Raspberry Pi of Death Blog

By N. Leveck

On Old Stuff

Entered in vim on my HP OmniBook 800CT


I was binge watching Lazy Game Reviews on YouTube tonight. It always makes me want to pull out my old hardware. I was able to find the original 131MB Microdrive for my HP OmniBook 530. It boots DOS and has Windows FW 3.11 installed. I need to buy a PCMCIA to USB device, as the microdrive is type 3 PCMCIA, and my Thinkpad x201 (the only PCMCIA having modern PC I own) does not do type 3. The microdrive sounds less than healthy to me, but scandisks without errors. Maybe I am not used to the sounds of a spinning hard disk after all these solid state years? I really want to DD the drive to a PCMCIA storage device so I can prolong the use of the 530.

The OmniBook 800CT runs Debian 4. I picked Debian 4 years ago because it was the last Debian release I could find with a floppy disk install. It is connected to my WPA2 Wifi network via a LinkSys PCMCIA adaptor, and I will scp this file to RPoJ when I am done. Now that I think about it, I bet I have 131MB of free space on this device to write an image file. That'd be sweet -- using something in the same lineage to help preserve the 530.

I just ran startx on this 800CT. I have ratpoison installed on it. Such a marvelous WM, simple, tiny, and well suited for this device. I do have a logitech serial trackball, but the builtin pointing device was inop when I bought the thing. The OmniBook pointing device on the 530 moves the cursor (which is more than the onee on the 800CT does), but both buttons are inoperative. The only complaint I have in X11 on the 800CT is the screen fonts look chunky. Like it is not running in native resolution (but it is, a snazzy 800x600). Still, I don't think I'd relish staring at it for too terribly long. I keep the OmniBooks in a laptop bag with their batteries removed. They both kept a charge, though it has been sometime since I pulled them out charged them.

I wonder if I can use the OmniBook 800CT to communicate with my Apple eMate 300 when it comes? Serial will be the only way to get files off the unit. I think I will need the Newton software to do so though... maybe it is time to buy a Mac? An all in one would be nice as it doesn't take up too much room... then I'd need to figure out how to get files off of it. It just does not end. I wonder if one of those WiFi232 devices would do the trick directly on the eMate? Too bad they are sold out. There are items on eBay at a higher price, and without being Hayes compatible. I think I will hold out.


I went on Amazon and bought an 2.5" IDE to CF drive and a 2gb cf card. I found a self extractor (.exe) of the Windows 95c installer. I now plan on making this unit factory original (except the cf drive). Years ago I bought MS Office 97 on cd. I also have useful things like the DOS version of vi. I'll have a native runner of Palm Desktop, and now I need to find a Windows version of the Newton connect software... found it here.

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