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Author Topic: Recycling hardware  (Read 1210 times)
oblivion
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« on: February 25, 2013, 06:35:54 AM »

(Yes, I know this area's for software. Bear with me!)

I have an old Dell Axim X30. It was an attempt to find a better way to do PDAish things than my old Psion 5mx, which kept needing its screen cable replacing but which had functionality oozing from every pore.

The X30 didn't cut the mustard. It'd synch with Outlook (but I didn't care whether it could or not) and I couldn't find any good ways to make it do things I felt useful. So it got shoved to the back of a drawer and forgotten about.

I found it again recently. Of course, Dell quit supporting them long ago, and I don't expect a 624MHz cpu is quite as exciting a prospect these days as it was when it was new.

So the question is: what should I do with the thing? I'm pretty sure its SD handling doesn't extend beyond 2Gb (ie not SDHC) and a bit of a play online hasn't suggested anything to me along the lines of "this hack will enable you to resurrect your Axim as a shiny and capable linux device." But I'm ever so averse to throwing something away that is still functional. Should I reinstall ActiveSync on my PC and see if it leads me to anything I didn't think of a few years back, shove it back in the drawer, or Something Else?

Here's the software bit: does anyone know if there's a way to get a usable linux onto it without requiring that I study Complicated Things for several years first?
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Renegade
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 06:51:45 AM »

So the question is: what should I do with the thing?

Well, I have an old HP PDA and a Palm III. I'm keeping them to donate to a museum in a few years. Or something else similarly silly. Grin
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oblivion
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 08:26:39 AM »

So the question is: what should I do with the thing?
I'm keeping them to donate to a museum in a few years.
I think my ex-wife still has an Intertec Superbrain (twin Z80 processors, ran CP/M off two vertically-mounted hard-sectored 5 1/4" floppy disks) sat in her attic, waiting for me to find a good use for it. One day I'll retrieve it and find a museum for it, I keep telling myself.

I remember the days when they looked futuristic. (I also remember learning Z80 assembler on one of the things. Now there were some futureproof skills. smiley )

(Oh, and a perfectly excellent operating system whose size could be measured in kilobytes!)
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app103
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 11:03:56 AM »

Should I reinstall ActiveSync on my PC and see if it leads me to anything I didn't think of a few years back

I am a proud owner and user of an old HP Jornada 540 PocketPC (mostly for reading ebooks or chatting on IRC when hot weather drives me to a pc-free room that has air conditioning). I know from my father's experiences that once you upgrade beyond XP that it doesn't work with newer versions of ActiveSync and you can't install the older version it needs on Vista+.

This means that once I move beyond XP, my old Jornada may be completely useless.

This might be something you will want to keep in mind when considering what to do with your old device, especially if you haven't used it since your XP days (or if you plan on upgrading beyond XP). You could have the same ActiveSync issues.
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oblivion
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 11:30:26 AM »

This means that once I move beyond XP, my old Jornada may be completely useless.
Windows 7's virtual XP mode might be a way round that. At least, it seems to be a full, honest-to-goodness virtual machine with enough ability to talk to USB and optical drives that things that don't work any other way, can.

What I'm not sure about is if Win8 has anything similar.
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dr_andus
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 03:18:38 PM »

Well, I have an old HP PDA and a Palm III. I'm keeping them to donate to a museum in a few years. Or something else similarly silly. Grin

Well, you can never know... Palm might rise again...  Wink In fact WebOS is coming to a TV near you...

Quote
The South Korean company will acquire the system, known as webOS, and some of the employees who work on it from H-P for an undisclosed amount. LG plans to use webOS in televisions, said Skott Ahn, LG president and chief technology officer. (...) Unlike smartphones and tablets, where Apple's or Google Inc.'s operating systems have a vast number of apps written for them, smart TVs don't have a dominant operating system yet. Developers could just as easily choose to write programs for webOS...
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app103
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 05:56:58 PM »

Windows 7's virtual XP mode might be a way round that.

Does it allow software to pass an OS version check by lying when you install something, reporting that you are attempting to install it on XP and not Win7?
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mwb1100
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2013, 07:07:25 PM »

Does it allow software to pass an OS version check by lying when you install something, reporting that you are attempting to install it on XP and not Win7?
If you're running the installer in Win XP mode, then as far as the installer is concerned it is a Win XP machine.

What I'm not sure about is if Win8 has anything similar.
MS removed Win XP mode from Win 8.  Maybe if you upgrade your Win 7 machine with Win XP mode installed, it'll still run in Win 8 in some fashion, but I'm not sure about that.

Note that VirtualBox is supposed to be able to run the Win XP mode VM (which can be downloaded even without having Win7), but I think there's some hacking involved to get the VM's BIOS signature recognized so the Win XP VM doesn't need reactivation. VMware supports running a Win XP mode VM, but my understanding is that it'll only do it on Windows 7 machines to avoid breaking the Win XP mode license.
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Tinman57
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 08:19:48 PM »

  If you decide you can't use it or don't want it, you can always donate it to Goodwill, even if it doesn't work.  They will either find a new home for it or recycle it and put the money into the Goodwill services.  I just gave them an older Sony single disc CD player and a broken microwave oven.
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oblivion
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2013, 12:54:40 AM »

Windows 7's virtual XP mode might be a way round that.
Does it allow software to pass an OS version check by lying when you install something, reporting that you are attempting to install it on XP and not Win7?
Yes. XP doesn't know it's running virtually. Version checks only report XP, from inside the VM.

I'm currently experimenting (at work) with a piece of software that requires the presence of a 16-bit NetBIOS stack to run. XP has it, 7 doesn't (and can't be given it.) The software works in XP mode and, once the application's been "published" to the Win7 host, appears to be running directly on the Win7 desktop. It's VERY cool. (I never EVER thought I'd say that about a Microsoft product!) The only downside is that it takes a long time to start up, the first time it's used after rebooting -- effectively because you're not just loading a program, you're booting a machine and THEN starting a program.
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