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pengyou Page Icon Posted 2005-07-14 10:59 AM
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I have a toshiba libretto 100 CT that I used for a couple of years and liked very much. Recently it refused to start. A friend of mine told me that there was a problem with the motherboard. I just noticed that someone on ebay is selling motherboards for this for about $US 50. I am in a dilemma because I was ready to move to a HPC mostly because of battery life - Libretto is still about 2.5 hours with a brand new battery watching VCD's - and the size of somekeyboards.

The one thing I liked about the libretto...I was going to put a 30 gb hard drive in it and use it as a huge data resource including e-books, mp3's, movies, etc.

What I would love to find is a harddrive and assembly that had its own power source that I could interface with a hpc, my palm, my ppc and my mobile phone. Even more ideal is with either the built in infrared that comes with each device or, next best is blue tooth because most ppc's or hpc dont have usb built into the unit itself - u must use the base or docking station. I have even considered finding a monochrome tablet pc - even a 486 - to use for this purpose. What would be ideal is to run off AA batteries

I want to have a hpc with a gprs to do surfing, my palm to use as an ebook, my ppc for games and chinese applications, and a hpc to do work on, i.e. wp, spreadsheet, use to make powerpoint presentations, send faxes, and to record classes and meetings.

I am also hoping to find a certain amount of compatibility within these devices. I can find a universal keyboard now that will work with almost all infrared devices - palm, ce, possibly even an infrared mobile phone? - if I need to do typing. If I can run on AA batteries that makes life even better. I know that some of the older hpc's - ce 2.0 - used AA cells. AA cells are easy to find. Also, it would be easy to fabricate an external battery pack to keep these devices going for a long time.


Would anyone care to share their thoughts about this? I love planning this kind of stuff but I am not just doing this for the sake of the exercise. I am often on the road for days and could really benefit from well chosen equipment - especially cheap

Thanks

T
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wallythacker Page Icon Posted 2005-07-20 5:45 PM
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Tall order to fill

Invest the $50 to fix your Lib. Turn it into your AS partner. Turn it into your mass storage box. Get a couple spare batteries and forget getting a hpc. You have more power in the Lib than any cheap hpc can provide.

I have both a Libretto and hpc & ppc, BUT, I made sure when I bought my handheld stuff that each unit has USB hosting. I have a self-powered USB 20gb jukebox for mass storage. End of my dilemma. Everything interoperates. At most my travel load consists of my 6651, jukebox and ppc. All my needs are met.

IMO, if you ditch your Lib you'll need more adapters and dongles and cables and junk to interoperate your devices than the trouble is worth.
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Snappy! Page Icon Posted 2005-07-20 7:39 PM
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You know wally, I hate to say this, but I have to agree with you on this, that with a libretto, a lot of appendages can be spared. Granted, this is with regard to the needs of pengyou and not HPC users in general.

For most HPC users, they may carry a lighter load, but that is compared to ppc users attempting to do what HPC users wanna do, ie write a medium to long article or memo or journal on the go.

However, pengyou, look around zeBay a bit more, there are some 100 CTs for around $50~$100. If I were you, I might just get a whole unit and have spare parts to boot.

As for batteries, if the 100CT uses 18650s, I would refurb it for long life! ... but I dun have a 100CT, so I would not know.
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btrimmer Page Icon Posted 2005-07-21 9:33 PM
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Ah, good old Libretto 100 CT! I had one of those for a while. Was wonderful having a real PC in something the size of an HPC! However, the battery is now dead, one PC Card slot doesn't work and the LCD panel is gone wonky. (Various vertical and horizontal lines go white or red - seems to be a problem with the panel itself, since the ribbon cable looks fine, and squeezing the side of the panel between my fingers temporarily fixes the dead lines.) Last time I checked, rebuilt batteries were $80 or so, a new mobo to fix the PCMCIA slot was $50, and a new LCD panel was $450. I wasn't about to spend $600 to fix a Pentium 166 MHz laptop. I use a MobilePro 780 (CE 2.11 device) now instead.

Unfortunately, battery life on the 100 CT always sucked - less than 2 hours usually with no peripheral cards, and that was using the extended life (2400 mAh) battery. (Granted, I did upgrade it to a 6 GB HD and had the extra 32MB RAM module installed, but still.....) My MP780 lasts about 2 hours if I try to run my 2 GB Microdrive (same capacity as the Libretto's original HD, BTW) and a Pretec 802.11b Wifi card off batter power. I get a good 3 or 4 hours if I swap the Microdrive for a 256 MB CF storage card and still use the 802.11b WiFi adapter off battery power. It will last almost 6 hours if I'm only using CF storage, and over 6 hours with no cards at all. (For reference, MP780 has a 1650 mAh battery.) There is even a AA battery adapter for the MP780, which I have yet to try out. It's on my list of things to acquire though.

