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Thinkpads - 755C and 755CD

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  • Ole Juul
    replied
    Thanks for the info SC. The 755CD did already have some damage from the main battery. Only the floppy drive got effected, which is not too serious because it would probably be desirable to plug in a CD instead. The thing about video capture is interesting too. However, I'm not going to fiddle with that one since I prefer the simpler (more elegant) 755C. The 755CD will just be for parts - unless someone is interested in it minus the HDD and floppy.

    Also, I just found a suitable network card on eBay. It's a Xircom RE-100 which should work with just about anything. I still want to try the OS/2 installation which I will keep intact on the one drive. Then I'll probably do DOS on the other drive.

    Leave a comment:


  • SiliconClassics
    replied
    Originally posted by Ole Juul View Post
    I just acquired two laptops and would like some ideas and information.
    I own a 755CD (Pentium 75MHz) and have made a YouTube video about it. It's one of my favorite laptops and the fact that it does video capture sets it apart. I mostly run it with DOS & Win3.1 (the configuration it shipped with) but have also had Win95 and Warp 3 Connect installed at various times. Warp was interesting but I'm not very familiar with it and had problems trying to configure networking - you would probably have better luck than I did. Win95 was usable but slow - here's another YouTube video if you want to see it in action. I've used both Xircom and 3Com PCMCIA ethernet adapters successfully.

    A couple of points to keep in mind - there's a green shrink-wrapped bundle of coin cell batteries to the left of the RAM slots - they typically leak and if yours haven't already, I'd recommend removing them because they will cause corrosion to adjacent parts of the motherboard. I think the batteries are only for memory retention during standby mode so it's no big loss to take them out. Also be careful about leakage of the main battery - I leave mine out since it's dead anyway and I always run on wall power. When I first bought my 755CD, there was some display corruption due to poor contacts, so I disassembled it and cleaned the cable connectors. Be careful if you decide to disassemble yours - there are some delicate points like the plastic hinge covers at the rear, and internally it has a sandwich of three or four different circuit boards that can be tricky to separate.

    Overall the 755CD is a great collectible laptop - very versatile and feature-rich. You should try to get the joystick cables and video adapter cables if you don't already have them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ole Juul
    replied
    Originally posted by Pepinno View Post
    By the way, Ole Juul, in case you decide to upgrade the IDE hard disks on those laptops, do not miss this post.

    About getting ethernet going on those machines, get a 16 bit PCMCIA card (without the golden border in the contact side) from 3COM that is "NE2000" compatible. That HAS to work with OS/2. And don't nuke OS/2 from those machines, without first making a Ghost backup of them, you never know when you may "revisit" that operating system later...
    I've spent many hours looking for 3COM on dBay and (apart from the one that wouldn't send it to me) they come without a dongle. That means that the price is outrageous because the dongles often cost more than the cards and I have pay shipping on both. IOW, 3COM is probably not a realistic choice.

    What I'm going to do is take the HDD from the 755CD and use it with another OS in the 755C. Thus keeping the original OS/2 HDD intact. I like the idea of having a working install of that which I can look at by simply exchanging the HDDs. I'm dumping the 755CD but the fellow who wanted it disappeared. I'll just keep it for parts since it is so much less attractive than the simpler model.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pepinno
    replied
    By the way, Ole Juul, in case you decide to upgrade the IDE hard disks on those laptops, do not miss this post.

    About getting ethernet going on those machines, get a 16 bit PCMCIA card (without the golden border in the contact side) from 3COM that is "NE2000" compatible. That HAS to work with OS/2. And don't nuke OS/2 from those machines, without first making a Ghost backup of them, you never know when you may "revisit" that operating system later...

    Leave a comment:


  • Ole Juul
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeS View Post
    Any of these any use:
    3Com 3CCFE575BT
    3Com 3CCFE575CT
    GVC 10Mbps Ethernet Adapter; no model#, FCC ID MQ4EC2T
    IBM Ethernet II p/n 42h4916

    Have some spare dongles as well.
    It looks like the "GVC" has a DOS driver. I expect the IBM one does too, but I haven't dug it out yet.

    PS: I just discovered that Linux does "Windows mode". I can extract those EXE files that say "cannot open in DOS mode" when you try it. That saves a lot of trouble looking in those driver packs to see what's there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ole Juul
    replied
    Originally posted by Pepinno View Post
    Some months ago I too got an old ThinkPad, here I talk about it.

    Those machines run great with DOS, Windows 95 and Linux kernels 2.4.
    I might try an early Linux or BSD on the 755C when I get a network card. I paid my usual price for mine, but in the end the more valuable would probably be the box they came in, which is probably worth a couple of hundred used.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pepinno
    replied
    Some months ago I too got an old ThinkPad, here I talk about it.

