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A Latvian and english Linux tiny operating system. used by golf & dvd lovers

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#1 2011-08-05 09:49:16

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

P III 5/600 mhz 320 mB laptop ultra thin, uses docking station with floppy and dvd, has USB and pcmcia. Operating system works with Win98/2k and XP, on HP patches.

It was cheap on ebay, $20 without hdd. Now people try to sell for over $100 working without docking station.

So, there must be some value if you love the F10 Phoenix bios. Which makes changing operating system a chore if you don't have the original cd set that came with the computer.

Adding software is not a problem. Restore operating system has to use their cd set, not windows new set date restore system? That is because of the older Win98 tradition in the computer design.  No way to change the old way unless a new bios is used to replace old Compaq Phoenix bios for Win98.

HP has nothing for bios substitute, have to pay bios supplier $75.

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2011-08-05 09:49:16

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#2 2011-08-05 09:59:43

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

But, first, we have to recharge the cmos bios battery lithium 2016 which is over ten years old now.  Even if it is only a few millivolts it will recharge when you use the computer. If it started to keep date and time you are in luck. Mine showed me the year 8378 after some use, I realized that the battery started to work. It may take weeks before it will hold enough charge for a week of clock working.

So, you have to use it all the time, if you don't replace the lithium cmos battery.

Next is to charge the large lithium battery which has a led voltage indicator of five levels of charge, All five has to light up when it has good charge condition.

It has a dialup Lucent winmodem to activate your ISP account. You could also install a cheap USB or pcmcia wireless /G for free hotspots in your town?

Then you might be lucky to get a docking station to play movies with powerDVD. You can also play movies with USB key or USB DVD. Your video display resolution maybe changed from 800x600 to 1024x768 for easier viewing.

You can still work with Win2k pro or XP, with Firefox 6/7 to surf the net. IE6 to add free download manager to do file collection on the net.

Games like Taipei50 can be one of your collection of files.

This is beginning to make laptops with older operating system usable on the net.

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#3 2011-08-06 20:25:11

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Since M300 has a USB 2.0 connection, reserve it for USB key ot card readers; WiFi can use cheap pcmcia E101 EHome WiFi/g card. WiFi clock is sensitive to heat, pcmcia has bigger mass and probably works better over time than small or tiny USB WiFi keys. Pcmcia CF card reader are more expensive to use CF cards. USB can use cheapest microSD flash memory.

E101 driver installation on win2kpro went very smooth. Radio signal strength of 19% got 5.5 mbps data rate at the library parking lot.

WiFi makes old laptops very attractive for internet surfing of enterprise data centers.

The availability of the docking station can play movies, even though movies can be played on USB card readers as well.

The question is how far can you do paperless on enterprise cloud computing?? Airines kiosk can print boarding pass for you, if you fill in some data from your tablet or netbook or cellphone.

So, ultra light laptop should be saved to use as a large netbook?

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#4 2011-08-29 10:15:17

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Why M300 and M700 laptops are cheap on ebay? The ac adapter problem is from china. M300 docking station has an adapter that has a pin smaller than the pin on the adapter on the laptop. The chinese made adapter has the pin too large, and arcing occurs if there is a movement to cause an air gap(18.5v can breakdown air gap of 1/2" per 10,000 volts dielectric constant).

So, buyng a Compag original adapter is the only way to have working M300 or M700. and adapter of docking station is a different model too(even smaller pin).


The secret is now out, Compag AC adapter is three times the cost of chinese made cheapy. And they are worth every penny.

Such is the buying problems on ebay, too many inexperienced engineers in China making cheap products that has reliability problems. This may push us to modify their adapter plug, by insert inside the larger hole, or making the larger hole eliptical(easier by slightly squeezing the hole). The solution may be temporary but effective.

