2013, 07:47 PM
UH okay.......... what's an easy to use OS with the same aesthetic as PC Geos? But more modern? I think when I used Ubuntu it was always asking for SUDO commands... not very good for a casual user.

EDIT: Maybe not a whole OS but I need a fairly limited word processing software that only gives a few fonts... Italics, Boldface, and maybe some bells and whistles. But NOT a lot so it is distracting.

Caluser2000
October 15th, 2013, 08:25 PM
Abiword runs on a number of platforms and might do the job on the WP front.

vwestlife
October 15th, 2013, 09:25 PM
EDIT: Maybe not a whole OS but I need a fairly limited word processing software that only gives a few fonts... Italics, Boldface, and maybe some bells and whistles. But NOT a lot so it is distracting.

Try the WordPad that's already built into Windows. :) It has everything a basic word processor should have, except double-spacing and a spelling checker. I think Microsoft purposely left out those features to force people to buy Word in order to get something suitable for writing term papers. In fact, WordPad was actually a downgrade compared to the features that Write offered in Windows 3.1x. I know Write offered double-spacing because I used it to write several school papers.

Caluser2000
October 15th, 2013, 09:33 PM
There was a free Wordpad clone, Wordpad+, that included a spell checking and a few other useful features IIRC.

rdo799
November 1st, 2013, 03:02 AM
The Alphasmart Dana (http://www.neo-direct.com/Dana/) is good, except for poor backlighting. But the batteries last for hours and it can connect directly to a printer.

Here's what I'm thinking, though: a lot of people out there are looking for a modern tool for distraction-free writing. Such a machine would be to writing what the Kindle is to reading, a task-focused, low-power device that does its one job well. And to tie this in with vintage computing, whatever genius designs such a device should look at old systems like the Brother GeoBook (as mentioned above by vwestlife), Brother all-in-one word processors like the WP-75, and the Epson QX-10 (http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=200).

Bottom line: a writer's distraction-free machine for composing and editing should allow for easy transfer to a regular computer for formatting and distributing the final product.

Many good suggestions above. Good luck in your search.

- Ryan O'C

facattack
November 1st, 2013, 03:08 AM
That's PERFECT! Her sister's name is Dana.

Tiberian Fiend
November 1st, 2013, 04:45 AM
I'm suprised no one has mentioned the Canon Notejet yet. It's a series of laptops from 486 to Pentium with built-in inkjet printers. Be sure you get one with a printer that works and have plenty of spare ink cartridges (or the ability to refill them).

geoffm3
November 1st, 2013, 06:08 AM
Why not a semi-modern laptop? They can be had fairly cheap, run a fairly modern operating system, and run word processor software (MS Word, OpenOffice, etc) that won't leave you in a weird area of strange file compatibility issues, and/or have to worry about obscure hardware that she might not be able to fix or replace easily?