I have three Toshiba laptops due to ignorant purchases over time. All three have a mousepad in front of the keyboard which has an auto-click function - if you tap it with a finger, it moves the focus to the current cursor location. The problem with all three is that during normal 10-finger typing, thumb movement near the pad causes an inadvertent auto-click, messing up my typing.
I want to turn the auto-click function off. Anybody know how?
I just bought four used Win98 laptops. They have real parallel ports and floppies, and '98 programs can do direct port i/o, so they are handy for lots of things. I use them to run uP background debugger pods. And I use them as "print servers" with my Epson wide-carriage fanfold printers (copy file from XP onto a floppy, carry over to laptop, print.) The Epson Windows USB drivers always install in Polish or some strange language that I can't understand, and don't seem to want to print in fast mode now matter how you play with them. From the laptop parallel port, they print full blast with no drivers at all.
I use them with real PS/2 mice. Those mousepads are awful.
It's weird to buy a computer for less than a scope probe.
Right. Big companies unload, sometimes, thousands of working laptops. Brokers buy them by the pallet, refurb, and resell them with a warranty. They can be handy to have around sometimes. It doesn't take a Core Duo to wiggle bits on a parallel port.
You can get a clean working '98 laptop on ebay for around $50. A refurb IBM from a broker, with 6 month warranty and a good battery, goes for about $250.
It's much simpler here. I use a Barricade firewall-router and it has a built in parallel port so the old HP-Laser mutated into another network printer.
Some had those rubber sticks, I think IBM did that. I always liked the trackball in my old Compaq but one more hard landing finally brought it to its knees, big crack around the enclosure, HD loosened and battery fell out :-(
Watch the old batteries. At that age some start leaking and must be disposed of at the transfer station.
The heavy duty printing is done by a Brother MFC which has a LAN port. It has an impressive throughput. But the HP warms up faster and most of all has no fan because its low throughput doesn't cause it to get hot. The Brother's fan keeps running at least 5mins and the things sits right next to me.
I had a decent older laptop with *built-in* AC power supply (eliminates the problem of having to buy replacement batteries for something that is rarely used :< ). But, I opted to discard it in one of my periodic "purges".
I've held onto a Compaq "Portable 386" (lunchbox, not the luggable). Big, yes. And had to hack the BIOS to get support for even a 300 *MB* disk. But, keeps two ISA slots available for me (something I don't have in any of the other machines, here).
Unfortunately, I don't have another machine with a 5" floppy so I can't create the "SETUP floppy" to reinitialize the CMOS now that the battery died. ( I was smart enough to save images of all the floppies -- but forgot to save a drive that could write them... other than the one in the Compaq!)
I am hoping, someday, to have time to see if I can hack a USB 3" floppy drive to accept a 5" drive, instead (no idea how closely the controllers in those floppies are wed to the actual 3" drive! I don't expect much joy...)
Got any links? We've had a hard time getting mobos with ISA slots, as spares for older systems. We just refurbed a 10-year-old magnetic field mapper system and had a hard time getting parts. Our customer was breathing down our neck, as the mapper is in the critical path of a billion-dollar annual revenue stream.
Yes. The advantage of the Portable is that it is much smaller than a "regular" PC -- including the keyboard and plasma display -- portable and still has the old serial and parallel ports (even an *EGA* video out :> )
Yeah, so doesn't buy you much. :< I am hoping that the controller in the 3.5 usb floppies is smart enough to see the difference in a 5" -- much like you can repurpose an external USB CD-R/W to be an external (hard) disk.
I suspect the 5" went disappeared too soon for the makers of these controllers to support it. :-/
Wow. That goes back a long way. I used to have one of those it was like carrying a car battery around with you. Powerful in its day.
You might be able to trick it into booting despite the CMOS being empty by powering it up leaving for a few minutes and then switch off and restart. With any luck enough power to put the CMOS into a default safe state will stay around just long enough on capacitors. Try a few variants of power on, reset reboot. You only have to get lucky once!
If it will boot once then use RS232 or parallel port networking to move the files across.
Better yet - swap out the CMOS backup battery first. Probably either a coin cell, or more likley (depending on age), either one of those plug-in power paks, or a few cell stacked in series and soldered to the board. If the latter, just clip and connect new.