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#1 2016-11-15 04:22:49

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,083
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New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

Q. What looks like a Tadpole UltraBook IIi but has a PA-RISC CPU?
A. Why, the PrecisionBook!

http://www.floodgap.com/iv/3152

Yes, this is one of the two PA-RISC laptop series (the other series is the SAIC Galaxy 1100, which I have an unfortunately busted example of). This is the 160MHz variant, with a PA-7300LC CPU, 1MB L2 cache, a full loadout of 512MB of RAM and Visualize-EG graphics on a 14" display in the standard RDI chassis of the time. It has 4GB and 6.5GB drives (using IDE to SCSI converters) and a battery that actually holds a charge, and runs HP/UX 11i.

The only worry I have is the power supply - it's 19V and has a weird pentagonal 5-pin connector in an aluminium shell. That doesn't look like something easy to find a spare of.

If you count the portable Treamcast as a "laptop," then I have now almost the full range of RISC portables:

ARM: too easy these days. Does a Samsung Exynos-based Chromebook count?
SPARC: UltraBook IIi, Tadpole Viper (Sun Ultra-3)
PowerPC: ThinkPad 800 and of course oodles of PowerBooks/iBooks
SuperH: Treamcast
PA-RISC: RDI PrecisionBook and the sadly busted SAIC Galaxy 1100

I just need that almost unobtainium RDI AlphaBook and maybe a Lemote Yeelong to get a MIPSy thing and that should do it. smile

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#2 2016-11-16 02:39:03

Eudimorphodon
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Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 524

Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

ClassicHasClass wrote:

If you count the portable Treamcast as a "laptop," then I have now almost the full range of RISC portables:
(snip)
SuperH: Treamcast

Maybe something like an HP Jornada 690 running NetBSD would be more in the "laptop" spirit? Not that you can't run NetBSD on the Dreamcast, of course.


Flap Different.

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#3 2016-11-16 03:51:07

jt
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From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,391

Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

Sweet! I like the lines of the hinge covers, surprisingly Kanga-ish.

Last edited by jt (2016-11-16 03:51:44)

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#4 2016-11-17 02:02:48

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,083
Website

Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

Eudimorphodon wrote:
ClassicHasClass wrote:

If you count the portable Treamcast as a "laptop," then I have now almost the full range of RISC portables:
(snip)
SuperH: Treamcast

Maybe something like an HP Jornada 690 running NetBSD would be more in the "laptop" spirit? Not that you can't run NetBSD on the Dreamcast, of course.

Yeah, commodorejohn suggested one of those WinCE things. The J690 might be just the ticket.

But for the record, I run Linux on my DC. wink

Sweet! I like the lines of the hinge covers, surprisingly Kanga-ish.

They kind of are, aren't they? It's a bulky thing but it's really designed as more of a portable workstation than a laptop.

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#5 2016-11-18 19:06:04

Eudimorphodon
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Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 524

Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

Since you're probably the one to know... I have vague memories of seeing ads for some sort of UNIX-based "portable" back in the early-mid '90s that was basically a surprisingly large (16"?) gas plasma display stuffed in a large suitcase with what I *think* was an early Sparcstation. Does that ring any bells? Closest I've come looking for it is references to the "RDI Brightlite" with an 1152x900 screen option, but all the pictures I've found of Brightlites are of ones fitted with a small LCD display.

Last edited by Eudimorphodon (2016-11-18 19:10:39)


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#6 2016-11-18 23:53:05

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,083
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Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

Was it a big orange display?

http://www.floodgap.com/retrobits/solace/

Though that's not a "suitcase."

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#7 2016-11-21 22:45:06

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 524

Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

ClassicHasClass wrote:

Though that's not a "suitcase."

It's very possible I was confounding several things in my head, it was a very vague memory indeed.

I've never owned anything with an orange plasma display, which makes me at least a little sad. Always sort of hoped I'd just stumble across something like a Compaq Portable III/386 or one of the early Toshiba portables (or maybe even an IBM PS/2 Model P70) but I suspect that window of opportunity has pretty much closed.


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#8 2016-11-22 07:26:52

mcdermd
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From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 946
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Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

The HP IPC (1985) was a "suitcase" with an orange plasma display. It also had an integrated inkjet printer and as fate would have it, was the first HP/UX machine. It loaded kernel out of ROM and user space from diskette. I found a prototype unit in the trash and gave it to my brother that collects old Unix workstations.

y3wGmH3.jpg

Last edited by mcdermd (2016-11-22 07:27:28)


Daily Drivers: 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 (Late 2009), 21.5" iMac 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5 (Late 2013), 11" Macbook Air 1.6 GHz i5 (Mid-2011)
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#9 2016-11-22 15:20:18

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,083
Website

Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

There's those GRiD things too. If I still had mine I'd send it to you, but I found it a home. I don't really specialize in x86 portables, even the weird ones.

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#10 2016-11-23 21:25:38

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 524

Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

mcdermd wrote:

The HP IPC (1985)

I've always sort of lusted for one of those, despite it being in practical terms utterly useless. The built in Thinkjet printer is just adorable...

Although, actually, are you sure it's Plasma? I could have sworn it was electroluminescent.

Last edited by Eudimorphodon (2016-11-23 21:26:53)


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#11 2016-11-24 00:37:15

jt
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From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,391

Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

Waaaay back in the proprietary local bus era. I saw a computer with a huge orange plasma display in an actual suitcase at PC-Expo. Looked to be an Orange Gas Plasma TPD/CPU/disks set up in an piece of luggage!

Just for orange plasma shiggles and gits, I fired up the Toshiba T3400 Hasn't been out of the carry bag in YEARS and the sucker still works! Gotta love an LCD portable with a full length 8/16 slot and 8bit half slot. big_smile

14687558-bbc7-11e5-8ff1-55e5f9895806.jpg

Not mine  .  .  .  my little guy was two when this was new  .  .  .  neutral

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#12 2016-11-24 21:22:26

mcdermd
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From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 946
Website

Re: New arrival: RDI-Tadpole PrecisionBook

Eudimorphodon wrote:

Although, actually, are you sure it's Plasma? I could have sworn it was electroluminescent.

Ah, yes. I was mistaken. You are correct. It is an EL display.


Daily Drivers: 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 (Late 2009), 21.5" iMac 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5 (Late 2013), 11" Macbook Air 1.6 GHz i5 (Mid-2011)
See the restored heroes here.

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