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Too K00l For Sk00l!

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
You'll knock 'em dead when you strut thru the hallways sporting this Unique Geek Chic on your arm! Women will swoon at your feet, and when the other guys pull out their tiny little 'Berries, they'll hang in shame after you whip out TheBigOne! Guaranteed to INCREASE YOUR MOJO to at least a 9.5! Complete Satisfaction or your low self-esteem refunded in full!

For the limited time of THREE DAYS, it is my pleasure to offer a ***RARE*** ZENITH minisPORT HD Laptop computer, vintage 1988. Yes, this is the HARD DRIVE model not a wimpy, underpowered FLOPPY based machine.

Specifications are not as important as it's obvious SEX APPEAL, but the nerd in you will want to know them anyway, so:

The MinisPort notebook computer is an 8088-based XT-compatible portable computer. It supports up to 2Mb of memory. Standard features include serial and parallel communications ports; CGA-type RGBI, TTL-level video output to an internal LCD display or an external monitor; external floppy disk drive support; and modem support.

The particular minisPORT offered here FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY features :

1Mb of RAM, which can be user configured for 640K of conventional and any combination of Expanded (LIM 3.2) and/or RAMdisk between 0 - 384K either way.

2400 Baud(sic) Modem Option

Battery just tested in full-rundown mode (LCD on, HDD spinning & seeking/reading). Running time, 1 hr, 20 min. This is a NiCad pack, and I'm reconditioning it at this very moment. Last time I rejuvenated it I got it up to almost 3 hrs. runtime, but even an hour & a half ain't bad, given it's age. Once charged, it holds charge for months, if not in use.

It also comes with a GENUINE PLEATHER slipcase and the AC power supply/battery charger, which can charge the battery inside or outside of the machine.

Condition-wise, it's very good looking, and works perfectly. The upper outside of the case is just a shade yellowed, hardly noticeable, and the small panel covering the hard drive is quite yellowed, otherwise, she's very presentable.

The only possible flaw, is that the backlight may or not be working. I'm not even sure if it has a backlight, but either way, the reflective screen is very usable in ambient light, even with my old, dim eyesight. Oh yeah, the coin-type backup batteries are low/dead, but can be replaced easily via an access panel on the bottom.

I don't have good enough light in here right now, but I will post pix tomorrow, when I have good daylight.

Now, the part you've all been waiting for, the bottom line.

For this SPECIAL LIMITED TIME of ONLY 3 DAYS, I'm offering this sleek little beauty for the SUPER LOW, LOW PRICE of ONLY $50.00US + shipping & handling, to members of VCF. If not sold within 3 DAYS, it'll get 'Bay-ed.

First come, first serve, get it while ya can! Offer expires Midnight EDT, (05:00 ZULU), Nov. 14, 2008

minisPORT HD = $50.00
BlackBerry = $xxx.00
SOTA Laptop = $xxxx.00
Whole new image = Priceless!

--T
 
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NeXT

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
6,939
Location
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Got a Sharp laptop in the basement. I'm set.
Funny you say this though as last year for a good week I was actually bringing my GRiDCase 1520 to classes. Needless to say it was turning a few heads.
 

barythrin

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
6,256
Location
Texas
What's in effect would that mean if the backlight doesn't work? Nothing on the LCD or is this just the lack of contrast control feature? Just curious.. kinda tempting :)
 

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
What's in effect would that mean if the backlight doesn't work? Nothing on the LCD or is this just the lack of contrast control feature? Just curious.. kinda tempting :)

The contrast slider is present, but doesn't do anything. It's presence leads me to believe that there's a backlight, but non-functional. The manual also refers to a backlight. Either way, if there's s'pozed to be one, not working isn't much of a problem unless you need to use it in the dark. The reflective (transflective) screen is excellent.

I've had these things apart enough times to know that there is no tube visible, but it could be hidden inside the flat-panel assembly. I've got a spare around here somewhere, and if I can find it, I'll tear it down and see what's up. Don't want to take the chance of damaging one that's working.

