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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:42 pm 
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Location: Meridian, Idaho & Oyer, Norway
After a spring with lots of Thinkpad purchases, a 701C, a NOS Frankenpad board, a bunch of R61s, a T43P, etc. I decided that this was enough, and no further Thinkpad purchases would be done this year. But then I came across an ad in Norway's Craigslist equivalent for a good condition 750C, a 600 and lots of old Thinkpad parts. You can probably guess how that went, and last week I suddenly had a 30 pound package waiting for me at the post office..

The 750C was the best part of the deal, as this turned out to be simply - mint. It appears to have been hardly used at all, and definitely never dragged around. Still running Win3.1, with all the Thinkpad system software installed. And a Heineken screen saver. Behind Win3.1 it runs a IBM DOS Shell, something I have never seen before. This shell contains a very basic menu with links that opens certain Thinkpad functions. 1st priority is to make an image of it's HDD in case it fails, but I am not sure how that will work as long as I won't be able to save / restore the image while the drives are installed IN the machine. I will put some thoughts into it.

Image

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The IBM DOS Shell interface:

Image

The 600 is in decent condition, even though it has seen a lot more use, and had no hard drive when I got it. I inserted a 20GB drive, but the CMOS battery is dead, and it has the 192 fan error which prevents it from doing anything. From what I read, it seems like the fan error can be triggered by the dead CMOS battery, so I'll give that a shot first. This laptop even came with all parts and manuals that were in the original box, including cables, port covers, external floppy drive and restore media. I do however suspect that this CD might contain Win95, so I will try a Linux distro on it to be able to use it a little bit. (Any suggestions for a suitable lightweight distro, anyone?) It has a PII 266MHz CPU and 64MB RAM, but I think I even have a 128MB module for it somewhere. The 600 is a really nice machine, and I can see why many users here still like them.

Image

Yes, and the parts. The guy had apparently owned other old Thinkpads too, as I got some old batteries along that don't fit any Thinkpads I own. They are on the picture below, so if anyone here in Norway has any interest of having them, they can be had for free. What made me most happy, though, was 3 extra hard drives/caddys for the 750C, which also fits my 360Cs. I also got a load of AC adapters for both the 750 and the 600, including a car charger for the 750.. That is the one with the hexadiagonal 4-pin plug, so I have never seen a 12V one of those before. (Edit: Any help in identifying the 4 batteries in the picture below would be appreciated. That helps me decide if they should be kept or thrown away in case nobody wants them)

Image

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Bjorn
T601 FrankenPad UXGA - R61i 8918 - T60 2007 - Z61m - T43p 2669 UXGA - T43 2668 SXGA - 2x T42 2373 - G40 2388 - 2x T30 2366 - T23 2648 - 770Z 9549 PIII - 600 2645 - 380ED 2635 - 701C 2630 - 750C 9545 - 2x 360Cs 2620


Last edited by Norway Pad on Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:13 pm 
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Nice! 750C's are really cool, enjoy it! :thumbs-UP:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:23 pm 
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Very neat find you got there!
750C is in perfect condition!
:thumbs-UP:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:32 am 
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Thanks! :) I took a little chance here, as the statement "good condition" in an ad very rarely matches my standard of "good condition". But this time it did, so I wasn't disappointed.

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Bjorn
T601 FrankenPad UXGA - R61i 8918 - T60 2007 - Z61m - T43p 2669 UXGA - T43 2668 SXGA - 2x T42 2373 - G40 2388 - 2x T30 2366 - T23 2648 - 770Z 9549 PIII - 600 2645 - 380ED 2635 - 701C 2630 - 750C 9545 - 2x 360Cs 2620


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:20 am 
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Quote:
(Any suggestions for a suitable lightweight distro, anyone?) It has a PII 266MHz CPU and 64MB RAM, but I think I even have a 128MB module for it somewhere.


