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 ( :P ), 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.