VOGONS


First post, by creepingnet

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Hi there and feel free to oogle stuff. I've been wanting to post a thread like this for awhile, but I have so little time, and so much stuff going on that it's been really hard for me to get things started.

Anyway, before we dig in to this first post, I might explain a few things before I get started. Some of the posts I'll be doing are actually of OLD builds. I've been messing with x86 IBM Compatibles since 1997 and really got serious about it in 2001 when most of the things popular now were "doorstops", "dinosaurs", and "Boat anchors". I've owned a lot of systems, so I figured outside of my website - which is limited to 100mb of space, no better place than here to go into details on my retro-computing madness than here.

Typically I tend to stick around in the realm of the very-old Pre-Pentium PC's (though there are some Pentiums and newer in here where applicable), with a huge focus on the 80486 era for the most part. Today, we'll start with my most recent aquisition - the NEC Versa M/75, which is a work in progress (most of my more recent machines are a constant work-in-progress). Some of these might span several posts as well since they have some pretty long histories.

1994 NEC VERSA M/75 w/ System 2000 Commpaq Words+

This is a good post because it's a good, concise, clear introduction to my methods to this madness. Let's start at the beginning, why the NEC Versa? Any why does one purchase an 80486 laptop in 2020?

Why the NEC Versa?

When I started messing with this stuff, laptop computers in the early 2000s, even 486's - so as long as they were color - tended to retain value. I was still seeing them for $70+, even back in 2003. Back then, one of the most expensive old 486-era laptops was the NEC Versa M/P/V/E and 20/25/33 models. They would go for $80+ usually on e-bay, and usually people were chipping in brand new batteries to sweeten the deal. However, at the time, I was not yet in my career, and kind of poor....I was 20. So I knew they must be a good one - so I always kept the NEC Versa in my back pocket as one of the "good" vintage laptops - for a time where they just might become cheaper.

Skip ahead to now. It's 2020, I've had multiple vintage laptop computers over the years (Twinhead SlimNotes, Duracom/Eurocom/Sager/NanTan/Prostar 486 stuff, AT&T Safari 3151 - which was a major determining factor for the Versa as I heard they were made by NEC or NCR, IBM ThnkPads, and a Zenith Data Systems SuperSport 286 at one point, and even a Macbook from the early 90's as well....whch I sold).....and I wanted to find one that fit the following criteria.....

- Was available for $50 or under (willing to go a little over) - I have a budget, my fun budget I set aside each month is $50 for my projects
- any serious flaws with the hinges are easily fixed with epoxy/jb weld/etc. (as almost all old laptops, that was the #1 problem with them) - see next part....
- Parts are still widely available and inexpensive, I remember having to FIGHT to get a Compaq 486C Portable a new screen, I eventually sold it to someone WITH a screen
- Could be dockable....should I choose to downsize again
- Must be capable of running the widest range of vintage software possible.

So of course I looked at a TON of laptops - I'll go into this process more on the post about the Versa 40EC, but long story short. I discovered through that purchase the following things about NEC Versa 486s based on the M/E/P/V/20/25/33 platform......

- They are available for $50 under in working order often with PSU for the same reason - tight hinges, and brittle plastic.
- There are still plenty of parts available, I replaced the power and motherboards in the 40EC for $25.00, batteries to rebuild are $10/ea, Ebay has lots of NL6448AC30 screens
- The battery life on the original batteries is on par with a modern laptop, at least 2 hours, and as much as 4 hours, and cells are availible (1.2v "A")
- Various models share parts with each other, especially the removable screens between the 20/25/33/40Exx/Mxx - want touch? TFT Active Matrix? Mono? Just 2 latches!

As much as I love my 40EC, I wanted something a little more beefed up, plus I wanted an extra screen so I could focus on doing the JB Weld repair/makeovers to the hinge assemblies (I'm trying to develop a good, permanant repair that looks good). I also wanted the ability to play sound. Well, the M/75 has that, and then some, and I'd only recently become aware via the retrobattlestations Reddit that the M75 came with a touch screen - which it turns out was also availble for my 40EC.

And I already had one picked out, an "untested" one with a System 2000 Commpac Words+ attached to the bottom of the unit - some kind of Augmented Speech thing as it turns out (very home-built looking I might add). It was almost $80 a few months ago, but this go around it had dropped to around $50 with shipping - $37.99 for the actual laptop. Cheaper than the 40EC was for me. The hinge had the usual Versa 486 hinge damage...except the top was not damage, and I could see the screen crack looked WEIRD - like it was a top layer of glass - like a Digitizer. Later research I found the bezels for the Versa with a long bevel on the right side are touch screens, and they have a 1/8" phono jack on the right of the screen for a cabled "stylus".

YESTERDAY - THE M75 ARRIVES - Unboxing + Initial Inspection

The computer arrived and it was a very different experience than I was expecting. For starters, that Commpac Words + thing was VELCROED to the bottom of the computer and appears to have been built out of hobbyist electronic parts. It was seemingly custom-built for this particular laptop computer. All the doors were ripped off except the one for the large docking station port. The Commpaq Words+ attaches to the laptop via the parallel port and via a modified Serial Port PCMCIA Type II card marked "COM 2" which may have had a "dongle" conector that was ripped out and a ribbon cable put in it's place. All ports were labled with what looks like the work of a modern labelmaker (jeeze, how recently were they using this thing). A sticker on the bottom of the Commpac Words shows it was "sanitized by Micro Computer Services" on 6/12/2019 with someone's name on it in barely legable cursive - so this computer seems iit was "decommissioned" right before it was put on E-bay.

The M/75, as it turns out, came with no Floppy Drive, which has made data xfers of smaller files and drivers much more challenging. In it's place instead are not one but TWO OP-570-4701 "Smart Batteries" - these are NiMH 7.2v 3800mah batteries with a speciial controller board inside. One had about 1.84v on it after running it in the computer for an hour, the other read 0v regardless. I'm thinking with this laptop I may just replace them and/or have them properly rebuilt rather than try rejuvinating them.

The Hinge fared the trip TERRIBLY, which pretty much the entire front plastic around the hinge being cracked off by this point - not the fault of the seller - just regular Versa age-related destruciton. The hinge was solid and tight, and appears to be a different design than the one in my 40EC, likely to support the extra electronics inside the screen.

Powering on the machine revealed that the LCD was fine and what was cracked was exactly what I suspected, the Digitizer. The screen also seemed slightly yellow tinted and I could see some flickering bars in the back that seemed to get better the more I used that screen (caps possibly?).

The computer came with all the software preinstalled and working, including several programs for the CommPac Words+ of course. It also has McAfee VirusScan for Windows 3.1 installed and it appears this thing never hit the internet once in it's life (until that day, hehehehe). Also got to try out AVI and WAV files on it, seems to do pretty good at both video and audio - so I might consider putting Windows 95 on it in the future and installing Cakewalk 5 Pro Audio for a retro-portable-DAW, esp, since Bandlab has been ticking me off lateley with latency issues.

MOVING PARTS OVER FROM THE 40EC

Immediately after initial assessment, I removed both batteries and took their voltages (one has 1.84v after running the laptop for 10 minutes, but it never completed charging, the other is still at 0vdc). I moved the following parts over from the 40EC....

- 16MB RAM Card (for a total of 24MB of RAM)
- Tried my other 2 HDD on it, the old install on the 40EC's HDD fails because the 40EC has a WD video card, and the M75 uses C&T, FreeDOS runs great
- Cisco LMC-350 Aironet WiFI Card - bottom slot
- My Drive with FreeDOS on it
- Installing the good LCD from the Versa 40EC

I put the M75 LCD on the 40EC for the time being while I decide how I'm going to approach dismantling the hinge and rebuilding or making a custom replacement hinge cover. I'm shocked how sturdy that screen is given how compromised the plastic is.

FIXING PROBLEMS/CHANGING BIOS SETTINGS

After doing the switching out of parts above.....the machine runs great, but I did find more plastic damage inside, the corner of the palmwrest is completely broken off on the upper right corner, there were chunks of plastic everywhere under the screen hinge assembly, so much I had to dump it out of the connector to switch the screens.

I tried fitting the 40EC floppy drive to the M75 but while it will fit, it won't work because something changed in the design. Thankfully NEC had the forethought to put some kind of protection in. Which means I'm going to have to rely on Internet, FTPSrv, and a USB to IDE adapter for data xfers (except on one drive, which I'll get to later).

Took a little break, and then decided to pop the original M/75 touch screen to assess the damage to the Digitizer. This thing had been thouroughly annihilated! Shards of glass everywhere. I took photos of the connector and part# so I can source one (though I kind of already did before starting - I'm finding NL6448AC30 Digitizers for sale from Hong Kong and China on E-bay already for under $90). The Part is a 3M Microtouch R2.2 (revision 2.2) Part# 63-4631-00-01. The screen itself is a NEC NL6448AC30-10 - which is what the E-bay ads are advertising their Digitizers as being for - I've found one for $78 and one for $83. I do intend to repair/replaced this feature and even get the pen (or build one of my own).

I found however, my Aironet card was not working, and was not being found, and I did not see any drivers in either the archive.org 6GB zip file of the entire defunct NECAM FTP server, or on NEC America's site for the Versa. What I did eventually figure out is the BIOS had PCMCIA power turned OFF - and that's why the card was not working. Not sure if this was for the CommPac Words+'s hacked PCMCIA serial card, or if they replaced the CMOS battery sometime recently and forgot to turn it on (maybe leading to it's decomission?).

