|Toshiba T1000 Cockpit View|
This is a Toshiba T1000 laptop, circa 1987, one of the earliest popular portables that actually looked like a modern machine. Portable computing at this point looked pretty strange -- a few odd-shaped competitors were the Compaq Portable III (stay tuned for a future post about a hack of one of these), or even more unusually, the Linus Write-Top, both from the same year.
Toshiba had several other horses in the same race, including the T3200, following the lineage of larger "luggables" like the classic Osborne 1 in that they didn't contain batteries at all and needed to be plugged in.
The T1000 is notable in that it was actually portable, i.e. ran from battery power, and was mass-produced for a relatively low sale price (listed for $999 and generally available for less, according to Retro Thing). This was considerably ahead of its time -- it took Zenith a full couple of years to release the competing MinisPort with quite similar specs, though the Zenith used an extremely rare 2" floppy drive.
|Sleek, portable, and attractive|
This particular T1000 came into Free Geek Vancouver many months ago and has languished in the Incoming area for some time. A month ago I tried to power it up with no results. Last Thursday I tried again with a bit more dedication and still got nothing, so I decided to give it a proper White Bag funeral. Here are the results.
|"If the suit is your uniform, then the briefcase is your shield."|
First some specifications. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshiba_T1000:
|Dimensions||12.2" W × 11.0" D × 2.05" H (310 × 280 × 52 mm)|
|Power||9 VDC, 1.1A (+ = core; - = shell)|
|Weight||6.4 lbs (2.9 kg)|
|Battery||Rechargeable NiCd pack (1300 mAh)|
|Media||1 - 720 3.5" floppy disk drive|
|Keyboard||Selectable between PC or AT (101)|
There is no hard drive. DOS 2.11 is booted from a ROM (Read Only Memory) chip mounted on the motherboard; Toshiba probably intended to release upgrade chips with newer versions of DOS, but doesn't seem to ever have done so. (Microsoft still has a document describing how to upgrade to DOS 5.0 on their website here.) Aside from that, there is a single floppy drive for storage.
One upshot of having no hard drive, incidentally, is the battery life. This was apparently over 5 hours for the T1000 -- a number that has only recently become standard again after over a decade of 2- or 3-hour models.
Everything that makes the T1000 unique unfortunately makes for a pretty boring tear-down. It is almost entirely solid-state (i.e. the only moving parts are in the floppy drive) and it was designed without much consideration for modularity or upgrades (i.e. pretty much everything is built onto one circuit board).
|The T1000, topless.|
|Floppy drive and ROM chips (e.g. the one with the square white sticker)|
|Power block of motherboard|
As I mentioned, the motherboard integrates more or less everything, making this a hard-to-service machine. There are really only five pieces that this disassembles into, barring the use of a soldering iron or claw hammer: the motherboard, the keyboard, the floppy drive, the LCD screen, and the external power supply. Pictured above is the power block of the motherboard, which takes the 9V input and breaks it into whatever the rest of the machine uses (probably 9V, 5V, and possibly 3.3V). I strongly suspect that the broken part of the machine is somewhere in this picture.
In case you're wondering -- why do we tear these apart? Well, if it worked, I would've made it my business to do something interesting around Free Geek with it. Since it's broken, and since it's stayed around for months, and since we don't have a museum mandate or a sustainable plan for museum-worthy gear, it needs to be scrapped. In order to do that we need to make sure there is no private information in it. Strange machines like this take a little more consideration because it's sometimes difficult to tell where that might reside.
Toshiba has a nice retrospective on this machine and others.