VOGONS


First post, by 3lectr1c

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Note for mods: Not sure whether to put this thread here or in Milliways - feel free to move.

Hello to anyone who's reading this!
I run MacDat, a website dedicated to preserving online info on vintage Macintosh hardware, and on vintage PC Laptop hardware. My eventual very long-term goal is to document just about every laptop released in the 1990s. Who knows if I'll ever get there, but it's a goal nonetheless. This is an active project that I work on almost every day in my spare time. One of the things I'm looking to do of course is to provide images of what the laptops I'm documenting look like. Most have at least some photos on the web, but of course, I don't have the rights to use them. So far, I've used photos that I've taken, that I've gotten permission from others to use, some screenshots of old print advertisements, but for many, many models, I just don't have any photos. Print ads are one of the more reliable ways, but those photos are often very low quality. (Side note - love the fact that most images here get CC licensed - that means I can at least use some from here, though there isn't a terribly large amount of photos and I'd probably have to dig through the two massive hardware threads for days searching... So many pages!)

So, I'm asking you all for help here: If you have just about any vintage laptop, send in some photos if you'd like to help! Submitting them will help to ensure they're better documented for people looking in the future for information on them.

For an example of what sort of photos I'm looking for, see this page here: https://macdat.net/pc/winbook/486series/gallery.html
The main shot I'd need the most is a head-on or angled shot of the computer open and either booting up or booted to the desktop, or just a photo of it off it your laptop doesn't work.
If you really want to go the extra mile, photos of each side of the computer (top, front, right, back, left, bottom) would also be useful! If that's too much though, I'm perfectly happy if you just send in a photo you already have lying around, or one you posted in another thread, whatever works. Any photo is better than no photo.

Also - Photos sent in may take a while to get onto the site. Unless it's a brand I'm currently working on documenting, or already have pages on that are missing or have bad photos, it will probably go into "cold storage" until I make a page on the laptop. I'll likely prioritize documenting laptops I have images for though. And finally, the chances are fairly low, but if I do already have photos of a laptop you send images in of, I may not use them.

Thank you in advance to anyone that wants to help!

Also - let me know if you'd like to be credited or not.

(Edit 12/01/2023):
If it's something obscure without much info online, I may also need specifications. Below is an example of my format for specs, with the example of the Dell Latitude C600:

Release Date: 2000
CPU: Intel Pentium III M @750, 850, or 1.0GHz
Chipset: Intel Mobile 440BX PCI
RAM: Officially up to 512MB, 1GB likely possible, PC133
HDD Type: 2.5" IDE
Uses Proprietary HDD Adapter: Yes
Display Options: 14.1" 1024x768 or 14" 1400x1050 LCD
GPU: ATI Mobility 128
VRAM: 8MB
Sound: ESS Maestro 3i
Main Battery: Lithium Ion
CMOS Battery: VARTA 6-cell NiMH
Power Supply: External, Dell C-Series 3 pin
Expansion: 2x PCMCIA/CardBus slots
Internal Drives: Dell C-Series Modular Bay (Supports CD/DVD, Floppy, 2nd HDD, ZIP, 2nd battery, more)
Networking: Modem, Optional Ethernet, Optional WiFi
I/O (Front): Battery bay, Modular bay
I/O (Left): 2x PCMCIA/CardBus slots
I/O (Rear): DC Jack, VGA, 1x USB 1.1, 1x PS/2, Dock Connector, Parallel, Serial
I/O (Right): S-Video Out, Ethernet, Modem, Mic Jack, Headphone Jack, IR
BIOS: Dell BIOS
Pointing Devices: Trackpad, TrackPoint

Last edited by 3lectr1c on 2023-12-01, 14:10. Edited 1 time in total.

I probably have too many old laptops.

Reply 1 of 43, by Horun

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I have a Toshiba Satellite 110CS Pentium laptop from 1996. Is that old enough ?