Some BIOS tweaks later, Aironet was working properly, and I could run FTPSRV and move files to it. I was going to try and install the audio card drivers to the Versa so sound would work in FreeDOS - but big problems - L470SNDA.EXE and L470SNDB.EXE are self-extracting archives that format and write to a 1.44M Floppy Diskette - the problem with this is there is no floppy, so I had to bring up the Versa 40EC and my 486 Desktop to copy the drivers.

So initially I used my 486 desktop using FileZilla on my Win10 laptop and FTPSRV on the 486 to copy the files over, but it would not write the floppies because the floppies MUST be written on an NEC branded machine - sheesh. So I threw the 40EC's original drive back in in it, copied the files via floppy to the 40EC, and then used MS-DOS 6.22 on the 40EC to write the floppies to the floppies the source files were xferered on. HOwever, one floppy diskette was bad (corrupting the write), so I grabbed two unused AT&T Floppies and put them to use. Eventually I got the drivers over to the freeDOS machine, but problem is ALL of the files were for Windows 3.1, there were no DOS utilities.......no DOS Diagnostics....back to the drawing board.

By this point I'd moved to the patio......twas a nice day outside...

So I decided to go into the Windows 3.1 NEC setup that the M75 came with and see if I could get my hands on the IO Address, IRQ, DMA, OPL, and other parameters so I could use a "SET BLASTER" Environment variable in FreeDOS to attempt to direct games to the sound card. But all of the digging found that there was no OPL3 drivers installed in Windows, Windows Sound System was installed (never knew of that for Windows 3.1...till now), and the C:\CRYSTAL directory looked like the contents of L480SNDB.EXE's written diskette which does not have the OPL3 files. One thing I did notice was the branding was "Crystal Business Audio" for everything in Windows 3.11.

So I decided to try looking for DOS drivers. I eventually tried the driver repository here at Vogons and tried some 4235 chipset drivers. Diagnostics from Crystal fails everything except the Windows Sound System part. Tried loading the drivers from the disks as DOS drivers - just got "illegal opcodes" - so I booted in step-by-step in FreeDOS and skipped the drivers and removed them from FDCONFIG.SYS.

Back in the house I decided to tear down the M75 to try and find what audio chip this thing uses. As the only thing I could find was "Business Audio" - which I kind of fear means no OPL - but it must have some kindo f OPL capabilities if the driver diskette has it....go figure.

Digging did not reaveal anything about the sound system, but I did take some photos and get some chip numbers. One significant chip I read about was the NEC "HI-TOP" chip which I recall either Beige-O-Vision or someone else on youtube talking about at some point. The HiTop chip is attached to a daughterboard under the CPU board, which also has it's own daughterboard that I think may have a RAM expansion on it. I think the audio chipset might be underneath the PCMCIA slots - which I don't feel like digging under to find at this point.

Later research revealed that this may be a chipset that's a bit "neutered" because it was designed for Windows Sound System, and was marketed more toward the buiness market, but being as the driver disk does have an OPL3 driver and OPL3.ini file in it, I think it might be possible to emulate OPL on the card from DOS. Just need to do more digging for obscure knowledge (I'm good at that) before I proceed any further.

As a final attempt, I tried running the Disk drivers with OPL on them from the HDD, but I'm missing a DIsk 2. It was here trying to get the files ON that drive I put it on my Linux Mint Thinkpad and found out someone used Drivespace disk compression on the M75's HDD (DOH!!) so had to slap it into my 486 Desktop via the Mobile Rack (Drive caddy) and use floppies to write files to it for Aironet, MTCP, and the Sound Card. So now I can get files on/off the original HDD now despite the drivespace limitation.

I tried installing Monkey Island and Voyetra Sequencer Pro on the orignal drive and found that running Monkey Island and Voyetra from Windows, even forcing adlib, does not work. So I might need to get Disk 2 for the setup disk, and then install all the driver to Windows with the OPL Enhancements - maybe a custom OPL driver is in order for the card.

THINGS THIS LAPTOP HAS FIXED

The first problem with the 40EC was NES emulation - I like using NESticle, and I like hacking roms with old tools like Hexpose and the original VGA version of TileLayer, and messing with shapes tables in NESticle. On the 40EC - running Nesticle in 256x256 caused the screen to repeat on the sides of the screen, which is just annoying. While 320x200 cuts off the bottom of the screen. It seems the C&T chipset does not have this problem. Also, RetroCity Rampage runs at full speed, and I can actually run Bolitare that comes with FreeDOS with it Games run better, and graphics are a lot more friendly.

FINAL ASSESSMENT

GOOD STUFF
- Screen behavior is a lot better and allows more apps to run or run properly
- I have audio now, I see some DAW potential in this setup (maybe Win95 and CakeWalk Pro Audio 5)
- The OG Hard Disk is in excellent shape
- The original screen still works, just the digitizer and hinge are damaged
- Performance is extremely good, almost on par with my DX4-100 desktop.
- despite compromised plastic the screen hinge on the original display is quite solid

BAD STUFF
- Digitizer is cracked, which means a costly gamble on Chinese replacements
- Can't find the pen for it (need part# or schematic)
- Having trouble with sound due to wonky Crystal Business Audio platform, diagnostics fails the MPU-401, OPL, and SB emulation parts, but passes Windows Sound System in FreeDOS
- Missing back cover to case for ports

TODO LIST FOR M/75

- Fix sound, get the supposed OPL3 emulation working in DOS, the drivers are listed as being for DOS
- Reproduce above on my 80GB drive
- install DOSAMP and some MP3s
- Replace the Digitizer on the original screen
- Diagnose flicker on original screen if it does not clear up
- Find part# and part for pen, or do some schematic study + research and design one of my own (I have a feeling the pen just allows for right hand clicks and what not)
- Replace/Repopulate the Batteries with some fresh NiMH cells
- Get Commpac Words+ working and try some things out, I will have to likely wait until AFTER touch is fixed since it seems to be a part of CommPac Words

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Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-08-08, 05:27. Edited 1 time in total.

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6sYw9FvwuKahBHE_06diA

Reply 1 of 10, by chinny22

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old laptops don't get much love but I've started using them for my non gaming retro builds, workstations for my reto server networks and the like. They take up less space and realistically won't get used very often.
But I wouldn't put that much effort in on a laptop, nicely done 😀

Reply 3 of 10, by creepingnet

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NEC 40EC's Build-Up, Updates on the M/75 & it's Words Unit + Docking Station

So we know I have two NEC Versa 486 laptops - the M/75, and the 40EC. I've talked a bunch about the M/75, now let's talk about the 40EC's build.

I bought the 40EC off E-bay in August of 2019 - so a year ago. The computer came to me "untested" but "worked the last time I ran it before it was put in storage". The computer arrived while I was out at Hot August Nights the night before a Loverboy concert so I really had some other stuff going on at that time. And the laptop was VERY flaky about powering on when I got it - basically, I thought it was a bad charge jack, but it turned out to actually be a bad power-control board as I would find out a weekend or so ago.

I hunted around E-bay about 2 weeks after all that to find a new motherboard and power-control board for it, I found a combo of these for $25.00 so I bought it, and that's the board the computer has been using ever since. Motherboard swaps on a Versa 486 are actually among the least painful I've done, right up there with the Lenovo X1 Carbon Tough Gen1 or other similiarly modern computers with very simple construction. Everything just snaps together and like Beige-O-Vision says is like components in a sandwich. I had the Versa 40EC up and going with it's new logic board and power board in about 30 minutes - extremely fast for a 1990's laptop computer.

A short time later I started grabbing parts online quickly - I snapped up a 16MB RAM upgrade for just $15, I had a 80GB PATA HDD laying around which I setup with Windows 95 OSR 2.5 for a time, and I bought the two PCMCIA Wireless Network Cards with DOS Drivers - an Orinoco Silver based WaveLan Silver by Lucent Techcnologies, and a Cisco Aironet LMC-352 which is really meant for desktops with a PCMCIA to PCI/ISA adapter card, but I find it works great in this laptop, and if I really need a longer range at any time, I've got a nice big roll of copper wire I can run through the case and probably have as good a reception as a modern laptop 🤣. However, I still have yet to do this (I'm also planning for my custom antenna to play into the reinforcement of the case's brittle 1990's plastic).

Other issues I had to deal with included crumbling plastic (of course), tight screen hinge, a sticky Spacebar (this seems to come standard on all early 1990's NEC Versas, so cleaning the snap-on key mounts around the rubber domes while making sure they are straight, and "breaking it in" again was of utmost importance). I also had to buy a new CMOS Battery from Batteries+ Bulbs - it's not a CR2302 (though I might switch it to that someday), it's a CR2450 or something like that. Also, the Versa Trak was a bit skittish at first because the rubber bumpers the ball rides on were in the wrong spots, and the ball itself must have been used so much that it looks like a glossy marble. My M/75 has some texture and had none of these issues.

the crumbling screen backing, which went through three rounds of Epoxy over the course of a year. The first repair lasted just six months, the next one another six months and fully collapsed AFTER I got the M/75. So this next go around I got really serious about it and did the same fix I did to my M/75 right off the bat - I took the entire screen apart down to the plastic, roughed up surfaces with 400Grit Sandpaper, gathered broken bits of plastic, made a makeshift/handmade mold by putting foil tape over the still sturdy parts of the structure. I also added J.B. Weld Steelstik into the weak screw anchor portion of the screen hinge cover, and then proceeded to spread on layers - 3 total, of J.B. Weld Original Epoxy - let it set 24h - repeat, until 3 coats. After the third coat, ALL weak spots had been filled, after that was about an hour of Dremel Moto-Tool work to clear out spots for the components, in some ways incorporating them into the structure's strength. I also loosened the hinge clip a little bit. The resulting repair was even more flawless than that on the M/75 save for some visible color variation on the top cover, but honestly, I'm a lot happier this go around and it feels like it's going to last because that hinge moves smoothly rather than being super-tight.