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#5 2011-08-31 08:41:07

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Troubles with the F10 partition and OS install? You have two partitions, the first one is a folder that the second F10 partition boots up from the bios. The F10 partition also has cab(compressed) to restore the first partition and its folder. It is easy to boot from floppy or cdrom, but also network card(if in the M300) from the bios. So, the docking station is necessary to have at home. Also to boot livecd for internet.

No USB boot order in the bios. Watch out for latest bios that had two floppies  on 4 boot orders(one in multibay). Multibay can switch components, but difficult to work in sequence of priority. Its either or, only good for specific apps stored in each component.

But M300 can also add the EM docking station(pci slots) from M700 laptop in the rear. The two laptops have many interchangeable components, which makes it interesting as a hobby collector. Floppy still can use MS windows startup disks to run external cdrom(pcmcia) without docking station. Migrate to the Compaq NC series of laptops can use all these components but with faster cpus.

The way to install Linux to hdd is to use grub or lilo to bypass F10 partition. But you still need a windows install on the hdd. You can always pay $75 to have a computer store do a flat install then rebuild the F10 partition and compaq drivers.

SliTaz to the rescue on a simple livecd and add pcmcia wifi card for speedy internet.

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#6 2011-08-31 21:12:54

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

SliTaz 3.0 stable will not run with only 128 mB of drams. It stops before the mouse pointer came on screen. Adding to 256 mB of drams solved the problem.

Getting on the internet with pcmcia wireless continue to be limited to DWA642 card. Others such as prism 2.5 just does not auto detect. nor Ti acx-100/111 chipset, nor ehome e101 pcmcia card.

So, we are now looking at playing movies, and cdrw burning? Storing downloads on USB key instead of hdd.

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#7 2011-09-01 08:57:53

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Why HP made M300 two power supplies? One model for the desktop, the other for the docking station. Pin size is smaller on the docking station. HP assumed docking station is going to be stationary. Unfortunately, we need docking station(DVD/RW) to go with us on too many occasions.

So, the Chinese made power supply had to be make elliptical to be used on either laptop or docking station. Too many HP laptop power supplies are not suitable for pin size variation either. On this point, M300/M700 became cheap, if you can find the right power supply(pin size) you have a nice laptop.

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#8 2011-09-02 08:44:32

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

SliTaz on Orinoco pcmcia wifi silver card(24DS4)? 5v 16 bit pcmcia card can not be auto detected.

Use orinoco_cs(card service supports many wifi chipset) drivers to load and lsmod(Driver acceptance) to see orinoco_cs files as drivers(one of the led lights up after drivers loaded). then install b43 firmware(don't know if its needed, but could add /g/n/m features beyond the /b chipset hardware, fall back to /b anytime).

Then go from drivers to config add 13 data channels to managed access point, then go to network, double click(connect) on any(hotspots). If you rescan(both led lights up), you get a list of wifi hotspots /b in your area of good wifi radio signals.

If your orinoco doesn't light up after loading the driver, try any other orinoco drivers listed in SliTaz wifi manager. There were several including Nortel, etc. but cabletron(gold) /a drivers(prism2,2.5,3 drivers) is also orinoco_cs?

More work to define the drivers and cards matching? Find list of cards good for using orinoco_cs?

This illustrates the way SliTaz wifi manager works with drivers, config and networks; then you also have favorite hotspots to auto connect(free if unsecured).

There are of course also 3g cdma or gsm cards to do internet connect if you have cellphone subscription account(expensive). Verizon has cheap DSL account at $14.95/month if you have pcmcia DSL card?

Footnote:
orinoco_cs(2006) is the universal driver for all older pcmcia wifi cards; search google for your card compatible for orinoco-cs? It was in kernel 2.4.22 later in kernel 2.6.7 and later. Today it maybe benefited by B43 firmware(feature laden) install, after orinoco_cs driver is loaded.

