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Old 09-15-2008, 08:24 PM   #1
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Expert in Ancient Laptops? (Samsung NOTEMASTER 386)

I've got a Samsung Notemaster laptop I'm fooling around with, and I was wondering if anybody knew anything about this model.

First off, I can't figure out how to charge the battery, it doesn't when it's on the laptop and plugged in. Any trick?

Secondly, I don't recognize the expansion card format, it's something 30 pin, it's got a modem and extended RAm, but I'm trying to see if there's any way to put in LAN or USB (I know it's a long shot!)

Old 09-15-2008, 11:29 PM   #2
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Wow, well I'm no expert but I do know that:

A) that is probably how a dead battery would behave,
B) You need at least a 486 to run Linux of any kind and,
C) There are all sorts of weird proprietary expansion cards out there especially in old laptops.
Old 09-15-2008, 11:38 PM   #3
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Considering how old the machine is, the battery is just probably dead. NiCad cells have a limited lifespan. I have a few old laptops that I have picked out of the trash and such that are the same way, you can leave it plugged in forever and the battery will never take a charge.

As for the expansion port, I know what you are referring to but I have never known what it is actually called. I have always been under the impression they are proprietary (I.E. for an external floppy or CD-ROM sold for that machine), rather than a standardized port. Perhaps somebody knows a bit more about it? In any event, you are not going to find any USB adapter for that (we are talking totally different eras here) and even Ethernet would be pretty iffy.

The more important thing I should think is that you want to do with this machine? Very little modern software is even capable of running on a 386, even the most frugal Linux distributions are compiled for i486 or better anymore. You could probably run one of the BSD's on it, as my experience has shown BSD seems to run better on really old (below ~150 MHz) hardware than Linux; but even then, I don't know any practical applications. Could make it into a serial terminal or a data logger, something like that.

Last edited by MS3FGX; 09-15-2008 at 11:39 PM.
Old 09-16-2008, 03:06 AM   #4
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Slackware-8.1 should run on that.
Old 09-16-2008, 04:31 AM   #5
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You can actually run Linux on a 386, but MS3FGX is right in that modern software probably won't run on it.
Old 09-16-2008, 09:44 AM   #6
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Yeah, right now I'm running FreeDos. It's not great, but it's the only thing that would boot on 640k of base ram.

The laptop is more of a hobby/fun project than anything else, just trying to get it working, not really for practical purpose...


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