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bbcmicro
August 31st, 2006, 07:00 AM
Just a quickie, lookiung for ideas.

I recently got a Viglen Dossier 486 Laptop, 8mb ram and windows 95, 300mb disk (funny, after cleaning up after the last owner there is still only 90mb free space left) monochrome display and a dead battery, so there goes the portability factor.

I really like it, its the nicest laptop I've had so far in terms of quality and feel and it that way it rivals my mums shiny Dell laptop.

however, I can't justify its presence and as space is an issue if I can't find a use for I shall send it up to the attic after tinkering around for a while.

Is there really any practical and/or dedicated use for something like this nowadays? It's not old enough to be pure vintage, but its's recent enough to be branded obsolete.

Expansion is through a serial port and a parrallel port, a modem in and telephone out. No ethernet though.

dreddnott
August 31st, 2006, 07:33 AM
I usually go "Ew!" at the laptops I run across at work unless they're pre-486 and/or not x86 at all.

In a few years when it comes back down from the attic perhaps you'll find a use for it, or maybe it'll be worth more, or it could even sacrifice some parts for one of its brothers you happen to run across down the road...

bbcmicro
August 31st, 2006, 07:38 AM
I am also not partial to 486's, I have the remains of 2 486 and 1 pentium laptops in the bits box, however I really like this one, so I wont decapitate it quite yet.

NathanAllan
August 31st, 2006, 10:09 AM
Make it a games machine and run dos games on it. Or you could experiment with Linux, that's always fun. I keep a P75 around for that reason.

ribbets
August 31st, 2006, 10:21 AM
I've always had this vision of turning an old monitor case into a fish tank just so every one would think it was a screen saver..... but a laptop ...... maybe an ant farm.... and I've already seen the mo -bo turned into clocks at yard sales.. drill a hole and mount a clock movement an you've got ART

bbcmicro
August 31st, 2006, 11:03 AM
Yeah, put a head in formaldehyde and you also have ART... Waitaminnit, Im off to make a fortune.

What linux would you recommend? I have a dos games machine, a 64mb celeron with windows 98, although it's hardly inkeeping.

ribbets
August 31st, 2006, 11:37 AM
can't recomend any ver of linux, never, had the pleasure of getting up close to the technical parts of it ... And DOS game machine ( At my advanced age I'm lucky to win at windows solitare using just the mouse and not having to remember all of the key strokes and and commands for autoexec and config sys to play the old DOS based games

bbcmicro
August 31st, 2006, 11:43 AM
I was just wondering if anyone knew of a linux that would actually run on my laptop. I would prefer one with some sort of GUI shell, but I wouldn't mind an entirely command based one as it would force me to learn how to use linux properly

//edit
Oh yeah, and it has to be small enough to fit on floppy, or at least a practical number

rmay635703
August 31st, 2006, 12:25 PM
I still use an old Compaq LTE Elite 486 laptop with a wireless card for internet surfing and email, slow but tolerable. Since I can't justify having ANY laptop this one fits the bill perfectly.

dongfeng
August 31st, 2006, 12:52 PM
Format it, put on DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11 - then use it for DOS games :D

bbcmicro
August 31st, 2006, 01:08 PM
Eh, I don't have a copy of 3.11 or DOS 6.22 a the moment
Does 3.11 have to be installed on top of DOS?
-That's one possibilty

A possibly silly question,
Will windows 386 run on a 486?

Another is a linux distro I read about called monkey.
ftp://ftp.spsselib.hiedu.cz/pub/linux/monkey/docs/english.htm

What do you guys/gals think?
Not checked to see if the files still exist yet...

dongfeng
August 31st, 2006, 02:06 PM
You need to install DOS 6.22, THEN install Windows 3.11. Disks are easy to find...

dreddnott
August 31st, 2006, 03:55 PM
All Windows 386 means is that the operating system runs in Enhanced Mode, 32-bit, blah blah blah.

NathanAllan
August 31st, 2006, 10:46 PM
I always will be recommending SLACKWARE linux! It'll run like a champ on your laptop, and there is the fluxbox GUI that'll run pretty fast, too. There are other gui's for it (called frontends in the nix community) both heavy and light that you can play with. What I would do is get a slackware cd, then cut it to floppies. Maybe even get Slackware Unleashed so you'll get a copy and a really cool book (thick too!) with instructions on telling how to unpack the images to fdd's.

There are a good number of text games for Slackware, and even Dungeon Crawl is available (totally addictive!) on the homepage. And it'll teach you Linux, too, in a friendly way, especially if you get the book (super cheap, starts at about $5 for the one from 1996 brand new). www.fetchbook.info.

Nathan

bbcmicro
September 1st, 2006, 06:48 AM
Thanks for the input,
I have installed DOS 6.22, WFW 3.11 and OpenGEM core and hooked the laptop to a colour VGA monitor. I'll use it for DOS games. I can now say it runs like a dream,It was very sluggish running 95 and now feels completely different. I have decided to save linux for a machine I have been promised that will be much easier to install on and has a CD ROM as well.

DoctorPepper
September 1st, 2006, 06:56 AM
Thanks for the input,
I have installed DOS 6.22, WFW 3.11 and OpenGEM core and hooked the laptop to a colour VGA monitor. I'll use it for DOS games. I can now say it runs like a dream,It was very sluggish running 95 and now feels completely different. I have decided to save linux for a machine I have been promised that will be much easier to install on and has a CD ROM as well.

How did you get the files over to the notebook? I was trying to use LapLink, from another MS-DOS machine, but the other machine kept locking up. I do have a floppy disk drive in the notebook, and some software on 3 1/2" floppy disks, but a lot of my software is on 5 1/4" floppy or disk images.