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. https://archive.org/details/@horun

Reply 3 of 43, by Ensign Nemo

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Are you mainly interested in photos? I noticed that some of the laptops have hardware information too. Personally, I find it hard to find the specs of machines that I sometimes see people selling second hand. Often, it's someone who has no idea what they have and can't answer any questions apart from whether or not it fires up. I really appreciate any time someone posts the specs of these old computers online. It might also be helpful if you asked people to share the specs too. There are a few utilities that can be used to help you find out too, such as HWiNFO.

Reply 4 of 43, by 3lectr1c

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Yes, specs too are useful to submit if it’s something obscure, I do include any known specs on every laptop’s page. I didn’t ask only because I assume that most submissions will come from the major brands, which I can usually find good info on somewhere online. I’ve also gotten rather decent at digging through the way back machine for info on the obscure brands. Perhaps I should have added a note about that though. I do currently have a focus on the more obscure brands. I currently have documentation up for Apple and Dell laptops, but also Jetta, CTX, WinBook, Nan Tan, and am currently working on AlphaTop/ECS Green Series info for the next site update. That’s the info that’s most lacking, so it’s what I’ve been focused on mainly so far. I’d like to include the major brands too though at some point, as even that can be tricky to find sometimes!

I probably have too many old laptops.

Reply 6 of 43, by PcBytes

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3lectr1c wrote on 2023-12-01, 03:59:

Yes, specs too are useful to submit if it’s something obscure, I do include any known specs on every laptop’s page. I didn’t ask only because I assume that most submissions will come from the major brands, which I can usually find good info on somewhere online. I’ve also gotten rather decent at digging through the way back machine for info on the obscure brands. Perhaps I should have added a note about that though. I do currently have a focus on the more obscure brands. I currently have documentation up for Apple and Dell laptops, but also Jetta, CTX, WinBook, Nan Tan, and am currently working on AlphaTop/ECS Green Series info for the next site update. That’s the info that’s most lacking, so it’s what I’ve been focused on mainly so far. I’d like to include the major brands too though at some point, as even that can be tricky to find sometimes!

Let me know if you need the specs on the following:

- Gericom Supersonic M6-T 1200
- Compaq Armada E500
- Compaq Armada M700
- Dell Latitude C600

I didn't include a few that I had already posted - Dell Latitude CPx J650GT, Gericom Masterpiece 2540XL, ECS Green736 - but I can post the specs on these as well, if needed.

"Enter at your own peril, past the bolted door..."
Main PC: i5 3470, GB B75M-D3H, 16GB RAM, 2x1TB
98SE : P3 650, Soyo SY-6BA+IV, 384MB RAM, 80GB

Reply 7 of 43, by ThinkpadIL

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Don't want to discourage you, but if you ask me, it will be a complete waste of time.

The goal "to document just about every laptop released in the 1990s" is too much even for the Wikipedia, so if I was you I'd narrow my goal down to one manufacturer or even to one model and collect at one place all possible materials about it. And in addition I'd also add a forum where your visitors could contribute additional information.

Here are some examples of the sites to illustrate what I mean:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThinkPad
https://thinkwiki.de/T42
https://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:T42
https://www.hpcfactor.com/reviews/hardware/hp/jornada680
http://www.club100.org/

By the way, you can also contribute to the existing and produce new articles on Wikipedia.

Reply 10 of 43, by 3lectr1c

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rasz_pl wrote on 2023-12-01, 05:38:

These are your pages?

Don't want to discourage you, but if you ask me, it will be a complete waste of time.

The goal "to document just about every laptop released in the 1990s" is too much even for the Wikipedia, so if I was you I'd narrow my goal down to one manufacturer or even to one model and collect at one place all possible materials about it. And in addition I'd also add a forum where your visitors could contribute additional information.

