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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 22nd Jan 2020, 8:34 pm   #1
Join Date: May 2017
Location: St Austell, Cornwall, UK.
Posts: 265
Default Toshiba Libretto

I was curious to know if there are any Toshiba Libretto
enthusiasts on the Forum?

These PC's were still very popular well into the 2000's
even though Toshiba had stopped making them and there
were loads for sale on Ebay.

The situation is very different now and there are very few on
Ebay, but I was surprised how much they were fetching.
There is a 50CT on Ebay now which is up to 111.
Extraordinary! only a few years ago you would struggle to
get 50 for a 50CT.

That has prompted me to ask if there are any enthusiasts
on the Forum for this ground breaking UMPC.

I still have my original 110CT.
Was still in use up to a couple of years ago, connected to
my Kenwood R5000 decoding Wefax.

Over clocked to 266Mhz (Laughable now) and running Windows Xp.

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Old 22nd Jan 2020, 8:59 pm   #2
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 3,351
Default Re: Toshiba Libretto

A chap I worked with bought one when they were contemporary but I think his ran Win 95 or Win 98 - we were both field service technicians at the time and it proved a very useful service tool when combined with odd bits of hardware where necessary.

For example, we used to look after some town centre camera systems which had RS232 controlled telemetry receivers, so we wrote a bit of QBASIC software which enabled us to control the functions of the camera (focus / zoom / pan / tilt etc) locally, at the control cabinet. Very useful.

At another site we had an ancient alarm panel whose programming was held in RAM and only maintained by the system power / backup battery. If it ever lost power for any reason the only way to get all the settings back in was to type them all back in via the control panel and then do a printout and check that against a previous printout to make sure we had not made any entry errors.

The Libretto was used (along with a Maplin 'serial to parallel converter' kit) to control a matrix of small relays which we connected to the row / column lines of the system's keypad connector - we would plug it in, borrow a cup of tea and watch it programme the system up for us (it took a few runs to get the code right, but once we had the sequence of key presses exactly right, it was wonderful, and we never again suffered the chore of having to enter it all manually).

One other job we used it for was on-site programming of 'Dedicated Micro' video multiplexers - the PSUs in them were prone to failure and the whole unit was usually swapped out and replaced but then the replacement needed to be programmed for the same number of cameras, same camera names and default screen setup and so on - so we built up a library of setup files for all the multiplexers on all the sites we looked after, and the Libretto would upload the appropriate programming into the replacement in a matter of seconds.

A little bit later we were using a Psion 3A for the same sorts of work.

Unfortunately I lost touch with him many years ago but knowing him as I did, he will still have both the Libretto and the Psion.
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Old 22nd Jan 2020, 9:32 pm   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, UK.
Posts: 471
Default Re: Toshiba Libretto

I bought a 70CT off eBay more than five years ago. It was boxed and came with the matching PCMCIA FDD, a nice carry case and a copy of Win 95 on 22 floppy disks! A docking station as well.

I installed a 4GB CF card and filled it with games. Duke Nukem 3D etc. All very playable, too!

The original owner bought it for her daughter, who was attending medical school at the time. I would find it difficult to type up lecture notes on a tiny keyboard!

I sold it in a fit of madness and have regretted it ever since!
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Old 22nd Jan 2020, 9:38 pm   #4
Lloyd 1985
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Coningsby, Lincolnshire, UK.
Posts: 1,697
Default Re: Toshiba Libretto

I've got one of the later ones, the U100, sadly with a faulty screen, but otherwise working well with windows XP! I think the little 1.8" ipod hard drive that I fitted is on it's last legs, makes some very suspect noises! I'd love to get it working properly, there is just a strip of the screen duplicated in a very odd way, and it's not a software issue.

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Old 23rd Jan 2020, 12:31 am   #5
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK.
Posts: 1,804
Default Re: Toshiba Libretto

We had one at work which developed a very similar issue on the screen. A tiny strip of the screen near the bottom looked like it had been cut and pasted from a few lines up. It was still useable and we used it for many years to transfer data to our products when they were used on field trials. Not sure what happened to it in the end. I haven't seen it for at least 10 years.
Regards, Jeremy G0HZU
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