Once all this work was done I decided to tackle the achilles heel of any 25-30 year old laptop - the main battery.........man, what an adventure this was.....

I still have the original OP-570-4401 battery, and bought an OP-570-4001, and an OP-570-4701 - all three are 7.2V 3800mah NiMH batteries containing 12 "A" cells running in two groups with separate grounds sharing a single positive and sense line (behind a 10K Thermistor). The original battery actually still was holding a charge somewhat, for about a minute or two of power, so I tried rejuvination on it. The 40EC still is using that original battery - if you can call it sitting inside, running on low contrast for 5 minutes "using" it (but hey, I have a docking station coming in).

A bit on battery chemistry - I AM familiar with the dangers of various battery chemistries. I have a GREAT story involving 2 Twinheads to tell in here someday when I do some "throwback" posts.....Anyway, these old laptops used NiCAD batteries in the 80's, then starting around 1991 or so, NiMH became the domininant chemistry, and Lithium Ion started to turn up by the mid-late 1990's. I will mess with those first two till the cows come home, they are relatively safe as long as you don't over-voltage them too much or make them extremely hot (stuff that's bad for ALL Batteries), however, LIthium Ions I will only replace the cells - and nothing else.

I managed to get the original battery working (for a few days at least) on it's O.G. 25 year old cells by hitting it with about 20VDC of current from a Toshiba Sattelite Laptop charger - being careful NOT to charge through the "Sense" Pin. I then let it charge in Windows 95 for about an hour, and managed to hang out on our patio in the cold for 30 minutes surfing the web over WiFi while tethered to my phone which was connected to our in-house WiFi. I then returned to the bedroom to keep up the cycle, well, while I was using the laptop on my lap, I heard a loud POP! And opened it up to find the cover h ad blown off and a new crack was in the plastic in the bottom. The pop was the top of the 3rd row from the back of the battery popping.

Then I ordered the OP-570-4701 battery. This battery is the type I later found out the M/75 uses (though it can also use the older ones as well oddly enough). The difference is this one is a "Smart Battery" which contains a little logic module. I did try altering the case to get it to fit in the second battery slot but I could not get the OP-570-4701 to work in the 40EC, it'd just pop up as "not charging" probably because the circuit inside the battery was locking it out. I wound up instead cannibalising it for the cells which I used to fix the original 4401 battery, as well as replace the burned up thermistor.

Then I ordered the OP-570-4001 battery, which I managed to jump start as well after blowing up that one's thermistor and replacing it with a 10K resistor after checking the one in my 4401. Well, I got it working, it ran again, for about 30 minutes, off BOTH battery packs....however....I did not trust it, and thank god I did because it would have been "Bye Bye Versa". The next morning I put the battery into the Versa and try to run it off the battery - well, it was fully charged, and what happened I could only describe as a somewhat dissappointing spectacle. The battery popped after being in the laptop for 2 minutes, and was hard to remove, so I carefully worked it out with a screwdriver with zero damage. Then I set it on my desk for a few minutes.....then I was in the other room making breakfast and I heard a loud "BANG!" - I walked back into my lab and found the battery had blown it's lid and not one but TWO cells had popped. YEESH! And it was FIZZING too. So I grabbed a rag and a pair of BBQ Tongs (rubber ended of course) and hauled that puppy out onto the patio where it could put on a show for our crazy neighbor lady (hopefully scare some sense in to her). I brought it back in before work.

I then replaced the 4001's busted Cells with others, and the battery was back to normal.....or so I thought......

Well, next day, it was hard to remove, the laptop was still running off that battery, but I could see now 4 of the original cells were BULGING! EEK. So I discontinued and recuycled it accordingly. I now plan to replace the cells in the 4401. I'm also toying with ideas of powering the laptop using one of those large USB battery packs for recharging smartphones. But that's another post for another day - as it's going to take a lot of R&D and some actual cold-hard science rather than hacks to make sure that works properly.

That said, that battery did damage the replaced power board, at least for awhile, it seems to be working off of it now, oddly. But I'm planning to fix either one of them. But that too is a future project. For right now, the Versa 40EC is working fine as/is. I also transferred the slightly more flickering screen from the M/75's case (NL6448AC30-10) into the 40EC as I'm not using it as much currently.

So on the todo list for this thing now is....

- New PCMCIA Door as the one from the 40EC is on my M/75 right now (plan to try a plastic molding technique I learned from Matchbox Car restorers on Youtube, might use JB Weld to make the part)
- Repair or Replace the Screen Panel (another 6448AC30-06 most likely, I think this one is just tired, has a mild yellow tint to it too).
- I'm looking at acouple VX Pocket Digital Audio Cards to maybe try this things digital audio capabilities
- 8GB PATA SSD to replace the original drive (because I like some space for Windows For Workgroups and DOS, I want to do this for both Versa actually)
- Rebuild the battery and come up with a way to keep cover cover secure, but removable should I need to replace cells again
- Get another Cisco LMC-352 to put in this computer

That said, I'm still bringing it out periodically. still and it's still a happy little PC. It ran 95 great but later I Put FreeDOS on that drive (which now hosts a triple boot config of DOS 7.1/WFW311/Win98SE and runs on the M/75).

M/75 UPDATES

The M/75 has been seeing FREQUENT use lately, running in 3 different environments on the frequent - a 98Lite tweaked version of 98SE, a copied over install of Windows For Workgroups 3.11 so I could run the Words+ device on this thing without switching to the old 220MB HDD which has Drivespace on it (yeah, backing that drive up was a yoyal PAIN - about 3 hours of using FTPSRV from mTCP on the versa and Filezilla on my Win10 laptop).

I've been experimenting with the Windows Sound System a bit. I found a way to get SOME SoundBlaster compatibility out of it using Windows 98 Se. Windows 98 SE installs the Crystal CS2431 chipset audio as a "Windows Sound System Compatible Audio Device" and then installs parallel a "SoundBlaster Emulation" - which works off the settings of A220, I3, D5 - and works fairly okay in most cases with things like NESTicle. It presents itself as a "SoundBlaster 2.0". However, if I leave to DOS, this does not work so hot (might need to try the "Set Blaster" environment variable........if not, maybe there's a way I could create my own Driver for this for DOS......I've got some thoughts...). I've also found it glitches sometimes in Windows games where Diablo and Microsoft Golf 3.0 sound downright DEMONIC (ie low slow voices, like something in the Sample Rate in those games is causing some kind of speed/pitch based hilarity to ensue). It' handles MP3 well though. It seems to be pro-grade and allow for multiplexing though so I'm testing it out as a 486 DAW type setup. Also, I might be able to slap in an Adlib only PCMCIA card since I don't think this thing has OPL - even thoug hthe drivers come with OPL3.drv

This thing does, oddly, run better than my AMD 486 DX4 Desktop does, even though the bus and clock speed is slower, not sure if it's the extra 8K L2 Cache or not. Windows 98 SE only takes about a minute give or take 30 seconds, to boot. When it's up, it's quite snappy save for Retrozilla or Seamonkey (which are kind of big for a 486). Diablo plays at full speed even if it does sound like everyone is Andre the Giant on Valium.

I also got Virtual Game Boy running on this thing in Win98SE and it runs GLORIOUS. Probably the first time that old Game Boy Emulator ran well....also, oddly, ZSNES runs okay-ish on it as well, enough for me to really enjoy Mario PAint (yes, I'm nuts, I do my SNES emulation part time on 486 hardware....that was my original MO in 2000). It'll probably kick even more hinie when I put an SSD in and get that 32MB Upgrade RAM card for it (so I can put the 16 back in the 40EC). My wife played some Tetris on it the other night.....I'm getting her ready for some LAN gaming between this and the 40EC sometime down the road.

But the biggest achivement was getting that Words+ Thing working........there's a part of me wondering if this was a prototype. Taking it apart revealed it had 2 circuitboards and a NiCad battery on the verge of spilling it's guts but still somewhat holding a charge. There's all sorts of "internal only" ports, with ribbon cables coming out of it.....

How I got it working was I looked at the battery and determined it uses "3/4 B" Cells at about 1.2v each = 9 volts DC. I also figured out the charge port only CHARGES the device, it won't power it for whatever reason.

I also figured out the M/75 and Words+ were a package deal. See, Words+ is the company that m ade it, this was their "System 2000" system, and probably has the name "Commpac" on it because it's meant to be "compact" and "portable" - if a 7LB laptop + 6LB block of Fry's components and DEC hardware counts as "portable" in 1994. Apparently Words+ used five different computers with this system, likely all "touch Screen" models - the NEC Versa of course (my E-series would also be a match as thos ALSO came with touch - 40/50 EP & ECP.), other options were Pegasus, Pegasus II (not sure what those are), Sager 75xx (famlliar, Sager was made by Nan Tan and I had a Prostar 9200M and Duracom 5110D which were lower end versions of that model), some other Sager model (probably similiar to what I had), and then "other" (so you could slap this thing on a ThinkPad and it'd probably look meant-to-be).