Try AntiX. I use it on P2 300MHz and 192MB RAM, it runs flawlessly, albeit boot time is quite long and when browsing internet, many sites use 100% CPU and load a while, but few today make sites for Pentium II. I'd put in the 128MB RAM first, of my 192 about half is used at bootup and about 80-90% is filled with firefox and this website loaded. Other than that, AntiX has everything, both sound and wifi worked for me right away. Note that you need CD drive to install it. I did not, but came up with a work around. I think 750c has a CD-Drive, right? If yes and yours fine then you will have no problem, if the drive isn't there or doesn't work, I'll share with you the workaround how to install AntiX.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:48 am 
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Thanks for the suggestion. The computer in question is the 600, which has a CD-rom, yes. But if bootup takes long, and it easily uses all the RAM and maxes out the CPU, that sounds like this distro is pushing things a little bit. So there might be an even more lightweight distro that could do it for me. I could put in even one more 128MB RAM module if needed, and I think I also have access to a PII 366Mhz MMC-1 CPU board, which I think works in the 600. But we are still talking pretty limited hardware resources. (After reading one more time, I see that it is the websites that maxes out the RAM / CPU and not the distro itself. So that might be hard to avoid no matter what distro you use)

My primary goal is to have access to a browser that displays Gmail and a text editor that can create a .doc text document. I often sit on the couch at home and type work documents, and simply email the file to my work email and then copy the text into the corporate document the next day. So the 600 could be perfect for that. No major web browsing needed. But I need some kind of GUI, as I am not familliar with running stuff from command line / terminal only.

I will anyway check this distro out when I get the 600 working again. Maybe I'll even repost this question in the Linux section, to get more input on the distro subject and to keep the topic related to the section topic.

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Bjorn
T601 FrankenPad UXGA - R61i 8918 - T60 2007 - Z61m - T43p 2669 UXGA - T43 2668 SXGA - 2x T42 2373 - G40 2388 - 2x T30 2366 - T23 2648 - 770Z 9549 PIII - 600 2645 - 380ED 2635 - 701C 2630 - 750C 9545 - 2x 360Cs 2620


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:43 pm 
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There are lighter distro, but AntiX just works after install and has modern web-browser with all the modern security etc. The other (lighter and about the same) distros had issues with supporting my external wifi card and sound card in the laptop. AntiX just works and this is why I decided to stay with it. Stuff like Puppy Linux has hardware support issues. The 3 minutes boot I can stand and there is no way to avoid 100% CPU use when browsing the internet, these are just old CPUs, you can't do anything about it.

When idle, AntiX uses about 10-20% of P2 300MHz and 80-90 MB RAM.


However, the best way is to experiment yourself. If you have time, download multiple linuxes and check them out, I'm pretty sure you'll find something to your liking.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:14 am 
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Ok, that explanation makes the whole thing make more sense. I know that there are distros that can even be run on 701C machines with 64MB RAM, but I assume they are even more specialized and have no GUI. (At least that's my impression, without ever having seen this in use) So I will definitely make an attempt with AntiX. I am by no means an experienced Linux user, so the fact that this distro works out of the box is important to me. I hope it's ok that I contact you later if there are any questions.

What machine do you run AntiX on, btw? 600, 390 or 770?

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Bjorn
T601 FrankenPad UXGA - R61i 8918 - T60 2007 - Z61m - T43p 2669 UXGA - T43 2668 SXGA - 2x T42 2373 - G40 2388 - 2x T30 2366 - T23 2648 - 770Z 9549 PIII - 600 2645 - 380ED 2635 - 701C 2630 - 750C 9545 - 2x 360Cs 2620


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:09 am 
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Sure, contact me if you need anything, I'll try to help.

I run AntiX on Panasonic Toughbook CF-71.

BTW. There are linuxes (at least one that I've used for a short while) with graphical UI which are so small that fit a floppy disk and have multiple software installed, including office stuff and games. Pure magic ;) I forgot the name of the distribution I used though, but it didn't support wireless at all.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:17 am 
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I did a search, and the distro I was thinking about was Slackware. Slackware 10.0 can apparently run on 16MB RAM, and it supports wireless. But I suspect it doesn't have a GUI, which sets the level for using a little higher.