    Those machines run great with DOS, Windows 95 and Linux kernels 2.4.
    Last edited by Pepinno; June 23, 2012, 03:27 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ole Juul
    replied
    Well it's back to the drawing board. After a week, I just got a note from the seller that he has refunded my money. Apparently he couldn't find the item when he went to ship it. What a complete waste of my time. Now I'll spend another hour looking on eBay, and it will be another couple of weeks before I can test out this laptop. I've never had any luck with network cards or dongles. For some reason it just seems to be a world of flakes and sheisters.

    Edit: I should have just taken MikeS up on his offer, but I couldn't find drivers at the time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ole Juul
    replied
    Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post
    My laptop collection goes from NECV20 to Pentium M, must have 80+ models (mostly thinkpads). Looking for add-on cards is something I have done over the years and you would be surprised how many devices there are for PCMCIA and CARDBUS. I prefer cards without dongles but sometimes that is hard to do (Tokenring for example). If anything that 3COM ethernet I listed will work with any OS (since it tends to be the #1 target they all test with).
    The 3com card you linked to is not for sale in my country, but I took your advice and found this one which I just bought for $11 and it includes the dongle. 3CCFE574BT
    I found a DOS driver, and it looks like one might be available for OS/2 but I haven't dug it up yet. We'll see.

    Leave a comment:


  • Unknown_K
    replied
    My laptop collection goes from NECV20 to Pentium M, must have 80+ models (mostly thinkpads). Looking for add-on cards is something I have done over the years and you would be surprised how many devices there are for PCMCIA and CARDBUS. I prefer cards without dongles but sometimes that is hard to do (Tokenring for example). If anything that 3COM ethernet I listed will work with any OS (since it tends to be the #1 target they all test with).

    Leave a comment:


  • Ole Juul
    replied
    Originally posted by 1ajs View Post
    if u expand to other older laptops the 5 cards are nice to have to put them to use
    You're right. The problem is that I'm all confused right now. I don't use laptops normally since they don't fit into my computing style and they're just for collection and mostly old. I just had this idea that I could try OS/2 a little bit, but it seems that drivers are a problem for that. I've already got one 32 bit PCMCIA card, but now would like a 16 bit one for functional DOS, fooling with old kit, and this OS/2 thing.

    BTW, now my laptop collection has
    1986 Toshiba 3100 (286) (720 floppy only)
    1987 Sharp PC-4501 (V20) ((720K floppy only)
    1994 Toshiba 1910 (486) (MS-Win 3.1)
    1994 Thinkpad 755C (486) (OS/2)
    1997 Toshiba 460CDT (P166) (Debian 5.0)

    There's also PII and PIII Toshibas, but they're obviously not vintage. I think what I'd like to do is keep the HDD from the 755CD for use in the 755C and get rid of the rest of it. I'll PM you.

    Leave a comment:


  • 1ajs
    replied
    if u expand to other older laptops the 5 cards are nice to have to put them to use

    Leave a comment:


  • Ole Juul
    replied
    I realize my mistake here. After reading a lot and sorting through the mixed up vocabulary, I see that I ignored U_K's note about the brass strip. That is indeed a quick way to differentiate. I might just go for the suggestion of a 3Com EtherLink III Ethernet 3C589C, but am leaning toward the dongleless type. Xircom seems good, but the 16bit RE-100 does not have OS/2 drivers, and the RBE-100 does, but is 32bit and won't fit. I'm stuck on the driver thing. I've spent too many hours on this already, so probably I'll just write off the OS/2 thing as not worth the trouble. We'll see - tomorrow is another day.
    Last edited by Ole Juul; June 17, 2012, 02:35 AM.

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  • Ole Juul
    replied
    Originally posted by 1ajs View Post
    i might still have my disks laying around
    Thanks, but it's OK. I was just wondering (worrying?) if they were easily available. I've found them at Intel now.

    After spending a couple of hours researching different cards and looking on eBay, I think I have some ideas. It looks like the Xircom cards are a good choice. What do you think about these choices:
    $18 for one or
    $21 for five.

    I might go for the 5 since one of them is what I prefer and the other ones will still be useful.

    PS: I just downloaded the drivers and they are packed with a *&%$# .EXE file that cannot easily be expanded. Perhaps the laptop will do it - we'll see.
    Last edited by Ole Juul; June 16, 2012, 08:54 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • 1ajs
    replied
    Originally posted by Ole Juul View Post
    I was confused by all the offerings on eBay for 32bit PCMCIA. Boy, eBay requires a lot of research to figure out what people are selling. Anyway a Google search for "Hawking Tech PN652" brings up no reference to the hardware on the first 10 pages of results, so it might not be an easy thing to find.

    I've thought about the Lucent wireless before, but I'll wait on that since it's more trouble to set up on miscellaneous machines with varying operating systems. Thanks for the reminder though. I think I've actually got the drivers handy for that one.

    @1ajs: Yikes! The first one is $50 and the second might be about the same, though getting three cards is not a bad idea. Do you have DOS drivers for any of the Xircom cards?
    i might still have my disks laying around

    Leave a comment:

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