Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

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turbinee
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Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#1 Post by turbinee » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:55 pm

Hi Thinkpad fans, how is it going?

I am new to the forum, but have been visiting it for a very long time, best out there really.

I recently bought a Thinkpad 710T with the idea to restore it and have one very special peace of computing history, so wanted to share with you my restoration process and numerous pictures I took while working on it. I know there are not too many sources that have any info about the Thinkpad 710T, even less pictures of the thing, so I was compelled to make this instructables.

The instructables are located at our restoration forum, which is a Bulgarian forum site, you are welcome to check them out and comment on them. The Thinkpad topics are in English, so you can read and comment on them.

Disassembly of IBM Thinkpad 710T

Prepare the IBM Thinkpad 710T battery for display

Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

A picture of the Thinkpad as I got it.
Image

And the Thinkpad restored and working.
Image

However after the Thinkpad was restored I came to a login screen, which I am not sure how to bypass to get to the OS. I know this is very old peace of computing history, so not sure if anyone could help me out, but worth a try as this forum has the most experienced Thinkpad collectors. Please have a look at these two pictures and give me a suggestion how to overcome this issue.

Image

Image

Thank you guys in advance

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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#2 Post by rkawakami » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:42 pm

Welcome to thinkpads.com!

I've moved your thread from the Legacy forum into Pictures of your ThinkPad & desk setup forum since there are relaxed rules there when it comes to including inline images.
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turbinee
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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#3 Post by turbinee » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:21 am

I see, however it is appropriate.

I was thinking it will be of better help to people in the Legacy section, and would also get some help with the login screen, as probably some of the users have the 710T and know what to do. Will it be ok to replace the images by upload to the forum and move back to the legacy section? When I was creating the topic I did not see an image upload button, so that is why the images are inline.

About my problem: I had another IBM laptop that had the harddrive locked with a password, is this a similar safety precaution or is it the Pen OS security? Would it also mean the hard drive will be in-accessible to overwrite if I cannot get the original login credentials (which of course I don't have)? I was really hoping to keep the original install of the OS.

Any suggestion is appreciated.

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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#4 Post by rkawakami » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:05 am

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?p=90933#p90933

See #5. The forum does not allow uploading images to the server which is why you didn't find an upload button.
Ray Kawakami
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NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#5 Post by fultontech » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:19 am

PenPoint is the OS. It's not an installed application for PC/MS-DOS like MS Windows was. That being said, it does/did have a "DOS like" filesystem structure (but then again, so did VAX) just in case someone else remembers seeing it.

My 730TE is dead, so I can't look, but I think you will need to reinstall if you have the floppy drive. There is no storage area for signature images in NVRAM, that is all on the hard drive.

Someone posted pdf photocopies of the PenPoint manuals to the Internet Archive a few of years ago, and images of the install diskettes are still out there as well.

BTW, Awesome work restoring the 710T.
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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#6 Post by turbinee » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:41 am

thanks for the kind words, am happy too with how it turned out.
Yes I had a feeling I will have to reinstall the OS, but was really hoping to save this install. I don't have a floppy ,but have seen them online for $20, will get one. How will I go about reinstalling that OS though? I did not see a way to get to a command prompt ?

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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#7 Post by fultontech » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:41 am

It's just like installing DOS. You boot from the install disk and follow the prompts. It's a customized version of PenWrite for the 710T/730T/TE and looks for the digitizer (I assume that is what it looks for) upon startup. Because the check, it won't install on anything else, including a 360P/PE (different digitizer).

I haven't tried creating a serial port/pipe file in a VM to test fooling the check. It's on my todo list for the last several years, I just never get to it.
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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#8 Post by turbinee » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:59 am

How would you get to the prompt, is there a key combination or it detects the floppy and goes into selection for boot from floppy or start the os? I will probably find when I get the floppy...

I used to have a 360 and had it converted to 360P with the help of a new LCD assembly. All the connectors are already placed on the 360 board, so it was a simple swap procedure. Fun times :D only difference were the lower latches, as there are none on the casing of the 360, everything else is same.

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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#9 Post by fultontech » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:23 am

turbinee wrote:How would you get to the prompt, is there a key combination or it detects the floppy and goes into selection for boot from floppy or start the os? I will probably find when I get the floppy...
I will see if I can verify later this week, but the unit should by default attempt to boot from floppy first.
When I wrote "follow the prompts" I meant "follow the instructions on the screen". I forgot the word usage has changed. Like telling someone to press the "return" key causes confusion.
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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#10 Post by turbinee » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:05 am

return is a tough one :D

I ordered the floppy, it is specifically for the 710t from PChub.com.
You know the younger generation has probably never seen DOS or Basic ( the only two languages I've ever worked on) so explaining again and again is probably normal and expected.

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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#11 Post by fultontech » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:05 pm

If you are able to get the IBM brand of diskettes I would recommend them over new/post year 2000 disks. The older drives may not be able to read disks formatted using newer equipment. At least that has been my experience.

I got my 730TE working again and created the PenPoint 1.2 install disks and additional FAX/Mail/MHS applications.
I had fdisk/formatted the drive using PC-DOS 5.0 just to test. PenPoint gave the option to keep the DOS partition and data, so my statement about PenPoint not being an app on top of DOS seems not to be correct.

I see where the profiles get setup. If you boot from a DOS floppy you may be able to delete the profiles. With your profile list, is there one titled "default"? Perhaps one of the profiles doesn't require a password.

I setup one drive with PenPoint and am now setting up PC-DOS 7.0 and Windows for Pen on an other.
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turbinee
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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#12 Post by turbinee » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:47 am

So, bad news first: my order from pchub got canceled after a week of "shipping" they did not have the floppy in stock after all. Just got my hopes high for a brand new floppy to no avail. I've been reading on the floppy for the 710t, seems it is 21 pin, but cannot find the fru on eBay. Thank you "fultontech" for the research on the boot and setup.
Now the good news: just received a IBM PS/55note N27sx, and I am extremely excited about it. As one of the only two sources on this laptop mentions it looks more like a prototype than a finished product. I am happy to confirm that: this is not a series production, it is more like a demo or prototype. Just got it disassembled and will make a instructables for it as well. Inside everything is made by hand, all the plastic is "prototype like" all the boards have bunch of bridges and resistors like a prototype board would have, and there is hand writing inside. Also no stamp from the injection mold for date and material used. I wonder how many units were made from this laptop? It is the first ever TFT Color laptop.

Will keep you posted on the progress of this project.

If you guys have idea how and where to find the floppy for the 710t please let me know,
thanks

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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#13 Post by Saucey » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:39 am

Great find Turbinee.
I am not sure if it was the first Color TFT laptop, I would think Toshiba would be the first one out of everyone during that era to have such a thing.

I lost my PS/Note 425 somehow, they are wonderful machines, hard to find info for them!
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Re: Visual restoration of the IBM Thinkpad 710T

#14 Post by turbinee » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:33 am

Yes, really exited about it. Here is a description from a Japanese website:http://www.komotch2.com/tps/n27.htm
Already got it apart and started working on the bottom shell. It is badly cracked, was not properly developed and is really fragile.

Some sneak preview images of the laptop. Will upload better images when I get some work done. See what I mean when I sayed it was a demo and not a production series? All the bridge cables will eventually have been removed if it was to enter serial production. There is more signs, but will post them later as well.
Image
Image

@Saucey: maybe I was wrong, maybe it is the first IBM TFT color laptop.

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