If you really need a Windows 98 era PC in HPC form, the Librettos are definately the way to go. All I really need is to do Word Processing and occasional light web surfing (check Yahoo! mail and stuff). CE devices, even HPC/Pro ones, are perfectly fine for this. You'd probably be better off spending $129 and getting a MobilePro from Tiger (or $119 and getting a Jornada 680E) than sinking that money into a 7 year old laptop, and the battery life will be as good or better than the Libretto ever was.

You could also wait until the *new* Librettos are out, sometime later this year. Size of your old Libretto 100 CT, sporting a 1.4GHz Centrino CPU, 256 MB RAM, nice big harddrive, 1280x768 LCD panel and a price tag of about $2000 US.

PS: Don't think you can rebuild the Libretto battery with 16850's. I cracked my battery open and it uses six Panasonic CGR17670HC LiOn cells- two parallel stacks of 3 cells. They look like 5/4 A size cells to me. Definately too fat to be AA sized cells.
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wally
wally Page Icon Posted 2005-07-21 9:56 PM
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Btrimmer: Great info! Now I know about 100 batteries. I'm glad my 50 series uses 18650s. Easy and cheap rebuild.

Hey, I'm the 1st to recommend a hpc to friends that need mobile computing, even if they say they only want an organizer. Nobody has been disappointed so far.

Still, what pengyou wants to interconnect is best done by a Wx box, imo. It's the only common denominator for his palm, ppc and phone. If it were me, I'd buy a parts 100 (or mobo) and a spare battery, 20-30gb hdd, and hope to keep it under the cost of a used hpc. But that's me

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takwu Page Icon Posted 2005-07-22 3:41 AM
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btrimmer - 2005-07-21 6:33 PM
You could also wait until the *new* Librettos are out, sometime later this year.

I don't know where you live, but here the new Libretto has been on sale for a while. I have played with it in the store and found the keys way too small; smaller than the Jornada's.
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chiark Page Icon Posted 2005-07-22 5:06 AM
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I'm in the happy position of owning libretti (50 and 100ct) and HPCs from Psion 3a up to a Samsung Nexio XP30, taking in the Hp range on the way too.

The 100ct is still a usable machine when given 64MB, and normally travels with me on holiday or to events. It's been quite a few places, including Kenya, with me to use as storage space for digital images as I've chucked a 20gb drive in there. Of course it'll play back video and mp3 quite happily too, providing you don't ask too much of a pentium MMX processor. I've overclocked mine from 166 to 266MHz, and it still lives quite happily.

one downside is that to get USB you need to either have a USB PC card, or take the full port replicator with you, which is a bit of a bind... I just whack a PC-card CF adaptor into the machine and read my camera's images off that way.

The libretto's mouse is a joke, too. Touchscreen rules for some things.

If you want PIM functionality, I really don't think you can beat a WinCE-based machine: it's a major factor in their design! Blinking lights for notification, etc. Wake up for alarms. You name it, the HPC does it.

Battery life is getting a problem, especially as the machines age. Packs can be rebuild, and occasionally there's a spurt of activity on the libretto list to see if people could build a better battery which normally peters out. Shame, that.

The great thing is that it's a real PC, with all the joys that that brings. Choose your OS, abuse it as you like... It's a great bit of kit and again is one for my "collection" that I'll never let go, but it still is really useful as a mass storage device.

The screen fault mentioned above is a nightmare and cannot realistically be fixed. I had one like that, and it's the edge connectors on the screen that are the problem. You may improve it slightly and temporarily by packing out the edge of the screen near the fault, but it'll only ever return. I couldn't find anyone (or any advice on how) to fix it. So I just kept watching ebay for a good 100ct, bought it, then flogged my damaged one on ebay.

The 100ct is a great machine. The 50ct is a technological marvel for its size, but the limited screen space (640x480) and lack of power (pentium 75 with a max of 32MB) do limit it compared to the 100ct.

I guess they're very different animals as well you know. It's horses for courses - one's a handheld pc, and one's a full PC that's handheld size... No one device is the ultimate, but both the libby and the HPC are IMHO great. That doesn't help you much, does it?
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KBoyKool Page Icon Posted 2005-07-22 8:55 AM
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I guess what I thought was a Libretto was not. I remember seeing a small form factor machine back about '94 or so. It was 486-class and probably had no bigger than a 810 HD, likely even 540. I remember tinkering with it in Office Depot when I was in college. Anyone know what I was really playing with?

Incidentally, I saw a new 100U on eBay: 1.2GHz/512MB/60GB for US$1869 BIN.

