winter's computers
found, loved, and nurtured for spring
my ugly geek secret

Saturday, June 9, 2007



  • Compaq Portable 286
  • 1985
  • Intel 80286, 6/8 MHz
  • 640 KB
  • 7" Monochrome
  • 640 x 200 CGA, 80 x 25 (text) MDA
  • 20 MB harddrive
  • 720 KB 3½" floppy
  • 1.2 MB 5¼" floppy
  • Interlink via parallel port
Operating Systems
  • MS-DOS 6.22
  • Internal monitor switches between MDA and CGA mode, so you get nice crisp text when not displaying graphics
  • TVOut option
  • External CGA monitor option
  • Can switch between 6 MHz compatible mode and 8 Mhz turbo mode
Portable in the 80s meant anything with a handle on it. Put a handle on your house: mobile home. The Compaq Portable 286 was the first "portable" PC with the 80286 processor. It weighs about 20 kgs, has a handle on the top/back, and when not in use the entire thing rests on the keyboard attached to the bottom/front. 20 kgs resting on the keyboard; they don't build them like that anymore.

biglug is running MS-DOS 6.22, I suspect. I can't tell because due to stiction the hardrive won't spin up. The CMOS battery is dead, too. Actually the CMOS battery died years ago and I replaced it with a battery holder with four AA batteries in it. Those batteries are dead too, and I don't fancy taking biglug apart again as every time I do pieces fall off. The side panels are barely staying on.

If I get biglug up and running, I'll save anything of interest that might be on the harddrive. Then, I'll replace MS-DOS with FreeDOS and maybe make it dual boot with Minix. Or not. I have two XT class PCs that I could run FreeDOS and Minix on as well.

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