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#9 2011-09-06 18:29:50

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Old M300 and M700 has many problems hardware wise. The cmos battery can be a serious trouble. It can be recharged, but if voltage is lower than 3 volts, rom bios data will be wrong, and computer will not start. You can always disconnect the cmos battery and start up the laptop computer, even boot into SliTaz 3.0 stable livecd. Later, you have to replace the cmos battery to keep time accurate.

The first page of memory in both M300 and M700 is 64 mB. sometimes the memory will be tested in the bios, sometimes not, depending on the cmos battery condition. If the 64 mB did not work anymore, your system information will show it missing from the total sum. If its partially bad, you will have boot problems(freezing). You need to change motherboard. No way unfortunately to disable the 64 mB in rom.

So, you booted and run the old laptop every day. It gets better the more you use it. All the electronics components will be cured(electrolytic capacitors) or annealed(semiconductors). Circuit condensation will be dried up. Good luck on reviving the next old laptop.

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#10 2011-09-12 10:27:05

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Compaq M300/700 are the base of interchangeable parts for media inputs and batteries. They are also supported by newer faster NC series of laptops that can use the same interchangeable parts such as dvd etc. So, your investment on early laptops can be improved by investing in newer laptops.

If you love laptops this is a start of a collection of usable computers, the only thing maybe lack of memory capacity, can be fixed by virtual memory in the use of USB SDHC flash cards. You might want to search and download some of the software to extend memory using Win2k or XP. Linux SliTaz can use any memory more then 256 mB. While XP can use 128 mB, But the browsers will need a total of 512 mB drams. Using virtual memory to support 320 mB drams(M300) maybe possible if the Flash transistors are fast on USB 2.0 bus, and the websites use ondemand servers to download webpage, avoiding DNS server traffic.

The early conclusion is that these laptops are still usable and can be a good investment for a collection of laptops.

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#11 2011-09-15 18:40:37

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Compaq M700, you might need pictures of taking a M700 apart?

http://www.mk-stuff.de/artikel/how_to_d … mada_m700/

Pictures are nice, and also instructions.

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#12 2011-09-26 07:22:05

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

The way to fix up these old laptops are really, how much drams you have. 192 mB is easier with low density 64 and 128 sodimm sdrams. However, 192 mB is best to use W2k with Firefox. If you don't have hdd caddy, you need to use linux SliTaz 3.0, which needs a minimum of 256/320 mB of memory, otherwise the apps may not work after you turned Slitaz on.

Either system will make these large lcd monitor a pleasure to surf the web.

Footnote:
SliTaz 3.0 maybe barely usable with 192 mB of memory, if wifi cards of orinoco design is used with orinoco_cs(pcmcia drivers) then load ath9k(/b/g functions) then d43 firmware(/n) installed.

You can use narely Midori and Google search engine on home page without running out of memory..

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#13 2011-09-30 19:39:44

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

When you buy Compaq M300/M700 from ebay, many are stripped and some came with only floppy and even PII cpu of 333 mhz. So, apparently USB 1.1 had to come to the rescue if you don't even have hdd or caddy for hdd.

USB 1.1 with only one socket is 12 mbps data transfer rate. Its faster than wifi of 1-2 mbps. And if you use Slitaz, the operating system is only 100 mB uncompressed using shared library. Someday you can add a USB 2.0 pc-card to speed up to 480 mbps running fast flash cards.

So, you will find wakepup0.2 to use Puppy Linux in USB drives. Its a small program in boot sector to read ntfs files and from USB port. so, other floppy boot disk with ntfs reader can also boot iso file in USB drives.

Now, your M300/M700 laptops have an architecture of Floppy, USB drives and WiFi boot to internet connection via browser. Its getting more like netbooks. We can put more advance browser features built into Dillo using ACE Explorer techniques. Its looking pretty good to make your old laptop valuable. Antiques couldn't be better valued and more useful as we improve its speed of data transfer.(reduced pixel webpages).