(Apologies for venturing OT.)
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Zapper Page Icon Posted 2005-07-22 10:18 AM
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That might have been an IBM PC110 Palmtop Computer.
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wally
wally Page Icon Posted 2005-07-22 12:29 PM
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I'm thinking 20/30CT IIRC, there were 4/586 baed libs in the early days. I don't mind the smaller screen, I like the virtual display, it's fun to pan around. My one Lib lives happily at 133mhz with no headaches or heat and the other is bone stock.

I think they were a contrituting factor iin the death of the hpc. IIRC, a 100 wasn't much more than say, my 6651?

I can imagine the number of corporate clients demanding something small who asked about running program X on a hpc to be told it wasn't compatible. Hello Libretto! Goodbye another hpc sale.

The Lib still stands as my yardstick for a small full feature laptop. I love 'em to death.
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Pete P. Page Icon Posted 2005-07-24 12:59 AM
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I didn't want to say anything yesterday when the auction was still up, but i just stole a NEC Versa Ultralight... <3lb 8hrs battery SVGA 112Mb/10GB 600MHz Transmeta..... <$200 with shipping!!! All 3 went for about $175!!! It was CRAZY! Now I can put my Clio to better use.... give it to my little brother's friend for word processing and stuff :-)
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pengyou Page Icon Posted 2005-07-24 4:55 AM
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Wow! Thanks...good thoughts. Yes, the Libretto's keyboard is a wee bit too small - some of the H/PC's are a more suitable size for speed typing - I can type about 80 wpm, but not on the Libretto. My desire to pic up a couple of devices is, naturally, partly because I like toys and if I had more toys I would, of course, have to find a way to get them to talk to each other, etc. More realistically I also want to be able to upload pics from my digi cam when I am out and about, e-mail them to friends and family when I am on the road, connect a webcam while on the Great wall or in the Terra Cotta Soldiers museum- hey, possibly even connect a pcmcia CDMAX or GSM card so that I can broadcast from the Great Wall....and watch VCD's. My purpose for having a H/PC would be to do lots of typing, which I need to do and the libretto is a very poor choice for typing. I have only looked at measurements but I think the Mobi 780 or 790 has a bigger keyboard with a more suitable shape for the typist Am I right? I am still hoping to get my casio pa 2400u connected with a pcmcia CDMAx or GSM card. I love the size of that screen, especially for surfing. By spreading the work over 3 different devices it is true, I have to haul a few more pounds of stuff with me but I also spread the battery life over three different devices also. For example, if I only have the Libretto with me on a 24 hour train ride I can watch a single movie and then have enough time to type for half an hour or so...then what to I do for the next 21.5 hours?

Thanks again.
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btrimmer Page Icon Posted 2005-07-24 8:52 AM
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wally - 2005-07-22 12:29 PM

I'm thinking 20/30CT IIRC, there were 4/586 baed libs in the early days. I don't mind the smaller screen, I like the virtual display, it's fun to pan around. My one Lib lives happily at 133mhz with no headaches or heat and the other is bone stock.

I think they were a contrituting factor iin the death of the hpc. IIRC, a 100 wasn't much more than say, my 6651?

I can imagine the number of corporate clients demanding something small who asked about running program X on a hpc to be told it wasn't compatible. Hello Libretto! Goodbye another hpc sale.

The Lib still stands as my yardstick for a small full feature laptop. I love 'em to death.


Yeah, I've heard some Japanese insurance company even went so far as to have several thousand Libretto 50's custom-built with touchscreens for their field agents. They wanted HPC's, but didn't like the fact that they couldn't run their existing software on Windows CE. Apparently it was cheaper to get the Libretto custom-built than to have their in-house software rewritten for use with WinCE. Apparently some of these custom Librettos with touchscreen are for sale on ze Bay occasionally.
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btrimmer Page Icon Posted 2005-07-24 8:57 AM
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pengyou - 2005-07-24 4:55 AM
By spreading the work over 3 different devices it is true, I have to haul a few more pounds of stuff with me but I also spread the battery life over three different devices also. For example, if I only have the Libretto with me on a 24 hour train ride I can watch a single movie and then have enough time to type for half an hour or so...then what to I do for the next 21.5 hours?

Thanks again.


Erm, you could always just get a couple spare batteries.

Seriously, though. You'll need a lot more than 3 devices to keep yourself entertained for 24 hours. Personally, I just go low-tech for travel entertainment. One nice, fat book usually does it.

Edited by btrimmer 2005-07-24 8:59 AM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-07-24 11:29 AM
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well.. my jornada 728 can entertain me for 20-24 hours (two batteries and my 720 still isn't sold so i can take its battery too - 6400 mAh in total) and if i take my 900C and MC218 then their overall battery life will be about 50-70 hours... ehehe! and if i take another set of AA batteries that gives me an additional 20-30 hours.. two sets.. 40-60.. and so on
and they can store MANY nice, fat books

Edited by cmonex 2005-07-24 11:30 AM
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