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PseudoKroW

A project that might be over my head

13 posts in this topic

here's the deal. I have a Powerbook 3400c. It works pretty well, and I don't really have many problems with it, but it runs 7.6.1, doesn't have a removable CD drive, and I can't find a way to update it.

So I had an idea - it's small, it's got a pretty good battery life (though I am working on a way to extend that). Perhaps I could stick in in a backpack, put linux on it, and use it as a wearable. ( :borg: )

Right now, I'm trying to figure out what hardware to use, and how to get linux to work on it.

The Problems:

>I am a moron when it comes to linux. I installed it on one computer I garbage picked, and I think I didn't partition the drive right, because I have to boot it from the first installer disk.

>It doesn't have an optical drive of any kind. Only a built-in network card and a floppy drive.

>hard drive space is limited by today's standards, about 1.8gb

The powerbook has:

an HDI-30 Port

2 PCMCIA slots

a built in network card

a VGA port

an IR port

ADB port

Serial printer port...ish...thing...yeah

I was thinking of setting it up like this:

56k modem in one PCMCIA slot

USB card in the other PCMCIA slot, on which is attached:

-an external hard drive

-external keyboard, mouse, other HID

-digital camera

-etc

Head Mounted Display on the VGA port

questions I have:

1. Can you help me with the linux in any way shape or form?

2. Which linux distro should I use? (Debian?)

3. What the hell can I do with the HDI-30 port?

4. Will the internal network adapter work with selected linux distro?

5. Which USB PCMCIA card should i get that WILL work with selected linux distro?

Any help at all greatly appreciated.

Related Links:

http://www.palkasoft.com/hooper/aboutthe3400c.html

This post will be edited with the continuation of the project to contain relevant information.

Edited by PseudoKroW
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an HDI-30 Port

2 PCMCIA slots

a built in network card

a VGA port

an IR port

two weird PS/2 like ports i don't recognize, one has 9 pins, the other 4

I used to have a PowerBook 1400c which was similer to the 3400c. The 3400c's were great laptops for their day.

The HDI-30 port is your SCSI connection. In order to really use it for anything, you'd need an adapter, like this. The HDI-30 port was a way to include a SCSI conection without having to use a full size port on a laptop. If you got an adapter, you could hook up a SCSI device like a hard drive or scanner.

The "two weird PS/2 like ports" are your ports for a keyboard/mouse and printer. There should be an icon for each next to the port. IIRC, the 4-pin is the ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) port and is whre you can plug in a keyboard or mouse. You'd need to find an older Mac keyboard and mouse to use with this machine. The printer port is Apples version of a serial port. You'll have a hard time finding any printers to use that port since Apple abandoned this type of port in 1999 in favor of USB.

Yellow Dog Linux would be a great distro to use on this machine. Very easy to set up and install.

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I have a similar project execpt I'm not using a laptop.

Power consumption is a biggie.

You can get an LCD screen from jameco that you could fit to your wrist with some work.

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thanks omni, but i want this to have color and decent resolution and so forth. The screens they display on their website are too small, and would break too easily.

I looked at Yellow Dog Linux, and I don't think that would be the best option, seeing as how the quoted personal desktop installation is larger than the hard drive space available, and various installation details.

Thanks for the details on the ADB port, maybe I can use that.

Edited by PseudoKroW
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You must have at least 16MB of memory and 110MB of hard disk space. For a minimal console-based system (all standard packages), 250MB is required. If you want to install a reasonable amount of software, including the X Window System, and some development programs and libraries, you'll need at least 400MB. For a more or less complete installation, you'll need around 800MB. To install everything available in Debian, you'll probably need around 2 GB. Actually, installing everything doesn't even make sense, since some packages conflict with others.

Sounds like a plan. Well, looks like the OS is picked out, now what suggestions do you 1337 h4x0rs have on the display?

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thanks omni, but i want this to have color and decent resolution and so forth. The screens they display on their website are too small, and would break too easily.

Oh, don't forget that most laptop LCD technology is propriatary.

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thanks omni, but i want this to have color and decent resolution and so forth.  The screens they display on their website are too small, and would break too easily.

Oh, don't forget that most laptop LCD technology is propriatary.

very true, which is yet another reason why I should get an external display.

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Amulet Technologies — www.amulettechnologies.com

Decade Engineering — www.decadenet.com

Designtech Engineering Co. — www.designtechengineering.com

Earth Computer Technologies — www.earthlcd.com

EMAC, Inc. — www.emacinc.com

Excel Technology Intl. Corp. — www.lcdexceltech.com

Front Panel Express LLC — www.frontpanelexpress.com

Mosaic Industries, Inc. — www.mosaic-industries.com

Earth LCD has ton's to choose from. I'd start there. Amulet easy gui is cool if you want a product that's mostly finished. It's a little co$tly though...

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what about buying a scrap ppc from ebay or something with a working lcd and using that? Would that be possible?...you may need some EE experience to set that up tho. This sounds like a very nifty project to take on...I would like this with a head mounted display that projects teh image on your eye :borg: :D

Edited by Crimson_Binome
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http://www.microopticalcorp.com/Products/HomePage.html

the SV-6 there is what I'm thinking about using. i shot them an email about the price, and thus far they haven't responded.

http://www.frogpad.com/

or

http://www.l3sys.com/wristpc/wristpc.html

(this one, being PS/2 will require a bit of shoehorning)

for the keyboard

the display for the laptop works just fine, it's just hard for me to face forward and look at it when it's inside a backpack.

and, as omni stated earlier, power consumption is an issue. with the powerbook unmodded as it is, i get about an hour on a single battery charge. i don't have any extra batteries, but I want to get this thing to last a whole day without me having to sit down at an outlet and recharge it.

I can probably rig up a battery pack, and carry two or three of those, but that won't last long enough. the outside of the backpack is big enough to put solar cells on, and there's probably some other stuff i haven't considered with power alone.

Edited by PseudoKroW
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