Footnote:
Some of the floppy software that can boot USB drives from floppy disk.
mkbt20.zip
plpbt-5,0.13.zip
NtfsFloppySetup.exe
wkpup2x-02-img.zip

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#14 2011-10-01 19:33:36

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Once you study SliTaz, you notice it had apps to make a floppy disk using plop(plpbt) to boot usb.

In system tools, try a few apps until you have a floppy disk; or try to install the livecd or SliTaz on the USB media.

Until you created both, you will not be able to boot from USB drive.

M300/M700 both have floppy drive, which has to be installed in its slot and yesyed on floppy 1.44 mB disks by formatting. if formatting succeeded then create the boot disk to boot USB drive media with SliTaz installed.

So, SliTaz is the right choice for laptops without hdd or cdrom/dvdrom.

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#15 2011-10-26 09:01:54

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

W2k pro surprisingly had laptop msnufacturer's restore cd which will load a copy of W2k without keycodes. These cd(s) can be won on ebay for $20. Do not load sp1 from these cd(s). Instead download from Microsoft, sp4, if on wifi at 450 kBps(129 mB long). Once you installed it then setup autoupdate for Microsoft to update through ISP dot net strategy. You can use either latest Firefox8 or Ace browser skin for IE6.

W2k uses only 64 mB of drams, but Firefox needs additional 256 mB to run tabbed windows. Keep only one window, you can use less memory to prevent memory overflow crashes. So. use ACE skin(many new features added to IE6) will enable you to use less memory than Firefox instead, with IE6 engine.

We are now adding Dell Cpx laptops to this group of wonderful laptops. When Wifi runs internet at 450 kBps(5.5 mbps data rate) webpage downloads, what a pleasure to revive these 10 year old laptops.

You are guaranteed to have fun. Reviving old and new laptops with Wifi. Maybe make some money doing it.

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#16 2011-10-29 17:34:43

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

When we asked Microsoft to autoupdate wifi traffic control from browser. We now have operating system connect wifi right after boot. You then launch browser and get on the internet. So stick to W2k.

SliTaz is just a small organization. and tiny distro has to wait for the kernels to connect wifi to free hotspot(any). For some reason, the auto connect does not always work. No one bothered to fix the bug. Sometimes reboot SliTaz helped. It might have been the fact that dram is marginally inadequate. 512 mB may be a lot better to work with slitaz running in drams. The fact that battery in the laptop might cause the dram to overflow. Removing the battery would restore the missing taskbar on the bottom of the desktop. Larger memory if you can afford it, will solve many missing data problems because of memory overflow. Slitaz is free.

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#17 2011-11-01 20:09:35

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Since orinoco drivers can handle many orinoco pcmcia cards, and W2k dirivers can be downloaded from windows update. we used one 2.1 mB long named windows_drivers_sr02-2.3 zip from softpedia.com. there are others windows_drivers_sr02-1.zip, 6.2 mB(with utility program which tests wifi card) from drivers guide.

Lucent drivers uses a wifi client manager, which shows the signal strength in the tray. works quite well. Can test the wifi card for defects.

These orinoco wifi cards can add an omni directional antenna, which makes DSSS signals reception better. these drivers may work with W95 definitely W98. And I have downloaded Microsoft software from their servers at upto 540 kBps. It could be your best investment on an older laptop of 333 mhz cpu. compared to Marvel8335 chipset /g wifi card model EH101, OFDM is slower than /b DSSS data transfer due to reflected  ghost signsls and digital data faulty reads.

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#18 2011-12-11 07:27:53

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Win2k(replacement for W98/SE/ME) is the only latest operating system that can use 64 mB of drams(better with over 96 mB for internet).

Win2k can still be bought on ebay and amazon. Its the Dell or Compaq Win2k reinstall(not recovery) cds costing $10-15. It might need Win2k keycodes from any COA(authentication) stickers on the bottoms of laptops(OEM not retail).

