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RE: laptop ideas (kinda long post, sorry)

> question #1: If I were to get a used Thinkpad,
something like an old Pentium or PII, I could just
wipe out Windows and boot it up as a DOS machine, and
run Xywrite on it, couldn't I? And theoretically such
a machine would have no problem running the print
drivers and floppy drive I'd need, would it?

In my experience with Thinkpads, the answer is yes. But you would have to
make sure that it has floppy drive access from DOS. If the floppy is on a
USB port you'd need to make sure that the BIOS gave you access without
Windows. Mine does... it will boot from a USB floppy. But I think that there
may be earlier BIOS's that didn't give this access, although I might be
wrong about that.

But in my opinion you would do far better to use something like Win2K SP4
rather than straight DOS. With SP4, Win2K finally runs Xywrite DOS
smoothly. Going beyond DOS is helpful because it makes it much easier to
access things like CD-ROM burners, USB hard disks and the like. In
addition, even if XyDOS is your main tool, you might want to have ready
access to something like the OED, PDF files, a special bibliographic program
like Library Master, or a Folio driven text database like Past Masters
(...all of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Locke, etc.). Some may not be available
in DOS, and even if they are it is clumsy to access them because DOS just
doesn't multitask.

> question #2: Anyone know of any NEW, simple laptop-like machines that will
run DOS rograms
such as Xywrite?

No, although there might be something out there that is designed for basic
functions in adverse field conditions where the market demands ruggedness,
reliability and weather-resistance. There used to be machines designed like
that, but they were quite expensive. The ads usually showed someone with a
hardhat using it on the hood of a tuck, with an oil rig and rough terrain in
the background.