Man, you certainly do get addicted to networks and CD-ROM drives! :-)

NathanAllan
September 1st, 2006, 08:07 AM
Thanks for the input,
I have installed DOS 6.22, WFW 3.11 and OpenGEM core and hooked the laptop to a colour VGA monitor. I'll use it for DOS games. I can now say it runs like a dream,It was very sluggish running 95 and now feels completely different. I have decided to save linux for a machine I have been promised that will be much easier to install on and has a CD ROM as well.

When you finally do get into Linux you will be SO addicted! Especially since you like DOS. The command line interface has more options than dos and doesn't give as much trouble, as long as you learn to speak its language. It isn't that much different, really, but as my instructor says, "The devil's in the details." Have fun!

DoctorPepper
September 1st, 2006, 09:58 AM
When you finally do get into Linux you will be SO addicted! Especially since you like DOS. The command line interface has more options than dos and doesn't give as much trouble, as long as you learn to speak its language. It isn't that much different, really, but as my instructor says, "The devil's in the details." Have fun!

You've got that right! I got into Linux because I had to learn Unix for work (HP-9000 K-class server). I found the more I learned about Linux, the more I liked it. I've been running it constantly since May of 1999, and it currently powers my file/web/database server (Debian Sarge), my desktop (Ubuntu 6.06, but soon to be Slackware 11.0, when it gets released) and my notebook (again, Ubuntu 6.06, but will be migrated to Slack). I also run it on my test machine, for the most part, when it's not running MS-DOS.

I love the Linux console, and even though I run X, with the exception of Firefox and Thunderbird, pretty much everything I run is a console app. I always have at least two xterms (or Eterms) open at all times, and prefer to do my programming from an elongated xterm window, using Vim. There's nothing quite like typing ":make" in Vim, and building your C project! ;-)

chuckcmagee
September 1st, 2006, 12:18 PM
Doc has been reading my MAIL! I almost always use ctrl-alt-F1 to get back to a full screen text console and have 2, 3, 4, 5... gnome-terminal or xterm or ... going at one time. "find / -name whatimlookingfor*" is SO much easier than windows search, etc. I even start my x-window session with a command line usually "xinit /usr/bin/gnome-session". Of course, if you don't remember the path, you can "which gnome-session" and voila.

DoctorPepper
September 1st, 2006, 01:24 PM
Doc has been reading my MAIL! I almost always use ctrl-alt-F1 to get back to a full screen text console and have 2, 3, 4, 5... gnome-terminal or xterm or ... going at one time. "find / -name whatimlookingfor*" is SO much easier than windows search, etc. I even start my x-window session with a command line usually "xinit /usr/bin/gnome-session". Of course, if you don't remember the path, you can "which gnome-session" and voila.

I much prefer the find utility to Windows search. I love the way Linux/Unix commands can be built into a basically unlimited amount of custom tools.

Sometimes I think I was born 10 years too late. I missed out on the Unix revolution (thank God I didn't miss out on the Linux revolution too!) in the colleges and universities in the early to mid-70's. Of course, the down-side to that is I'd be 57 now, instead of 47! ;-)

chuckcmagee
September 1st, 2006, 02:02 PM
Yes indeed. I was 57 on Aug 20th. Booo hoooo, no happy birthday messages for me. (I know, I had only just joined :) )

DoctorPepper
September 1st, 2006, 02:29 PM
Yes indeed. I was 57 on Aug 20th. Booo hoooo, no happy birthday messages for me. (I know, I had only just joined :) )

That's ok, gramps, I turned 47 on August 26th. :-)

EvanK
September 1st, 2006, 09:37 PM
Make it a games machine and run dos games on it. Or you could experiment with Linux, that's always fun. I keep a P75 around for that reason.

I concur.

Or the laptop would make a good doorstop. :)

Flack
September 7th, 2006, 05:48 AM
I have an old AT&T Safari laptop (386/16, I believe) that's just collecting dust. If I remember correctly it has a 10 meg hard drive, possibly with double space installed. The battery gave up long ago, but I do have the power supply. I know the floppy drive works because I used to use it as a DOS word processor. I have no idea what to do with it anymore. I like vintage hardware, but using this thing isn't very practical.

DoctorPepper
September 8th, 2006, 08:40 PM
I have an old AT&T Safari laptop (386/16, I believe) that's just collecting dust. If I remember correctly it has a 10 meg hard drive, possibly with double space installed. The battery gave up long ago, but I do have the power supply. I know the floppy drive works because I used to use it as a DOS word processor. I have no idea what to do with it anymore. I like vintage hardware, but using this thing isn't very practical.

Sometimes we have to give up on using a piece of equipment. I use my TRS-80 Model IV and 4Ps (I have two of them) only rarely, because I want them to last. I really can't justify keeping a "dead" computer around. For the majority of my retro computing fun, I use my Model 10x's or my Model I/III/IV emulators. Using the emulator isn't quite the same, but it does help me to satisfy my nostalgic urges, and it also saves wear and tear on my real computers.

Instead of tossing them when they are no longer practical or working, I think I will see if some of the larger computer museums would like to have them. Perhaps the DigiBarn would like them? Not any time soon though :-)

Terry Yager
September 9th, 2006, 01:25 PM
I have an old AT&T Safari laptop (386/16, I believe) that's just collecting dust. If I remember correctly it has a 10 meg hard drive, possibly with double space installed. The battery gave up long ago, but I do have the power supply. I know the floppy drive works because I used to use it as a DOS word processor. I have no idea what to do with it anymore. I like vintage hardware, but using this thing isn't very practical.

I'd love to have a Safari, just for display purposes, doesn't even have to work (hint, hint)...

--T