Once you install the Win2k pro, download the sp4 still available from Microsoft(129 mB) to bringing it up to date with wifi in network. You can still use autoupdate on Win2k from .net strategy from your ISP(not removed yet)..

Then install orinoco Agere 7.82 drivers with utility program(tests wifi card) to use a large number of wifi/b pc-cards for 900 kBps speed DSSS data transfer.

You will need Firefox 8.01 browser to make the wifi speed useful. Win2k has no IEx that is not obsoleted already. With firefox autoupdate(and Adobe flash player autoupdate), the operating system is as good as XP operating system, but has less GUI to use up less drams.

This is good to bring older laptops with only 4 gB of 2.5" HDD(1.72 gB free, 800 mB virtual memory) back to the forefront of internet browsing. Dell Win2k reinstall cd can be used to install on any laptops or desktops except Compaq(F10 bios). Compaq Win2k reinstall cd is for all compaq laptops and desktops with at least 64 mB of drams.

Footnote:
Here is a good OEM Win2k pro product keycode among many others including your own COA to be used:
K7F2H-BQCCD-PYFTP-Y4CHW-WRP3B

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#19 2012-01-24 18:05:10

atang1
Administrator
Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

For a while, I was fooling around with Armada 1540. It can only use W98 because of the 96 mB dram limit. But i bought a Compaq wl100 wifi pc-card and  used IE5.5 with ACE skin. The wifi pc-card is orinoco in disguise, and performed very well. The IE5.5 can be used with mostly text based webpages. No good for rich experience on many portals or online banking..

Lets go back to W95 wich runs well on Armada 1540(150 mhz) with 64 mB(W95 can run 32 mB). IE5.5 was added Ace Explorer skin which can translate languages. Still only text webpages work best. Rich experience is hit or miss. Facebook needs new browsers. Twitter can be slow to load same as dialup modem. The realtime packets may eventually be usable by W95 and IE5.5 because of reduced pixels. Flash player5 can add active-x but not yet Mpeg4/h.264 to make IE5.5 usable every where. Firefox 1.5 works fine! Opera 10.6.x can run W95B with a few files from W98, google from my.opera.com forum, but unfortunately just release 22.61 run missing kernel32.dll.

I have W98 also on another laptop(Panasonic cf-25 100-166 mhz). Which some people claimed that Opera 11.61 build 1222 can be run by W98. It is still downloadable on Brothersoft site. Crazy browser can not support W95 even though claimed to be. K-Meleon can not be downloaded by IE5.5 for W95.

Footnote:
Firefox 1.5.012 runs fine in W95C with good video display downloaded opera 11.61. IE5.5 has more problems, only good with text. Firefox takes longer to load the software, but WL100 wifi transmission is between 100 kBps to 62 kBps downloading webpage or software. Opera 11.61 can not be installed without hacking. IE5.5 can not respond to download if security certificate is not right for opera website.

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#20 2012-01-25 15:57:55

atang1
Administrator
Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

In the quest for cheap older laptops, we now are down to 100 mhz MMX cpu. The important part is to get a W95C(usb)  wifi/b working with the drivers for the operating system. Once the internet can be connected then we have to have a fast browser Mpeg4/h.264 supported.

Webpages are going reduced pixels, and slow cpu is still fast enough.

Have fun playing with your laptops. If you can make sure you have autoupdate of the browser, your laptops will work fine surfing. firefox 1.5.0.12 looks like and operates like firefox 10.0 with download manager. W95C can not use Firefox 2.0. K-Meleon can only install the 1.5.4 version for W95C, after downloaded by Firefox.

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#21 2012-01-31 09:58:08

atang1
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Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2422

Re: Is Compaq Armada M300/M700 W2k worth saving ? What gives ? SliTaz 3.0

Compaq W2k power options has calibration feature for the lithium ion batteries.

If you don't calibrate in W2k, your battery might show power for 2557 hours when only 3 hours is possible.

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