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Compaq Portable III from 1987 wants to be freed!

 
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Oyster



Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:58 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:32 am    Post subject: Compaq Portable III from 1987 wants to be freed! Reply with quote

It's got 6Mb RAM, 20Mb HDD (possibly 40Mb), a 5.25 Floppy drive and a sexy orange monochrome screen.
There is also an expansion box for two ISA cards which I will use to get this old girl onto the internet with an ethernet card.

http://oldcomputers.net/compaqiii.html

I can plug in a 3.5 drive temporarily to install linux but am looking for recommendations from any old-timers who have installed on ancient gear.

mulinux looks like a candidate.

I hope to post in this forum from lynx browser on a working linux install to finish off this thread.

Help free this crusty old granny from her shackles Smile


Last edited by Oyster on Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:31 am; edited 3 times in total
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Oyster



Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:58 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, it's a 286 (from 1987) which is pre-linux (1991 announced).

Doh!

Anyone heard of a kernel running on a 286?
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dandnsmith
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:01 am
Posts: 308
Location: Berks, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFAIR we were running SCO Unix and one other on small portables in that era.

Even at 40MB HDD, I think you'd be pushing it for modern distros.

My first trial would be Tom's Root n Boot, which runs on pretty basic hardware, and doesn't have fancy graphics requirements.
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Oyster



Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:58 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dandnsmith,

Thanks for the advice, I'll have a look for that.

I am hoping to go with a preferably free OS and would like to install it to HDD rather than a floppy-booted OS.

My research on linux for 286 has so far come up with nothing.

Meanwhile, granny's (she needs a name) guts are open to the elements.

The search continues.....
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towy71
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:11 pm
Posts: 4259
Location: wild West Wales

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you'll find that there is no Linux kernel that can run on that hardware, it is possible that minix might but I doubt it!



ps I have just such a box but with a 3.5 floppy built in and I haven't managed to get anything to work on it Crying or Very sad
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Oyster



Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:58 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey towy71

I found ELKS which sounds like a 286 branch of an old linux kernel

http://elks.sourceforge.net/FAQ-English.html

It has a root and a boot floppy (the root floppy content can be copied to HDD) whicih are used in tandem to get the machine going.
I'm not that keen on pursuing that though as it would mean I'd need to leave the machine open as the 3.5" drive is not included in the box.

It does support 286 though so you might be able to do it with your configuration.
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Bazza
LXF regular


Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:16 am
Posts: 1474
Location: Loughborough

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi towy71...

You could try MikeOS... ;oD

I`ve checked the source and it doesn`t use any non `286
assembly code although Mike intended it for `386 minimum
running in 16 bit mode...

GO ON, have a bit of light hearted fun and give it a try
using the floppy version. You might just get hooked.

The highly restricted environment is stretching my mind
for a change and I`m luvvin it... :D
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Bazza, G0LCU...

Team AMIGA...
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