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Bjorn
T601 FrankenPad UXGA - R61i 8918 - T60 2007 - Z61m - T43p 2669 UXGA - T43 2668 SXGA - 2x T42 2373 - G40 2388 - 2x T30 2366 - T23 2648 - 770Z 9549 PIII - 600 2645 - 380ED 2635 - 701C 2630 - 750C 9545 - 2x 360Cs 2620


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:35 pm 
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Norway Pad wrote:
(Edit: Any help in identifying the 4 batteries in the picture below would be appreciated. That helps me decide if they should be kept or thrown away in case nobody wants them)


That battery on the top left looks like the one in my 365XD.

Nice finds! :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:18 am 
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theterminator93 wrote:
That battery on the top left looks like the one in my 365XD.

Thanks. I will keep the 3 batteries on the top. I assume they belong to some post 7xx / 3xx, so I might be getting some of those in the future.

I can also confirm that the 192 fan error on the 600 went away when it got a new CMOS battery. For fun I put in a 20GB IDE drive from my pile of drives, just to see what it did. I expected it to have Win 2000, but it turned out to be the old drive from my T30 Linux-Pad. So after grinding for a while, it booted into Linux Mint Isadora, and it worked fine. Uhm, sorta.. CPU was between 80 and 100% all of the time, and 100MB RAM was already used right after it was started up. That sounds very much like the description of how AntiX works. So I might get that other 128MB RAM stick, but being this high on resource use will probably make that whole computing experience a little tiring in the long run. I will move the Linux OS topic to the Linux forum.

For the CPU upgrade, I do have my doubt if the PII 366MHz CPU does all that much difference compared to the 266MHz one that's there now. So I might choose to leave it as it is. The screw cover stickers on the bottom are painted with rubber paint, and it looks nice untouched. So I would almost prefer to leave it that way unless this upgrade is seen as really noticeable?

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Bjorn
T601 FrankenPad UXGA - R61i 8918 - T60 2007 - Z61m - T43p 2669 UXGA - T43 2668 SXGA - 2x T42 2373 - G40 2388 - 2x T30 2366 - T23 2648 - 770Z 9549 PIII - 600 2645 - 380ED 2635 - 701C 2630 - 750C 9545 - 2x 360Cs 2620


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:10 pm 
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just checked out on my CF-71 how much resources antix uses exactly in idle. It's 8-10% CPU load and 50MB RAM (+ 2 MB SWAP).


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:28 pm 
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Good to know! I understood from previous posts that it may used more. I have gotten advices for both AntiX and Wary Puppy on the 600, so I'll try both to see which one works the best. There are actually several people recommending AntiX, so that will most likely be the one I stick with, but curious on the other distro too. I have downloaded both ISOs, so just waiting for a 20GB 7200rpm drive that I ordered from eBay. The small IDE drives I have are all 4500rpm, so I guess it's good to gain some speed wherever you can. :wink:

Just ran the recovery CD that came along, and put Win95 back on the spare drive that I put in. And there was a lot of IBM stuff that came along. Register your Thinkpad, Manuals, Thinkpad Configuration, etc. Some of it might have been seen as bloatware even back then, but today it is nice to see it. It's in Norwegian, so it doesn't make much sense for the rest of you guys, but thought you might enjoy a picture of some of the IBM stuff anyway:

Image

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Bjorn
T601 FrankenPad UXGA - R61i 8918 - T60 2007 - Z61m - T43p 2669 UXGA - T43 2668 SXGA - 2x T42 2373 - G40 2388 - 2x T30 2366 - T23 2648 - 770Z 9549 PIII - 600 2645 - 380ED 2635 - 701C 2630 - 750C 9545 - 2x 360Cs 2620


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:44 pm 
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The 600's can go as high as an 800MHz P3 IIRC.

Nice collection of machines.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:10 pm 
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If you're not going to use internet via wireless or are curious, you might want to see this: http://kolibrios.org/en/
It's a Linux with GUI that fits a floppy disk. I don't know what are CPU requirements, but surely low, and 8 MB of RAM is sufficient to run it too.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:50 pm 
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Even though it is in Norwegian, it's very cool to see. Makes me feel kind of Nostalgic.

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