BTW, of the three screens I have here, all three act the same. I've had or worked on others before, but I don't recall if any of them lit up or not.

I just wonder if the b/l might have been an extra-cost option?

--T
 

linemanduke

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2006
Messages
517
Location
marietta georgia
Got a Sharp laptop in the basement. I'm set.
Funny you say this though as last year for a good week I was actually bringing my GRiDCase 1520 to classes. Needless to say it was turning a few heads.

lol ive been at school using many an old computers.
1 year an ibm 701c till screen cable broke
my Compaq portable plus for maybe 3 weeks(talk about a head turner)
apple power book 140 till contrast control failed
im now alternating between an ibm t30 and 1 of my 3 ibm ps/2 p70s.

fun thing is when you bring in one of those big suitcase luggables and people get freaked out that its a bomb or some sorta missile command thing and school administration confiscates it till you can actually prove what it is. lol
 

Mike Chambers

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Messages
2,621
wow terry could sell a rock for $500. i would get that supersport hd if i could afford it. dang.
 

Chuckster_in_Jax

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
Messages
1,354
Location
Jacksonville, Florida
The only possible flaw, is that the backlight may or not be working. I'm not even sure if it has a backlight, but either way, the reflective screen is very usable in ambient light, even with my old, dim eyesight.
--T

These computers definitely have a backlight. I have three of them and none of them work. The problem with a lot of these machines is the DC->DC board failing. I have found a schematic for it but it is really frustrating to troubleshoot because most of the components on the board aren't labeled. You may find Q4, but where the hell is Q1, Q2 ...? Also there are components on BOTH sides of the board.
I recently made a photocopy of the board and enlarged it so I could document where each component on the schematic was located. With the use of a multimeter and some patience I was able locate each component on the board. Now It should be a lot easier to troubleshoot.
There are some switching transistors that are undersized and most likely have failed.
 

curtis

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2003
Messages
1,176
Location
Amarillo, TX
That's what usually happens with these babies. Don't exactly remember which transistor it is, but the DC-DC board is notoriously underpowered.

I've had 3-4 of these and eventually they all die in exactly this manner. Tried repair ONCE. Since then, I've replaced a couple from "donors" and watched 1 of those die later on.

HOWEVER, they are really nifty units! That 2.5" floppy is just too cool for words!
 

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
These computers definitely have a backlight. I have three of them and none of them work. The problem with a lot of these machines is the DC->DC board failing. I have found a schematic for it but it is really frustrating to troubleshoot because most of the components on the board aren't labeled. You may find Q4, but where the hell is Q1, Q2 ...? Also there are components on BOTH sides of the board.
I recently made a photocopy of the board and enlarged it so I could document where each component on the schematic was located. With the use of a multimeter and some patience I was able locate each component on the board. Now It should be a lot easier to troubleshoot.
There are some switching transistors that are undersized and most likely have failed.

Yes, I have another minisPORT (floppy version) with an apparently failed DC/DC board. Could you send me copies of the schem & your notes, etc? It might help D96 restore another one to working status.

BTW, one thing I did discover about the HD, if the hard drive is T/U, it won't boot. You can set the BIOS to boot from the ROMdrive, but it won't, just hangs at POST. Do you guys know if there's a way to make the ROMdrive bootable?

--T
 
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Chuckster_in_Jax

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
Messages
1,354
Location
Jacksonville, Florida
Yes, I have another minisPORT (floppy version) with an apparently failed DC/DC board. Could you send me copies of the schem & your notes, etc? It might help D96 restore another one to working status.
--T

Give me some time to get all of my notes together and generate pictures that are legible. I can read them, but the arrows probably won't show under a scan as they are now. It may really help someone in the future and keep some of these machines from being thrown out in frustration. In my opinion these are one of the more collectible laptops.
 

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
IIRC, they were the smallest, lightest thinest full-featured 8088 laptops of their day. Way ahead of their time, and very collectible (if you can find a functional one). I think that, even non-functional, the FD model is collectible if just as a show piece, being the only laptop to ever use the 2" drive (AFAIK).

--T
 
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