I completely get why you think that. It is a massive undertaking. I will however counter that I'm planning on working actively on this site for the foreseeable future (and have been actively since 2021), and I honestly don't think that my goal is THAT far out of reach, given enough years. Will I ever get there? Maybe the chances are that I won't. I'm certainly not going to let that keep me from trying. Some content is better than none, and there are already 320 HTML pages in the pc section currently - that's a lot already! That's all just since this year too, before that the site was all Macintosh info.
As for the sites you mentioned - wikipedia is great and all, and I use it for a lot of things, but I do have to feel like if I wrote a page on the WinBook XL, it would get purged pretty quick for not being notable enough. I also like having control over how content is formatted. Thinkwiki.org is great for specifications, but not a whole lot else. It's also seemingly dead, it doesn't appear to be actively edited by anyone anymore and you have to contact the admins for an account. Thinkwiki.de seems much better, but it's in a different language.
On adding a forum - this has been on the idea board for a good while now, the main idea being a forum specific to vintage laptop repair help (and sections on site dev too as you suggested). Main issues there are setting it up (I have no experience and it doesn't seem trivial), and growing a community (getting people to join brand new places with little/no content is tough). My thinking currently is that I'll probably look more into it once the site has more content and more traffic.

Luggables: Compaq-portable style with a CRT - maybe in the future but currently not. I'll still take images of these and put them in "cold storage" though, just in case for the future. If it's got an LCD and a folding screen but is still massive (Toshiba T3200-style), yes.

Subnotebooks - if it runs/can run full Windows or DOS, than yes.

I probably have too many old laptops.

Reply 11 of 43, by 3lectr1c

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PcBytes wrote on 2023-12-01, 09:25:
Let me know if you need the specs on the following: […]
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3lectr1c wrote on 2023-12-01, 03:59:

Yes, specs too are useful to submit if it’s something obscure, I do include any known specs on every laptop’s page. I didn’t ask only because I assume that most submissions will come from the major brands, which I can usually find good info on somewhere online. I’ve also gotten rather decent at digging through the way back machine for info on the obscure brands. Perhaps I should have added a note about that though. I do currently have a focus on the more obscure brands. I currently have documentation up for Apple and Dell laptops, but also Jetta, CTX, WinBook, Nan Tan, and am currently working on AlphaTop/ECS Green Series info for the next site update. That’s the info that’s most lacking, so it’s what I’ve been focused on mainly so far. I’d like to include the major brands too though at some point, as even that can be tricky to find sometimes!

Let me know if you need the specs on the following:

- Gericom Supersonic M6-T 1200
- Compaq Armada E500
- Compaq Armada M700
- Dell Latitude C600

I didn't include a few that I had already posted - Dell Latitude CPx J650GT, Gericom Masterpiece 2540XL, ECS Green736 - but I can post the specs on these as well, if needed.

Gericoms, Compaqs, Green736 - In need of images & specs. I know you've already posted images of the Green736 elsewhere though, so I can just go find them again, no need to post them again.
Latitude C600 & CPx - I have specs already up for the C600 and I can get the CPx specs pretty easily. I do not have images for either though. I think you posted images of the CPx though, so I can just go get them from the other thread as well.

I probably have too many old laptops.

Reply 13 of 43, by Jasin Natael

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I've got 12-13 retro 90s laptops kicking around. I think all of them are in working/booting condition.
I don't think I have anything rare, but when I get some time I'll try to document what I have and send you some photos.

Reply 14 of 43, by 3lectr1c

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Sure. Doesn't matter if they're common, there's far more laptops I don't have photos of then ones that I do. Appreciate it!

I probably have too many old laptops.

Reply 15 of 43, by bakemono

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Dirty Old Laptops volume 1: Gateway Solo 2200

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again another retro game on itch: https://90soft90.itch.io/shmup-salad

Reply 16 of 43, by bakemono

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Dirty Old Laptops volume 2: Dell Latitude L400

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again another retro game on itch: https://90soft90.itch.io/shmup-salad

Reply 17 of 43, by bakemono

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Dirty Old Laptops volume 3: frankentop edition: Sharp PC-3030 top half with a Hitachi E133 bottom half

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again another retro game on itch: https://90soft90.itch.io/shmup-salad

Reply 18 of 43, by bakemono

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Dirty Old Laptops volume 4: revenge of the mold: Toshiba Portege 610CT

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again another retro game on itch: https://90soft90.itch.io/shmup-salad

Reply 19 of 43, by 3lectr1c

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Thank you so much for the photos! These will go to good use. Should have the L400 photos up for the next site update as I already have the L400 documented. Others will go into cold storage until I document the laptops in question.

I probably have too many old laptops.