[ The HP Omnibook 300 from 1993 in 2021 - Random Accessed Computer Memories, March 27th, 2021 ]

OmniGizmo2.jpg

Some 5 or so years ago, while scouring the net for an Atari STBook (I still haven't found one mind you) I ran across a post here on VCF where user AdamAnt316 posted about his Omnibook 300 find, sharing his story and some beautiful pictures. Having my interest piqued for a number of reasons, in particular the fact that it had a lot of similarities to that of the STBook, I'd never seen one before.

Imagine a 386 laptop (truly portable) that ran from 4 AA lithium batteries, would last 10-hours, had PCMCIA flash based storage options, 4MB of RAM but most importantly, MS Windows 3.1 (and applications) running from ROM. This both freed up RAM and sped things up as it was faster than accessing from an old mechanical drive. The tipping point was learning that HP's calculator division was responsible for this machine or series and that really made it special.

Setting itself apart from all the others while proving to be a real road warrior portable. This particular unit comes from a Fujitsu engineer that would write up business propositions, meetings, plans, etc. and then use the built-in WinFax modem to send them back to HQ during the 90's while he traveled. Even has quite a few of his original documents housed on the original 40MB hard drive, which is surprising because we're pushing 28-years here and it still works. Noisy, but working! Hopefully that will be resolved soon as I picked up a 64MB ATA PCMCIA card to replace it with.

If you're interested, here's a short typing test video of me using the HP Omnibook 300 in 2021:

Unusually satisfying to use, quirky but not perfect but am interested to use it for dedicated typing purposes and sharing it with the world at local computer meets for others to check out since it's just so damn cool for what it is. Will have to post some more images/videos up once I manage to load it up with something besides MS Word.



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