[Date Prev][Date Next][Subject Prev][Subject Next][
Re: laptop ideas (kinda long post)
- Subject: Re: laptop ideas (kinda long post)
- From: Joseph Fisher kzfisher@xxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 02:56:04 -0500
On Mar 10, 2004, at 11:11 PM, Mark Garvey wrote:
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
Yes, you could reformat the drive and then load a version of DOS and
XyWrite. However, with Win 95 & 98 you can simply by-pass Windows
starting with a simple change to the windows GUI boot command line in
the system.ini file. (e-mail me for instructions if you're interested).
This would give you and option to use Windows if you wanted.
drivers and floppy drive I'd need, would it?
Concerning what to buy - Here's my two pennies worth;1st - If you don't have the need or desire to run Windows XP and
mainly want to run DOS and XyWrite with maybe occasional Windows 95 or
98 use, I would save the $$ and search out a great older model laptop,
especially if battery power isn't a big deal and you plan to be where
you can plug into AC or use a car adapter -Most older laptops come with
DOA batteries. There are companies which sell replacement batteries for
many popular older notebooks but sometimes they cost more than the
laptop is worth!
2nd - In my experience, many of the old laptops have better keyboards
and are more solidly built than current offerings (especially for
Here is my "short list" of the notebooks that I have kept & currently
own & use - my criteria is; durability - solid & responsive keyboard -
system flexibility - size/weight & cost - None of the below listed
have built-in CD/ROM drives.
1) HP Omnibook 800CT 166MHzApprox $125-190 for a good functional one on e-bay. This is an early
sub-notebook but has a wonderful keyboard (almost full size) and a
great color screen - Very study and versatile. This is my primary
XyWrite machine. I've set mine to boot into DOS and have option to boot
Windows 98 from the C: prompt. XyWrite III & IV run beautifully. It
prints to my portable HP Deskjet 340 & HP LaserJet 4P. New batteries
are still available from many sources @ $90-100. It has PC Card slot,
major ports including IR- It is small, portable, and light BUT has a
solid construction and feel. (Drawbacks) - (1) uses an external floppy
drive (2) no ps/2 ports (3) some persons don't like the unusual pop
out mouse stick setup called the PAW (but for using XyWrite who needs a
2) GRiD 1680CApprox $80-120 Used by government & law enforcement. They were showing
up surplus on e-bay a couple of years ago but I don't see many for sale
today. These are a "ruggedized" notebook with fast 486 processor -
built in floppy & all major ports, PC Card slot - Has solid responsive
keyboard - The 1680C has color screen - The 1680 is B/W - Even
ruggedized it's not bulky & only weighs about 6 lbs. - (Drawbacks): (1)
Getting hard to find - new batteries expensive at $120 & also getting
hard to find (2) Has an unusual "mini" trackball mouse.
(NOTE: Panasonic made this same notebook in a non-ruggedized version
but with the same great keyboard - Panasonic CF-580. Tandy owned GRiD
and made an identical non-ruggedized Tandy branded model but I don't
remember the model number. The Tandy 4860HD looks to have the same
keyboard but is slightly different body)
3) AST Ascentia 950N -Approx $40-100 on e-bay - A bit larger and heavier (7 lbs) than the
GRiD - BUT the nicest keyboard I have encountered for feel, response,
and durability. A very sturdy notebook. A friend rebuilt me one of
these after wanting an inexpensive notebook computer to run XyWrite
with a great keyboard and color screen. It looks & operates like new.
It is a Pentium 120MHz but other models of 950N exist. - It runs
XyWrite III or IV without a hitch. Boots to DOS with option to run
Windows 95 too. It has a PC Card slot, Floppy drive, and all major
ports. Great value machine.
4) Other considerations - older Pentium Toshiba Satellite like the
110CS or the Toshiba Terca, Portege or an older Pentium IBM Thinkpad
these models have fairly nice keyboards and are inexpensive and
plentiful on e-bay. I don't have experience with Dell or Gateway to
give an opinion.
5) In the very inexpensive pure DOS realm I would suggest; GRiD 1660,
Toshiba 4400C or 4600C, Tandy 4500HD - These are all 386MHz DOS/Win 3.1
machines which can run DOS and Win 95.
Hope this is helpful - Joe Fisher