I instead lopped off the cord from the NiCAD and wired it into a 1/8" phono mono jack and used a multi-voltage charger on 12VDC at 0.5A and it works. When you turn the volume knob it clicks on and goes "Welcome to Wally words 1.128". You then have to initialize it through the Words+ programs (of which there are 3 on the hard drive that I'm aware of ATM - Talking Screen, EZ Keys, and Some other one for DOS which the name escapes me). It seems the voice synthesizer portion of the unit utilizes the Serial Port to work, as when you intiialize it it runs a series of tests on the assigned COM port at varying baud rates, on my unit stopping at 2400 baud and then you get the synth saying "COM Settings Initialized" - after that, it works for awhile, and then drops off the COM ports. It seems to only work off the SocketIO serial card that runs into the case via a ribbon cable, then to another ribbon cable, wired to the internally accessable DB-9 serial port......talk about hodge podge, thats what makes me think this is a Prototype (aside from the heavy use of what I assume is plastic weld for all the plastic bits that make up the case, and all the ribbon cables).

So far the only app I've figured out is "talking screen" for Windows 3.1, which basically requires the computer be in 256 color mode, and then it displays a hiearchal system of pictures for a person to tap on to communicate. So you'd tap "food" and then it'd say "I'm hungry" and then go to the next screen showing options for food, and then you tap that selection and the speech synth states what food you want.

There are multiple voices to the device, like Eeprom Ernie or Beautiful Betty, or Billie the Kid (which was what it was set to and had a strange Stephen King movie vibe that caused my wife to run out of the room). I'm thinking I might be able to use this in my compositions on BandLab or something.....AutoTune an old Speech Synth anyone?

I also ordered a touch screen for the M/75 but it turned out 9.4" was not the "viewable area" but rather the size of the whole darned screen! I also tried asking some chinese suppliers and none of them had a "screen that fits that application" so I think I'll just wait around until I can get a MicroTouch LCD that's 10.4" big diagonal with a 9.4" viewable area and has a 5 wire tail. I'm pretty sure one will turn up eventually. I have been tempted to attempt to make my own using foil tape and plexiglass though...so who knows. I returned it and at the same time as the return the AT&T branded NEC Docking Station II I'd been stalking on E-bay for months got REALLY cheap - $27.95 cheap, so I may start trying these out as my main retro-system before too long. Right now the docking station is on it's way to my apartment, and were re-arranging for our various business ideas.

The reason this dock works is actually, AT&T's Safari models on the higher end were actually rebranded NEC Versa (with bright gray bezels and turquoise switches and buttons), these included the 3180, 3182, and another 100MHz DX4 model later on. This dock will be used with the M/75 AND the 40EC, I'm planning to put Ethernet and a OPL Compatible sound card in it.

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My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6sYw9FvwuKahBHE_06diA

Reply 4 of 10, by chinny22

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Thats a lot of work for a "just a couple of laptops " I think most of us would have given up on them long ago.
Can tell NEC Versa's are where your interest is. glad your able to keep them alive
And that AT&T dock is awesome!

Reply 5 of 10, by creepingnet

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Okay, today time for something truly different......It's not NEC (unless you're talking about it's current monitor)......I guess we'll just call this Tandy Tuesday......hehe

So here's the build-up of my 1985 Tandy 1000A That I bought from Value Village in 2007 for $10.

THE BACKSTORY

I've been into retro-computing for over 20 years now. I started in 2001 out of the want for an internet connected computer of which I could not afford at the time. So much like my guitar hobby - where I bought up cheap department store guitars and then tricked them out with "diamond in the rough" parts begotten from other guitars, I started doing the same thing with old computers. My first computer was a Tandy 1000 SX in 1997. I alway regretted putting it on the Curb where hopefully someone now has it in their collection - I did this because the PIT failed and I was getting an ERROR I/O of 8253 message on boot....of course, at the time, I had no idea what that meant. Oh well, live and learn.

Skip aheady on practically the 10th anniversary of me getting that old 1000 SX, and I wander into Value Village like I did almost every weekend looking for old 8088-80486 IIBM Compatibles and old Macintosh stuff. Sitting on the shelf were 2 computers, a Mac SE FDHD (which I still have), and next to it, a Tandy 1000A. They were asking $10 for each machine so for a $20 I left Value Village a happy man now the proud owner of yet another Tandy 1000 (and I already had an EX at the time at home), and a Mac SE FDHD. This was September of 2007.

THE TANDY'S FULL STORY THUS FAR

So when I got that Tandy home, I was determined to keep it stock at first. It was literally pristine - never been upgraded save for a single 640K DMA/Memory upgrade card, and it came at just the right time, the weekend before I'd bought every single boxed Sierra game the local Liquidation Store in Everett had for $20 (still have those too). And the week before that I was in Lynnwood digging around a goofey little thrift fanning off of the east end of 196th st that had a bunch of 3M boxes full of 360K Floppy Diskettes full of strange old DOS and BASIC software. (still got those too, hehehe).

The first thing I had to buy was a Tandy 1000 85 key Keyboard, the proprietary big DIN-8 one (same keyboard it still has today). The keyboard was bought on E-bay for about $30.00 at the time (prices were already going up on the 1000s back then as XT's and AT's were "cool" by that point).

However, I just can't leave such a machine alone and force it to live the rest of it's time with me anti-social and munching away at rotting 360K Floppy diskettes.

So not long into it's early days, I'd say around December of 2007-January 2008 I had purchased 2 XT-IDE cards, one for the Tandy, and one for my IBM Parts Mutt. One assembled, one as a kit. The Kit one I sold to someone else, so the Tandy got a Advanced Information Concepts SCSI Card instead, and a leftover macintosh SCSI Drive formatted to FAT-16. The HDD was an 800MB Drive out of my Power Macintosh 7100/80 (which had been upgraded to a 3GB drive at that point).

The new HDD was populated with MS-DOS 6.22 + Windows 1.01, 2.03, and 3.0 (only the third of which I ever used), plus a pile of really old DOS games and all those Big Box Sierra titles (Manhunter 1 & 2, Leisure Suit Larry 1-3, Emporer's BeQuest, Kings Quest I-V, Police Quest, Police Quest 2, Space Quest, Space quest 2, Hoyle Card Games......plus some more).

Then the Tandy was outfitted with Microsoft Network Client 3.0 for transferring files (no mTCP back then), and networked onto my Windows 2000/98Se/95/ForWorkgroups LAN. No web browser, I tried getting Bobcat and Lynx to work but never had success, I also tried Minuet with no luck. However, I did put Mike Chamber's LeetIRC on it fairly early on and used to hang out with the VCFED people chatting on it.

The Tandy, TBH, did not get a whole lot of work for all those years outside of a few hard disk replacements. In 2012, I converted the XT II to my 486 that I currently have, sold the parts, but kept the XT-IDE. The next year (2013) the 800MB SCSI Drive died, so I sold the controller on e-bay and put the XT-IDE from XTII in and since then it's gone through 2-3 8GB HDD. The next one will be a brand new PATA SSD. I just run them till they get flaky and then recycle them. With the Tandy, because I don't need DDO due to the XT-IDE, I don't really have much problem backing up and restoring the drives when replacing - I just drag and drop to my modern computer, then use a USB to PATA converter to drag the entire DOS install on top of a freshly formatted and installed drive and BINGO - 100% fully booting identical setup in about 20 minutes.

Last summer I started work on designing/building a lightpen for the Tandy 1000 that I could maybe sell in an online store or via LoTech or something. I've halted development temporarily to focus on other more pressing projects but this is something I'm messing with. One of my test subjects is an AMF "light pen" that's actually a barcode reader I might rewire as a "dual purpose" device - now that'd be cool....lightpen AND reading barcodes! Heck yeah. But we'll see, I'm still learning electronic circuits (an offshoot of building guitar pedals).

The most movement on this computer has been in the past year though. I started getting really good at setting up and configuring mTCP, so I got the Tandy ass setup to act as an FTP Server, as well as Bulletin Boards over Telnet (I usually do the Telnet Commands in a Batch File). This was my "gunea pig" for the rest of my systems including the two NEC Versas, my 486 desktop, 286, and others so I can push files to them over DOS. I'm also experimenting with using Links on it soon as well.

In March I picked up a Tandy TRS-80 Deluxe Mouse for it which despite everyone's complaints about it I actually get along with it really well, it's especially great for Hoyle Card Games Solitare and painting in TurboPaint.

My Next plans for the Tandy 1000A are to install an NEC V20 and an intel 8087 (I do play Sim City on this thing.....and Sim City does make use of the 8087), and then get a Joystick or maybe even build my own Gamepad (easy since I already have the service manuals in PDF format and the Schematics and all that complete with pinouts, that's what I've been referencing when it comes to the Light Pen).

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~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6sYw9FvwuKahBHE_06diA

Reply 6 of 10, by creepingnet

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-08-11, 09:38:

Thats a lot of work for a "just a couple of laptops " I think most of us would have given up on them long ago.
Can tell NEC Versa's are where your interest is. glad your able to keep them alive
And that AT&T dock is awesome!

Thanks. I'm kind of obsessed with finding info on the lesser known or lesser talked about devices TBH. GEM Computer Products is my favorite desktop maker for instance. NEC's Versa 486 series intrigue me because they were going for big money back in the early 2000's for lord only knows why when you could buy a Sager or AT&T branded version for much less.

