• Published on | Jul 10, 2006 | by Chris Osborn

What cool thing can I do with a 486 sub-notebook?

Thursday & Friday I did my monthly backup in Napa, and I also picked up an entire truckload of old Macs. Almost all are 6100/7100 class Performas, there are also a couple of old 68k Macs too. All were working when stored a couple of years ago, although I may have to go back and look for the cables, I don't think I got them all.

My mom also gave me her old HP Omnibook 600C. It's a 75mhz 486DX4 with a small dual-scan color screen. She also tossed in a cue-cat she got at radio shack. My first thought was to make it the dedicated Peddler's Fair Point-of-Sale computer (I wrote software to manage the big yard-sale at my grandma's 15 years ago), but the Omnibook doesn't have a PS2 port so I can't hook up the scanner.

I hate to use it for something stationary since it's a notebook (the battery even seems to still work). But at the moment I can't think of anything that I might want a portable computer to be dedicated to.

As to the Macs, the plan is to stick Linux on them all and make them available as Linux servers. They may be old and slow, but they are actually more than capable of running web hosting off of (although someone might have to add more disk space). I think they would be good for people looking to tinker with a Linux server and try out email or other things. Definitely useless for running a GUI or X11, but then if you wanted a GUI you wouldn't be using Linux on any computer no matter how fast. Since they are taking up space in my garage I am a little anxious to get rid of them.

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