Look at the size of that handle. Meaty. Around the side, a 5.25" floppy drive gives only a hint:
...but once you flick a couple of plastic tabs, all is revealed:
OK, I take back the "unaccountable". With just three pictures and almost no explanatory text, you already know that this is a great little machine. More than great -- it's downright lovable.
This machine was unleashed on the world in 1987 for roundabout $5,000 USD -- that would be just shy of $10,000 today. But just look at it. You get a blazing 12MHZ 286, 20MB of hard disk storage, a 1.2MB 5.25" floppy drive, and a 10" gas plasma screen in productivity-inducing orange. All this in a svelte, attractive 20 pound beige chassis. Now stop laughing -- this was actually pretty good at the time. (Two years later, Apple released the Macintosh Portable, which had similar specs but could also run from a battery -- until then, anything portable had either a hard drive or battery power, but not successfully both. And in standard Apple fashion, they were bloody expensive.)
So this beast came into Free Geek a few months back and was facing the scrap bin. I've personally sent many old digital friends to the grave and I'm pretty hard-hearted -- well, OK, I'm a big softie, but I get the job done -- but this was too much. I had to rescue this one.
But what can you do with a 24-year-old 12MHz 286, dwarfed in pretty much every way (save size) by the most humble cell phone?
Hint: It runs Linux. It's got wireless Internet.
I'll post the technical stuff later. [It's online now: see part 2. -AS]