The Dock is actually fullfilling several needs as a retro-guy. First off, I can add wired networking and a proper SoundBlaster, which means I can use full SoundBlaster sound with the 40EC and have OPL on the M/75 without clunky/complicated emulation if even possible. Meanwhile, once I get the batteries sorted and get a digitizer on the M/75 screen + a pen (I've got some ideas on how I'm going to achieve this) - I'll also have a portable tablet for pixel art. Finally, if I ever decide to downsize again, I can have 2 machines configured separatley for older and later DOS games, and I could buy a NEC Versa P Pentium version of the same laptop to cover late 90's territory and they all share the same dock.

I actually use these for a lot more than just gaming. I also use them for circuit design (circuitmaker 2000), PCB Gerber files (traxmaker), guitar tablature (randytab), and I dabble some in game development with GameMaker, OHRRPGCE, and Adventure Game Studio a bit (though I've never finished anything yet). I also do a to of light duty web surfing in Links using these old boxes as well (I like reading websites still).

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6sYw9FvwuKahBHE_06diA

Reply 7 of 10, by creepingnet

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Docking Station Time.....

So my methods of procuring this stuff is clear as day - hide out on E-bay....look at the part, recieve an offer or two, wait six or seven months, then strike once the price gets low enough to be worth it on buy it now.

AT&T DS DOCKING STATION

Now I know what some of you are thinking...."but dude, these are NEC laptops".....that's right, because NEC made laptops for AT&T - actually it seems there was a funky triangle between AT&T, NEC, and NCR in the early 1990's.....so I'll post this here because I don't think it's revealed much else.....

NCR & AT&T both made laptops under the Safari Brand. The AT&T Branded ones were either rebranded NEC Versa (3180, 3182, to name two, which I believe were versions of the 33C and P/75 respectively), or Samsung Sens models (AT&T Safari 3151 and Globalyst 200 which look to be identical - I had a 3151 a long time ago, which lead me to the Versa...may even still have the Safari in my childhood closet for all I remember). NCR also sold laptops under the "Safari" brand. I also read they made their own so I think some early AT&T Safari 486 models were actually NCRs as well......confusing, huh.

But that also meant rebranded 3rd party perhipherals for these models.....like the AT&T DS Docking Station, which is really just a re-badged NEC Versa Docking Station II.

The docking station features a very Mini-LPX styled case that has a half height 5.25" and a quarter height 5.25" bays (the bottom one on mine being taken up by an NEC CR-560 CD-ROM drive, apparently a very early IDE drive at that). These run to an interface card that also holds the ports for VGA, Serial, Parallel, the Dock connector itself, and the ISA Slot .....what's the inverse of the term "riser" card? "Sinker Card".....anyway, similar to an LPX desktop. You can host up to two IDE devices and 2 Floppy interface devices in the docking station.

Of course, one of my plans for this was to add a proper SoundBlaster and a wired Ethernet card to this setup.

I spent about 20 minutes digging through spare parts - my initial candidates were an AT\Lantic NE2000 compatible card and a SoundBlaster Vibra 16 - but I found those did not provide very happy results....Win98 SE on the M/75 was choking up on the AT/Lantic card - probably some Plug N' Pray related device conflict, and the SoundBlaster Vibra 16....only after I installed it did I remember that was like my AWE64 in that it needs some special PnP drivers to work in DOS.....

So I picked some more age-apropriate and less as "pray" hardware - as one would do with a big box full of ISA sound cards and NICs like I've built up over the years.....

So I looked at all my cards....Crystal CS2432 would mean a conflict and was likely another WSS card....I don't feel like fighting with that under DOS/Windows right now. I had a few other cards, an Aztec out of a packard bell, and then my good-ole-trusty standby of which I have/had TWO of - a CT-1600 SoundBlaster Pro 2.0. I scrutinized the card with a magnifying glass to find the Yamaha OPL chip, and slapped it in there.

Next up I looked at the NICs and decided I would spare my last shrinkwrapped Linksys EtherFast PnP for a SMC 8416 EtherCard E-Z.

Drivers? For the Ct-1600....we don't need no stinkin' drivers! Just Set Blaster=A220 I5 D1 P330 in Autoexec.bat, and away we go. For the SMC 8416, it works great in tandem with the Cisco Aironet in Windows 98 SE, but in Windows For Workgroups - forgettaboutit! Either hangs at the Windows For Workgroups 3.11 logo,or it loads up and says my network is configured incorrectly - seems these days my retro-activities keep pointing me more and more to DOS....

MODERN DOCKING IN AN OLDSCHOOL WINDOWS/DOS WORLD

Windows 98 SE - pretty easy, the Cisco just stays in the computer and it connects via Ethernet when I have it docked. Sure, it throws an error window that it can't find hardware on boot when I'm not docked but in the grand scheme of things I really don't mind much. Usually I only use 98 SE when playing Diablo, Microsoft Golf, or Postal Plus anyway.

Windows For Workgroups 3.11 - This is a tad irritating. The problem is either I end up with device conflicts (both NICs trying to use IRQ3, or Microsoft Network subsystem gets confused which adapter to dedicate itself to?....I'm really roaming in uncharted territory here). Maybe someone can chime in on if it's possible to use two NIC in Windows For Workgroups - maybe time to bring some of those Network/Server skills from work home with some extra sleuthing. I may have some ideas using clever batch/ini programming but I'm a bit sketch on that idea.

DOS - By virtue of multiple boot configurations DOS is the most "dock/undock" friendly of all. I mean seriously. I can create docked configs that load the packet driver for the EtherCard EZ and the SoundBlaster and enjoy full desktop capabilities in DOS, then I can undock it, and use the Cisco Aironet and the Crystal CS2431 without OPL (though I see an OPL3 Emulator on the diskettes from the NEC support pages....which confuses the heck out of me). Plus I have a modern browser that screams probably even on a 386 (Links 2.21 which just updated a week ago), a maintained TCP/IP Suite (mTCP), and In general, I like being able to tweak, tune, and block access by not having the network going full time.

CD-ROM STRUGGLES - CR-560 on DOCK

The CD-ROM has been the most problematic part of the whole equation. This thing comes with an O.G. 2x NEC CR-560 - not a 560E, not a 560T - just plain, ole 560 with a 1994 Date code on it. It connects to what I think I read was an 8-bit IDE controller bus inside the docking station. I downloaded the full NEC FTP from Archive.org a couple weeks back so getting a driver was a snap (NEC_IDE.SYS).

In DOS, it works just fine. It reads, it writes, it runs executables, no problem. But for some insane reason in Windows 3.1x or Windows 98 Se, it does NOT want to play ball.

In Windows the drive appears only if I use the CD-ROM drvier the old DOS way (NEC_IDE.SYS /D:NECCDROM in CONFIG.SYS and MSCDEX /D:NECCDROM in Autoexec.bat....a bit weird when it comes to Win98 SE). However, having it loaded causes the system to hang, forcing a reboot, or at the very least, killing the process that is trying to access the CD-ROM Drive. This is irritating because I was planning to put Office 97' on the M/75......and rip a few games using Virtual CD.....but maybe it's just not in the cards.....

That said, I do have a spare DVD-ROM drive, but it does not match the case, but it's the standard Master/Slave/CableSel jumper type drive. I also tried an OAKCDROM.SYS driver (the one I usually use) no dice, same behavior.

So now that leaves me guessing....should I keep the 2X and move back to FreeDOS (I was happy there), or replace it with the DVD-ROM drive?

PLANS - BUILDING A MONITOR STAND, SSD's, AND GOING BACK TO FREEDOS

The NEC/AT&T/NCR Docks came with a plastic "lid" that fit over the top. This "lid" allowed for up to a 60LB CRT Monitor to be set on top of the docking station. Of course, finding one of these 1994-era docking station parts in 2020 - much like a lot else on vintage laptops - ranges from super-hardcore paitience to totally impossible and requires a DIY solution. Well....we just bought a new couch, and I've got a piles of pallets from work that they have so much trouble recycling - so I'm going to take some of that wood, and build my own custom wood monitor stand. Being as it's wood, it should be a lot more sturdy than the original.

I did all the measuring and dimensions on it - basically 14"x17"x2" sheet of wood - with a 11.8" x 12" x 1" cutout for the laptop, 2 index holes about 5" in 3/16 from the edges, and some form of clip in back. I have no doubt once I'm done this will work out well enough to slap one of my two CRT monitors on here (probably the Micron SVGA).

The triple boot idea on the M/75 is working fairly well, but due to the struggles with the CD-ROM, it has me wondering if maybe I should consider my next move to be procuring SSD for the laptops - both of them. 244MB is just too small for my work, one of them has Doublespace on it (YIKES), and the 80GB is big.....but I'd rather have something more "durable" since I do actually use these Laptops as portable computers still.

I did a little digging and found I only had 4GB lft on the 20GB partition of the 80GB HDD due to all of the driver archives I've been downloading (NEC, SMC, etc.).....the others were all 15GB.....

A part of me really badly wants to replace the original HDD with some 8GB PATA SSD setup with DOS 6.22 and Windows For Workgroups 3.11 but I want to figure out the NIC situation before I go that route.

I also picked up a second power supply, turns out there's a guy selling Versa Ultralite/E/M/P/V power adapters for $6.75 apiece - not bad. So now the original is my travel charger, the new one sits at my bedside (I like to play DOS games before I go to sleep), and the Dock is what I use when I'm in my lab/media room/office/den (which is currently in a state of flux ATM).

