IBM Luggable

In the mid 1980s I bought a portable IBM PC through a friend who worked at IBM. These were not like laptops. They were basically full size computers with a handle. They were not really portable, but were called Luggable. I used it for a good 10 years. I have it in the cellar. I also bought another one as a backup that is down there somewhere.
I modified it over the years so it used a Intel ‘486 motherboard with lots of memory and a video card that can drive the little orange monitor like a VGA monitor. I packed 5 hard disks into the thing.
I did a lot of work on that computer. I carried it on many airplanes and was able to fix systems in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washing D.C. and other cities over the years. Eventually it was not practical to use it and I had an IBM Thinkpad the weighed about 10 pounds as apposed the luggable that weighed about 40 pounds.
The old luggable has sentimental value and I’ve wanted to get it going again. The last time that I tried I did not get good results. I could not boot it. I think that I don’t have something hooked up correctly, or else the motherboard has died. The onboard motherboard battery is supposed to be good for 7 years and it has been 35 years since I got it.
I just read an article about the Raspberry Pi being able to run MS-Dos or Windows XP. It has a composite output that should be able to drive the old orange screen built into the luggable. It is 1000 times more powerful than the original 8088 motherboard in the luggable.
I decided that a project this Spring will be to rip out the guts of the old PC and make a nice bracket for the Raspberry PI. It will not only be much lighter, but much more powerful. I can make a boot menu to load MS-Dos 6.22, Windows XP or even Linux. I can relive my glory days in writing MASM programs, something that nobody does anymore. I can load Visual Basic, which is a language that I loved. I can transfer my programs to the Linux system and get them to run on modern machines. …Or maybe not. These are great ideas. We’ll see how far I get.
ppc1.jpg

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