Powerbook Duo (1992 apple laptop)

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Powerbook Duo (1992 apple laptop)

Postby Tim2 » February 13th, 2011, 1:18 pm

I have two powerbooks (230 and 250) lying around and waiting to be hacked. I think they would make a great interface for example a carputer, cnc, ....

Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerBook_Duo
Specs: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/p ... uo230.html

Key features are:
- reliability (both hardware and OS)
- sturdiness
- small and very mobile
- cute
- very good dock

Drawbacks (since they're old):
- software compatability (they run on system 7, and I have no idea how to program in system 7)
- battery's are obviously dead

connectivity:
- 2 serial ports (one printer, one modem)
- 1 SCSI
- 1 adb
- video out (DB-15)
- audio out
- audio in

So What would you make with it and how would you hack them?
I was thinking of getting an arduino to talk with it from in the system 7 (I like system 7) and use the laptop as an interface for arduino functionallity (stepper motors, led's,...) . Another option would be to replace the entire inside with new electronics (beagleboard, netbook motherboard,...) and running using it as a linux machine

Personally, I would like to use it as a carputer.
some wild thoughts:
reading and displaying OBDII data
playing music
display GPS maps?
internet?
use a password to start the car?

share your thoughts!

Tim
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Re: Powerbook Duo (1992 apple laptop)

Postby Osgeld » February 13th, 2011, 1:56 pm

since they have 030 cpu's they can run linux natively, just don't expect X to run awesomely, no need to gut

otherwise if you want to keep system 7 (I like it too, my SE has it installed with an 020 accelerator) you can just get a serial terminal and bang commands directly into your external hardware, otherwise hypercard should be able to communicate while providing a decent custom UI
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Re: Powerbook Duo (1992 apple laptop)

Postby Tim2 » February 13th, 2011, 6:08 pm

I took a look at hypercard and it seems very interesting. (I was lucky to find an installdisk lying around :D )

any idea on how to send data to the serial port using hypercard? (I am quit new to this)
And what is a good serial terminal for system7 (hopefully i have one on one of the disks I have lying around....)

Grtz,

Tim
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Re: Powerbook Duo (1992 apple laptop)

Postby MS3FGX » February 14th, 2011, 6:55 pm

I've been in this situation a lot too. I find some old piece of hardware that is 100% functional, and want to come up with an idea to modernize it's use. I have thought of everything from thin clients to an autonomous boat, but in the end always get stopped by the same fact: the cost of new hardware is just way too cheap to play around with decade old machines. For under $200 you can get Atom-powered Mini-ITX systems that will blow any old computer out of the water in terms of computing power and power consumption (well, there might be some exceptions to that second part I suppose). To say nothing of hardware expandability and software support.

Not to dissuade you though, I wish you the best of luck in trying to find a home for these otherwise fully functioning machines. I've been interested in doing something with StarTTY on one of my old VT420 terminals for awhile.
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Re: Powerbook Duo (1992 apple laptop)

Postby Osgeld » February 14th, 2011, 7:44 pm

I am a little more motivated as I am a retro dude, but at some point you do have to keep in mind end goals and reality ...

the best you can do is play around with it and see what is possible, my motto is if you have a little fun with a computer that old (like 92) then mission accomplished, but you never know how well it will do as your imagined goal

back on hyper card, one of the stacks installed is a phone dialer so you should be able to look into that as it opens the serial port, sends a string, as a base reference

As far as terminal programs i dont know, I dont have one installed as my keyboard is DOA ATM
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