Plus I still have a running todo list for both laptops still....

40EC
- Repair Hinges/broken plastic (again), likely cover up with gray/marble/aluminum/woodgrain contact paper to make it look a little nicer
- Get a second Cisco Aironet LMC-352 for this laptop (the one I had in it is in the M/75 now)
- Replace the cells in the battery with brand new 1.2v "A" NiMH Cells (yes, I want to carry this thing around it and use it portably)
- Put the 16MB Memory card back in when I get the 32MB for the M/75
- Try and mold a new PCMCIA Slot door for it
- Set it up for Words+

M/75
- Put contact paper over the hinge cover and reinforce with J.B. Weld Steelstick same as 40EC
- Zap shorted secondary battery with car charger (after I remove the "smart module") to try and break up shorts, failing that, will replace the Cells (same as the OP-570-4401, if that goes well, I'll put new cells in the other one.
- 32MB Memory Upgrade CArd for a total of 40MB
- Get a beefier power supply for the Words+ - I really want to try that thing out on Autotune in BandLab

BOTH
- Replace original 244HDD with 8GB SSD with 4x 2.1GB partitions (MAXBLAST) for my MS-DOS 6.22/Windows For Workgroups drives
- Figure out a way to run the WiFi and Wired networks in WFW without causing a conflict and breaking network connectivity
- Replace the 80GB PATA with a suitable SSD variant and install FreeDOS on that
- Figure out that CD-ROM in the Docking Station, and either get it working, or replace

I'm also tempted to downsize, maybe even eventually going down to just Versas and the Tandy 1000A (maybe keep my other monster truck 486 DX4-100 desktop as well and find it a good CRT)...and/or the NEC Ready 9522 Pentium tower. I'm tempted to replace the 9522 though with a NEC Versa P/75 (the last version of hte Versa with this removable screen style case that had a Pentium 75 in it), but it looks like the 4000 series also worked with this dock so maybe I'll pick one of those up to be my Win9x machine. Would be cool to be able to drag my retro-boxes everywhere with the convenience of needing only ONE docking station.

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~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6sYw9FvwuKahBHE_06diA

Reply 8 of 10, by creepingnet

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Got up to more insanity this noon-afternoon.....

Stuff being worked on?

- Found out why my AT&T Dock was causing all sorts of crazy Diskette Drive errors on startup......I had the "swatch" in the back wrong (found out about that in the Versa P Service Manual which covers the docking station as well). Put the Swatch in the up position, so far so good, have yet to try the 40EC yet (which has a floppy drive).

- AT&T Dock Monitor stand is under-way now. Sawed up the boards from our new couch and glued them together. I'm actually using my own custom design that gives some breathing room to the NEC inside the stand, as well as covers the whole top of the dock.

- I broke the crystalline (?) Short inside the secondary battery for the Versa M/75 and now it's holding a charge. I took out the Smartmodule from the battery which only leaves the cells and wiring, then hit it wth my car charger on the 12 amp setting tapping both negative terminals several times. Went from zero with a complete short to 5.85vdc on both terminals after holding it for 3 seconds after the initial taps. The first tap I heard something quietly snap - that was the short inside the cells breaking I believe. Thermistor also survived and is reading voltage properly.

- copied the files for Lighthouse and Shivers to the F: drive finally, took about 2 hours with that 2X CD-ROM.

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    Testing Battery after Zap, it's charging, time to give it a few hours.
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    Taking the Smart Module out of the NEC OP-570-4701 NiMH Smart Battery
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    Ready to Zap that battery and break the short.
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    Starting work on my custom wood Monitor Stand.
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~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6sYw9FvwuKahBHE_06diA

Reply 9 of 10, by creepingnet

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Today's Subjects?.....sick and twisted experiments with hard disk technology......the short, less technical story of my 486 DX4-100 PC, and a recent experiment with 128GB mSATA in all three of my 486es....

CREEPING NET 486

This computer has had triple lives.......It's been a Super Socket 7 Pentium, an XT Clone, AND a 486 DX4-100. It's also been a quasi daily-driver and most used of my vintage/retro PCs.

ORIGINAL BUILD - 2004-2006

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I bought the Case from a place called BJ Surplus on e-bay in 2004 to give the GEM 386's old Pentium 1 guts a home ((the GEM started off as a full AT Compaq Deskpro clone 386, upgraded to a 5x86 133, then a Pentium 75, then a Pentium 200MMX, then a Celeron 500, before becoming a Pentium III upgraded twice in it's final years). Just the story of getting the case alone was epic. I bought the case, for about $45.00 New Old Stock - in the original box. I waited for almost 3 weeks for it to arrive via FedEx....well, long story short, I started scouting the neighborhood for a whole week past saying "Delivered" to find out it had been delivered to my elderly neighbor Drexel up the street who I cat-sat for once in awhile - she was in the hospital at the time, so I had to go up the street, ready to answer for any interrogations as to why I'm lugging a 30LB big ole box off an old lady's porch, and carry that thing home.

The Original Specs were: iPentium 233MMX, GemLight Socket 7, 64MB RAM, 40GB ATA-133 HDD, Lite-On DVD-ROM and DVD-RW, ATI Rage II PCI 2MB, SoundBlaster 16 PCI, 10/100 NIC I can't remember, and Win 98 Second Edition. Later on the dual DVD's were removed and a 48X CD-ROM that had been in 4-5 other computers (mostly 486es) was used instead, and RedHat Linux 6.1 Cartman installed (which I hardly used).

CREEPING NET XT II - 2006-2012

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In the spring of 2006, I'd rented my first apartment by myself, and I had just picked up a Model "F" keyboard and IMTEC EGA monitor from some local Everett Washington thrif shops. It seemed like I was batting 100% there for awhile in the mid 2000's as far as procuring XT-class stuff. For a project in between various odd I.T. jobs I decided to see how lowball cost I could build an XT. So I got in contact with Terry Yaeger on VCF (before it was called VCFED) and got 2 XT boards from him - both genuine IBM parts. One board was from an Industrial PC, the other from a PC Portable, pretty much just XT boards with a 5150 BIOS in them.

The resulting PC was my second ever XT clone, though technically a real IBM hiding in a clone case. Earlier on it ran SCSI with a Microsoft Mouse 2.0 and Windows 2.x on it. Later on it got one of the first XT-IDE cards installed (Which I still have, it's in my Tandy 1000A now). By 2008 I was using it less and less because I had my Tandy 1000A at that point and preferred it because it had the 3-voice sound and I liked having tha tfeature for Sierra AGI and SCI games.

In 2012, my last 486 before this one - a 1994 CAT Computers 486 built in Kirkland WA and marked down at a pawn shop to $20 from $200 - had bit the dust in an accident. So to replace it I started work on what I consider my retro-PC skillset, rolled up into a ball.....

CREEPING NET 486 - 2012-present

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This computer represents everything I have learned, had been trying to do, and everything I can do, with a Pre-Pentium x86 IBM Compatible PC. 20 years of accumulated experience, all in one little 486 DX4-100. The NEC Versa M/75 is my attempt to make a portable version of that.

To begin, let's go a little before this, I had quit retro-computing in 2010 actually. I was dating my wife - a lot, I was playing in 3 different rock bands, working overtime in an I.T. job, sometimes double shifts, and basically, just too busy for anything computer-centric. All my time was dating, getting my guitars/amp/pedals ready for the next gig, and making sure I had food, water, shelter, internet, gas, and guitar strings. Also, by that point, it seemed "retro" was on it's way out. I was still being chastised on internet forums and elsewhere for using "dinosaurs", "doorstops" and "boat anchors" - but sometime in the span of 2 years these old machines went from being "old junk" to "vintage" - what I'd told people since 2001 had come true - yet another "I told you so". Missing the hobby, I got back into it.

I spent FIVE YEARS building this macine up into what it is today. When I started, I had to replace a lot of parts.....I lost my SB AWE32, ASUS Motherboard, and Intel 486 DX4-100 CPU in the accidental spill the other PC took onto the floor off my desk.

First off came the case - what I assume is a circa 1984-1989 Songcheer/Suncheer Taiwanese built XT chassis, which was housing CN XT II which was no longer being used at that point. I also still had a plethora of 1.44MB 3.5" spare floppies, a couple old 5.25" floppy drives, and a 52x CD-RW in TERRIBLE need of a retrobright (still need it, and it's in my NEC Ready 9522 now, 🤣). I also had some old Fujitsu HDD laying around. I also had the S3 805 card - yes, same one I have now, just 1MB of VRAM "lighter", a SoundBlaster AWE64 that had been laying around doing nothing, a dual IDE PTI-255W Super I/O Card, and some more 72 pin SIMMS to make up the 64MB of RAM this thing has. lastly, the cherry was a spare Intel 486 DX2-66 CPU I had stashed away from one of the old Nan Tan Laptops I'd had years before. Oh, and I forgot, I had a LInksys Ethernet card that I bought still shrinkwrapped back on 07' in there, that's been the NIC in this machine this whole time.

The motherboard was the main thing I needed to have a working system. So I took to E-bay and by crikey had prices blown up over the last 2 years. 2 Years before, I could have bought an ASUS GX4 for $15, I could have had a full PCI Biostar MB8433UUD for $25 at most. Now these same boards I held in high regard were going for at least $50 if not more. I dug around more and more finding boards going as high as $135+......sheesh, maybe I should have held onto all those other 486es I'd sold over the years.

