Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

Some people would probably think this a curse, but for me, this is like hitting the lottery.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the Fujitsu FMV-5100 NU/W — a true Pentium I laptop, coming to you direct from June 1996: 100Mhz, 16Mb of RAM, jp106 keyboard, 56Kbps PCMCIA modem card, floppy drive and an 800Mb sliver of a hard drive, equipped with the crowning achievement of Microsoft, the pinnacle of technological wonderment, that bastion of information wizardry … Windows 95.

Right now the list of shortcomings is … short ( πŸ˜› ), with only two streaked columns on the LCD, a loose key cap and a few scuffs here and there. I don’t know if the floppy drive works (I have my doubts; it doesn’t grunt on startup), but it’s altogether amazing for a machine that dates back a dozen years.

Oh, but no USB.

And no ethernet.

No optical drive.

No modem dongle.

The good news is that there is a PCMCIA port, which means I can probably get a wired ethernet connection working; the hard drive is easy to remove, so I can probably put a little larger/little faster one in there; and the memory is expandable, with an empty slot on the back.

And that means … no problem!

The order of business for this little monster will be a bath, then a transplanation of the hard drive to another machine, to block-copy the existing drive into a file (which I think can be done … I do it for OLPC systems, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t). Then wipe the drive and start experimenting. A proper command-line Ubuntu installation will probably be first.

Joy! :mrgreen:

24 thoughts on “Jackpot!

  1. Mads

    Commandline installs are fun. I do it on servers all the time, and while it gets boring pretty fast, the “I-know-I-can-script-my-way-out-of-this” factor is much higher on a ubuntu install than on a MS server 03/08 install


  2. Ankur

    Oh these legacy laptops are so much fun!!

    I still have a Toshiba Tecra 8000, a Pentium II laptop 299 MHz 256MB RAM (upgraded) and 6GB HDD and it looks very similar to the one you have though it has a USB port and an optical-drive bay!!

    Came with Win 98, but nw runs happily on Xubuntu 7.10

  3. Freduardo


    Looks like a fine machine. I wonder how low you could get the boot time on that thing …

  4. zmjjmz

    What I would do is up the RAM to 48MB, and swap in an HDD with Damn Small Linux.
    Then I would buy a DWL-G650 (not sure if you’ll be able to find it, but it’s available on Amazon) and put it in the PCMCIA slot for a wifi connection, and voila.
    You have a decent machine.

  5. Tony

    I think the key to getting this ‘lappy’ to run anything at a worthwhile speed is adding more RAM.

    It seems to still be a good box, and of course we all know you will make it better!

  6. johnraff

    I’ve got this old Toshiba with somewhat similar specs – 16MB Ram, 160MHz CPU, 1.5GB disk. Has ethernet card and usb socket though. Originally came with Win 95, now running a minimal install of Win 98. Not snappy, but bootup and shutdown times are pretty fast. Using it as a music player, but eager to hear if a command line install of Ubuntu is a possibility with only 16MB of RAM!

    1. devnull0

      i was unable to install woody way back on a toshiba laptop with 32mb, even in text mode.

      ended up taking out the hd, slotting it in a higher spec machine, and doing the install like that.

      ran like a charm. very low power usage, and a build in ups… only for 15m though.. πŸ™‚

  7. Mikko

    That is a lot like my old Toshiba Satellite with P100. It came with 8 MB, but now has the maximum of 40 MB. I used it for some time with Debian Sarge but now it has been hidden somewhere for a year or two. I’m not even sure whether it has Slackware or Minix installed on it at the moment.

  8. Tony

    I meant to add this to my original post.

    Your “new” laptop also looks like a candidate for a complete exterior paint job. At that time you can also see what can be added to any internal parts to make it better. Who knows – you may be able to find a faster CPU for very little or even repair the floppy drive, maybe even add internal wireless??

    The possibilities are endless. Most of all Have Fun and take plenty of photo’s.


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