So I took to VCFED and posted a want-ad for a 486 Socket 3 board, and eventually found a guy who was selling a FIC 486-PVT board for $25. I bought it. So for $25, I now had a 100% working system.

In 2013 I eventually got my hands on a CRT monitor after going through 2 LCD's, an HP that had developed a "hatred" for my S3 video card, refusing to power off if in Windows 3.11, doing bizarre power-related things when the graphics modes were out of the ordinary. Then I got a Dell 14" LCD and that one worked great - until a party with some drunk people around lead to it getting cracked. So I then replaced it with a CRT for free off of Craigslist - a CTX if I remember, 15".

During this time, a black Lian-Li RH37 Mobile Rack was installed and I started the whole swapping hard disks like game carts thing I do now. At that time I was using an 8GB Fujitsu for DOS/WFW and a 20GB for Windows 95 OSR 2.5.

Later on the Tandy's SCSI Drive died, so the XT-IDE and a 540MB IDE drive that was a backup for my 286 were used in the Lian-Li, so it was replaced with the first of three (going on four) RH17 Mobile Racks, Lian-Li again of course, and this time proper Beige.

the CMOS battery was dead when I got the board, so for awhile I got around it using a Future Domain dual IDE with BIOS instead of the PTI-255W (which I was as of yet unaware had drivers to make it run in PIO-4 and whatnot). But during a purge of parts prior to moving units, I took out the hearing aid Battery hard-wired to the board and replaced it with a proper CR2302 socket and a CR2302 battery from a dead Pentium 4 motherboard that was hanging on my wall - as the provisions for such were silkscreened onto the board and just begging for a proper replaceable battery. After that, the Future Domain came out, and in went the PTI.

Because I have been using such enormous HDD in the system it's pretty much setup for a 2GB HDD at all times, allowing me to swap out HDD like a maniac, relying on DDO to see the full capacity. It was during a switchout of HDD in 2013 that I discovered my Seagate Disk Wizard DDO had the ability to boot off of CD-ROM on it, so I have made that my standard DDO for most things Windows 95 and newer ever since, just makes the whole install process a lot easier and smoother. I have had at this point everything from 3GB Seagates to 128GB Samsung mSATA SSD in this thing - all could be seen at full capacity, and the SSD's I've tried really make this thing fly in Win9x.

The original PSU died in 2016, as did the CRT monitor attached to the machine. So started another round of upgrades. For a time it ran in my GEM 286's case, but in early 2017 I got a new-old-stock J.D.R. MicroDevices XT PSU and restored both PC's into their rightful cases with some upgrades, tune-ups, and tweaks. And a slough of new upgrades to this one happened as I started frequenting RE-PC in Tukwila and Seattle with my buddy who rebuilds IBM ThinkPads for fun and profit.

Things that happened in 2016-2017
- I replaced the CPU with an AMD DX4-100 CPU, TWICE as I burned the first up as finding jumper settings for this board was hard to do
- Built my own zero-ohm Resistor pack for the CPU jumper settings using Staples and Duc-Tape (still using it to this day)
- Finally got a proper Cache installed - 512KB - as all I had before was nine chips for the ASUS board's Cache that I saved
- Tried to upgrade to 128MB of FP RAM (ECC) - wound up having issues with memory access and programs crashing/hanging, plus slower performance so I went back to 64MB
- Upgraded the VRAM on the S3 to 2MB
- Built my own HSF for it composite out of other 486/Socket 5/7 HSF assemblies (still using to this day)
- replaced several hard disk drives including a 15GB Maxtor (that died, took to work for data recovery while I worked), bought 2 morle 80GB drives from Computer Surplus
- Bought a spare "DOA" PC Chips M919 motherboard, won't POST, something wrong with the BIOS, may just need a chip
- Got the NEC MultiSync II JC-1402-HWA 14" CRT monitor from Computer Surplus in Redmond after work for free, setup a deal with those guys to get CRTs (never got any offers though)

That pretty much built the machine into what it has been till I moved to the Southwest in 2018. As such, it's fitting I mention this build as what I did recently lead to a casualty, but this PC was invaluebale for learning this valueable lesson in HDD geometry/technology...

FUN WITH SSD'S ON 486s

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So last year I jammed a 256GB SSD, Samsung, into CN 486 and setup Windows 95 on it, and was quite impressed with the read/write times, heck Windows 95 took 34 seconds to boot ((!!) even with the drivers and After Dark loaded. Eventually I put that drive to use in my Dell Inspiron `15 laptop, but I thought recently "what if I did this with some surplus mSATA drives I have laying around for the NEC Versas - then I wont' have to worry so much about when that 80GB PATA drive is going to die" as I know I'm hammering on my Versa a LOT these days.

So on E-bay I bought a $10 mSATA to 44 pin IDE conversion unit, it basically turns it into a standard 2.5" 44 pin IDE drive. The plan was to buy one, set it up with a surplus drive, partition into 4 partitions, put FreeDOS on it, and use that as my primary drive in the M/75, and if it worked, use the same configuration in the 40EC after testing with the current order.

That thing came in FAST. Just 3 business days - via USPS no less.

So over the course of last week began the big experiments and I tried with three different mSATA drives, 2 Samsungs, and a Lite-On.

What I've been using as my huge capcity drive in the Versas has been an 80GB Seagate IDE out of a Compaq V2000 from circa 2004. Wonderful drive. No bad sectors, has the accelerometer apparently, and I don't even have to change the BIOS between any computer to use it - it just works at full capacity due to the Maxblast DDO I put on it.

I found with the Lite-On the results were...

NEC VERSA 40EC - Upon boot, states that it cannot find PArtition Table or MBR, and fails to boot. During Partitioning, no matter what - FDISK, Maxblast, Disc Wizard, Data Lifeguard Tools......regarldess of capacity detected, it could not write to the Disc. does not matter what BIOS Settings I tried. Computer maxes at 504MB (1024, 16, 63, 0 ,0) - no matter what, it won't be found.

NEC VERSA M/75 - Upon boot, states that the HDD0 Failed or that "bootable device not found". There's something the BIOS in the M/75 REALLY hated about this drive because It was resetting my CMOS clock, tunning off the internal IDE on the laptop, and refusing to show up. Max drive size on this one is 2.1GB (2048, 16, 63, 0, 0).

CREEPING NET 486 - Installed, only Western Digital Data Lifeguard and Seagate Disc Wizard found the full capacity (Maxblast said it was 8GB, Fujitsu Disk Wizard said it was 134MB), so I chose Disc Wizard for the boot-from CD-ROM option it adds. Installed, partitioneed, formatted, and installed FreeDOS like a bullet - a full install took only 10 minutes!

Samsungs I had better luck with but still no dice. Both Versa were the same this time. They auto detected the drive, and/or I used manual settings, both got the "No Partition Table Found" error on boot. However, now things were really bad....
- Maxblast sees it as an 8GB drive
- Fujitsu sees it as a 124MB drive
- WD and Seagate see it as a 134MB drive

And none of those tools will let me write a partition table to it, nor fdisk. I think there's something overloading the BIOS numbers on those machines, so I might try later with different tech (DOMs or CF Cards). So I guess that idea is a fail.

As for the drive - it's going to Creeping Net 486 as a drive for Windows 95 next - I'm interested to see how multitrack recording works in Windows 95 using such tech....that thing will be ripping for a 486.

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6sYw9FvwuKahBHE_06diA

Reply 10 of 10, by creepingnet

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MONITOR STAND, NEC VERSA P/75 PLANNING, MORE SATA EXPERIMENTS, 40EC GETS A REFRESH

A lot of buzzing around the "lab" as of late. I know this has turned into an insane "NEC Versa Show" of sorts but I'll explain a little more of the motivation on that one. See, initially the plan was just the 40EC so I could play games on the go and use some retro applications for fun....then the M/75 turns up and I decide to take that on as a restoration project, but with the M/75 being almost all done (want to add more RAM), the 40EC finally having a stable screen hinge and being rather reliable, I hit a wall......probably the most I've done is drop the Versa M/75 back to FreeDOS 2.1 because I like that better (and discovered graphical web browsing in Links 2.2.1).

See, the other night I was planning on using anything Windows 9x or later on Windows 10 Compatibility mode - BIG MISTAKE. Want to talk about the most aggrivating attempt to shut-down a program (in this case Beachhead 2000) ever. Lead to it that I periodically scan E-bay for various NEC Versa, GEM Computer Products PCs, and occasional IBM PC-330 486 systems, as well as of course touch-screens for the M/75 (still waiting on LCDQuotes on that one)....well, I'll continue that in the P/75 section.....

So the first course of interest is some of my wood-working skills....

Monitor Stand

I bought an AT&T Globalyst DS docking station ((a rebadged NEC Docking Station II) awhile back and with the changes going on in my computing space, I decided to set that up as my primary retro setup. The problem is I got this docking station cheap because, like most things I snag on the 'bay, I wait for months, sometimes years, for it to come down in price and then do a BIN. Of course, this means almost anything I will buy off E-bay will NOT be in the best condition, and often missing parts. In this case, the plastic top part (monitor stand) - which was supposed to be able to hold up to a 60LB CRT - but there's a second reason, I don't like the stock one, it's too short, and looks silly.

So I designed one of my own that goes over the entire top of the dock, also giving me some more desk space for things if I like....like speakers, or temporarily putting storage media. And the CRT it's holding is like a 20LB (at most) Micron 15" so it's not like it need to be that sturdy, but it appears to be moreso - like I'd trust it with a 70LB CRT almost, 🤣. Also, I made it to have sort-of- a "wind-tunnel" through it for both air to pass by (protect my LCD's) and to allow cable management for things like my Words+ should I choose to attach that.

The stand is built out of pine plywood and cedar reclaimed from some I.T. palettes. It's taken me months to build because of those damn wildfires going on all over the west coast right now. I've had that wood for about 2 years now, most of the time I'm building solidbody electric guitars out of it.

NEC VERSA P/75

Okay, so back to the NEC Versa P/75. On my usual rounds through E-bay I found two more Versa - a 50EC (PC-460), and a P/75 (PC-490). The P/75 was the last model in the Versa line to use this particular platform, after that came the 2000 and 4000 series I suspect (oddly, some share the same dock port). The one I bought was DIRTY, and ugly, and beat to heck, and apparently a remanufactured laptop at one time or another. Surprisingly, this one has NO Hinge problems, so NEC must have changed their screen design internally sometime in 1995.

I bought the Versa P/75 with it being "as/is" and "untested" - like all my other vintage tech pursuits these days.....because I kind of enjoy rehabilitating old electronics that otherwise would be "junk" to everyone else. However, despite these "warnings" the Versa turned out to be a runner, put it in the Dock, and it fired right up!

I took it apart and cleaned it today and found out the following specs for it combined with the information I gathered from Friday night (when I got it)...

NEC VERSA P/75 SPECS (STOCK)
PLATFORM - NEC PC-4xx Platform (removable screen)
CPU: Intel Pentium Mobile 75 (it's a SMD, not a normal desktop chip like I suspected)
RAM: 8MB on board, no additional memory card this time
FDD: 1.44MB 3.5" floppy, same one my M/75 uses (which was missing it in lieu of an extra battery)
HDD: 540MB IBM...with an interesting sticker on it
GFX: TBD, It's most likely a C&T or WD, and 1MB though
SND: ESS 688 Audio Drive, SB compatible IIRC, so hopefully no WSS wonkiness this time (I'm seriously tempted to swap this into my M/75 and see if it works if the planars are very similar)
PCMCIA: no extra cards

No Power supply either, but the Battery is a later replacement. It seems this one was used HARD, and either on a construction site or at someone's auto repair shop because when it came in it was NASTY! The pictures don't even do it justice - smudges on the casing, what looks like wood glue on the keys (won't wipe off - thank god, I thought it was "something else" at first). Someone must have loved it too because it was seeing use well beyond the new millennium on that old 540MB HDD.

due to trying mSATA on this one and coming up against the same problem as the other two....this time with a hint from a sticker on the 540MB HDD.....

Warning: This drive is formatted using LBA. This drive can be used in an UltraLite Versa or Versa " only if the drive holds less than 504-MB (528 million bytes) of data. Using a drive with more than 504-MB of data will case data loss

Basically put, I decided the build out plan for the P/75 is....

- 80GB 2.5" ATA-133 Seagate Momentous Hard Drive (with Seagate DDO)
- 32MB Memory Card (Kingston KT-VS/32)
- Cisco Aironet LMC-352 (just like the M/75, and soon the 40EC will have)
- Windows 95 OSR 2.5

Basically put, it's going to be the Windows 9x machine of the lot. Also, I may take a look at the board routing for the ESS and see if it's daughtercard attachment is the same as the M/75 - I might be able to buy a second ESS688 card somewhere and put that in the M/75 so I can just work around the whole WSS issue. We'll see though. I had a laptop with the ESS688 before (NanTan built Duracom 5110D) and I loved it.

My whole plan with these Versas was twofold.....

1 - have some portable retro-machines I can take around and work/play using oldschool software
2 - possibly, if there ever comes a time where I need/want to minimize, I can keep all three Versa laptop as my "standalone desktop" because the actual desktop is just a docking station

We'll see where this goes though.

40EC GETS A REFRESH

So with me being a bit greedy about disk space on my old machines, I thought..."hey, why not stick the 540 in the 40EC". So that's where it is now. And as we speak I'm rebuilding it's O/S install....slowly, but surely. So with a DX4-100 running DOS and a P/75 running Win9x, why do I still need the 40EC? Well, I don't really "need" it per se, but it makes a nice Windows 3.1 machine and it has the right vibe, so it's got a fresh install of MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11.

As for the other 2 drives (240MB) - I'm saving those as spares for my Tandy 1000A....Ive got some "ideas" I want to try, either that or they will be utilized with the 486s for OS/2 2.1 w/ Win OS/2 or some old version of Linux (command line, of course).

SO THE CURRENT SPECS ON THE VERSAS ARE.....right now

VERSA 40EC
CPU: i486 DX2-40
RAM: 8MB
HDD: 540MB (Maxblast DDO for that extra 20 or so Megabytes)
VID: WD 92C24 1MB SVGA, NL6448AC30 640x480 Active Matrix LCD Panel (non touch)
SND: Internal Speaker when mobile, SoundBlaster Pro 2.0 when Docked
NET: SMC 8416 Ether EZ when docked, uses the Cisco Aironet LMC-352 most of the time when mobile, and at other times the WaveLan Silver (Orinoco card)
O/S: MS-DOS 6.22, Windows For Workgroups 3.11

Projected Modifications: Another LMC-352 Card (might sell the WaveLan Silver), this one gets the 16MB RAM card when the M/75 and P/75 get their 32MB cards installed. May later attempt to try an 8GB SSD on it but we'll see (that would be my dream).

General Performance: This thing feels more like a DX2 66 than a DX2-40 and feels like it outperforms my desktop when it was a DX2. I've been running some things on it quite comfortably that requires higher powered hardware (GTA, DOOM, Duke 3D Quake, AGS development) and it runs all except maybe Quake surprisingly well enough. This may be because I'm unencumbered by the additional resources sound requires when unlocked though.

VERSA M/75
CPU: i486 DX4-75
RAM: 24MB (8MB on board, 16MB on Card)
HDD: Seagate Momentous ATA-133 80GB w/ MAxblast DDO 4x FAT-32 partitions
VID: C&T 1MB SVGA, NL6448AC30-06 640x480 TFT Active Matrix w/ 3M Microtouch Touch (needs new digitizer and pen)
SND: Crystal CS4231 Windows Sound System compatible audio (mobile), uses the SBPro, the WSS, or BOTH when docked (hehehe)
NET: Same SMC Ethernet when docked, whjen undocked, Cisco LMC-352
O/S: FreeDOS 2.1, will move to 3.x when it goes into stable release. Working on getting Win9x/Win3x apps working in DOS through HX currently.

Projected Modifications: not much, just a 32MB memory card (giving the 16 in this to the 40EC to give that one 20MB of RAM), replace the broken MicroTouch Digitizer and missing pen (still looking for one), and then, maybe, if I feel comfortable, try out putting an ESS688 daughtercard in it in lieu of the Crystal card - giving me 2 DOS Adlib/SB compatible laptops instead of just one.

VERSA P/75
CPU: iPentium 75MHz
RAM: 8MB
HDD: none ATM
VID: unknown 1MB SVGA
SND: ESS 688 AudioDrive
NET: none ATM
O/S: None

Projected Modifications: Quite a few....LMC-352 Aironet of course (if it works, use it), I'm looking at Windows 95 OSR 2.5 for vintage accuracy and highest level of power, but I am really being tempted to put 98 SE on it because I could bump up the firmware on the Aironet, install Norton LAN Manager or whatever that is, and then utilize WPA - meaning I could connect this one to my current WiFi at home and elsewhere instead of piggybacking my cell phone. 80GB Seagate Momentous - if it works, why change the formula?

Performance: I'm planning to bolster Windows inefficiencies using various hardware and software tweaks like I did all my 486 and Pentiums in the good ole-days (when they were cheap and plentiful). I expect I'll be using this one for gaming more since I can run Diablo, Shivers, Lighthouse, MYST, Golf 3.0, Quake, GTA, Postal, and a gaggle of other Win9x titles using virtual CD-ROMs (and maybe some DOS stuff too). That said, I'm not too keen on productivity under 9x outside of Digital Audio and Circuit Boards.

And my other projects on the horizon are taking the 286 out for a spin, and replacing/fixing the broken RH17 Mobile Rack (drive caddy attachment) on the DX4-100 desktop. Plus finishing up on the poor NEC Ready 9522 that I've not done a whole lot with.

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    229.49 KiB
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    The mSATA kid I was using....this is going to the DX4 desktop now for Windows 9x use.
    File license
    CC-BY-4.0
  • beforethestand.jpg
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    beforethestand.jpg
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    54.95 KiB
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    Playing under a Killing Moon on the M/75
    File license
    CC-BY-4.0
  • p75.jpg
    Filename
    p75.jpg
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    84.73 KiB
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    P/75 right after I brought it home
    File license
    CC-BY-4.0
  • tres-versas.jpg
    Filename
    tres-versas.jpg
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    288.37 KiB
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    My Versa Collection L-R - 40EC, M/75, P/75
    File license
    CC-BY-4.0
  • dock4.jpg
    Filename
    dock4.jpg
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    184.35 KiB
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    40EC running under said new Monitor Stand
    File license
    CC-BY-4.0

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6sYw9FvwuKahBHE_06diA