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60

Why did trackballs disappear? To start with, they didn't. They are still around and can be bought in many variations. For example, Kensington sells six kinds of trackball, and Logitech sells three. Only their time attempting to work as a general pointing device is gone. Nub. Low-tech, cheap, compact and reliable, but miserably imprecise. Did they ever ...


31

Trackballs are Alive and Well I have a Logitech M570 for my desktop computer. I have another one for my laptop. I got another one for my daughter. Every few years they break and I replace them. I find that trackballs are superior to mice in many ways and recommend them to plenty of people. But the average user just gets a mouse, IMHO simply because they don'...


17

The closest thing to a modern laptop that I'm aware of featuring an internal 5 1/4 drive is the Findex of 1979 which had a fairly complete (optionally battery-powered) CP/M computer including a hard-sectored floppy drive, a 40 x 6 plasma display and even a printer in a package of about the size of a (quite large) travel typewriter, weighing 20 pounds. I ...


15

If the definition sought after is very strictly speaking "integrated 5.25 inch floppy" and "battery powered", then I would like to enter the Kaypro II from August 1982: Which is a luggable and has Built In Media: Two 5.25'' SS/DD full-height floppies (190k) Peripherals: 400 KB or 800 KB 5.25'' floppy drives, 10 MB hard disc, ...


15

As so often this depends on your definition of laptop - which is not an exact one either. There where many level of size and weight between a bulky schleppable like a Compaq Portable and a notebook sized computer. And only a few would work well on a lap. I wouldn't consider the T1100 be one of them. Still, with the T1100 as cornerstone, I think the Morrow ...


9

Dirt is another issue. In a mouse, the hole where the ball is exposed is pointed down and stuff naturally falls out. On a trackball it naturally falls in. Goop, especially skin oils, gets stuck to the tracker wheels in either case, but general dirt, crumbs and fuzz is a bigger problem on trackballs. Arcade machines had the advantage that they sort of ...


8

As other have noted trackballs aren't dead ("disappeared"). But compared to other input methods trackballs are indeed much less popular or widespread as they once were. Cost, scale, competing products, path dependencies and consumer psychology are the reasons for this development Trackballs are great. They added a cool, effective, efficient way to move a ...


7

I think you have a fake or mislabelled adapter. These symptoms seem to me to be those of a cheap adapter that's browning out when it's trying to supply the current the laptop wants at the voltage it wants, which is something that fake or mislabelled adapters would certainly do.


7

Gaming I can't play FPS or flight simulators with a trackball because I cannot intuitively self-center them. The only games they're good for are bowling and Missile Command - because those are played on an arcade cabinet with you standing in front of it. It's a lot easier to stop a mouse on-target, then it is to stop a trackball - with a finger still on it, ...


6

As far as I know this laptop can’t easily be connected to a network, which leaves three options for getting software onto it: transfer over the serial or parallel ports, using an appropriate cable and software such as LapLink or the built-in transfer tools in MS-DOS 6.0 or later, PC-DOS 5.02 or later, and DR DOS 6.0 or later; the floppy drive; directly ...


5

I would say that it is more likely that the laptop was shelved because it's internal power circuit is at least partially shorted. This would explain the symptoms observed from the power supply LED. I, personally, have run into several laptops that had this problem. I would test the power supply under some sort of resistive load, such as a 12 Volt ...


5

Nobody has mentioned the Xerox Notetaker yet, which I'd think has to be the earliest portable machine that's both battery powered and containing a 5.25" floppy drive. However, at a bone crunching 22kg which is about twice the weight of the Osborne-1, it's somewhat stretching the definition of a laptop. Also, only ten prototypes were ever made.


5

Use the following manual for disassembly: http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/manuals/Toshiba/Other/Toshiba%20T1950%20T1950CS%20T1950CT%20-%20Maintenance%20Manual.pdf You have to unscrew about 30 screws. While it is actually difficult to damage something, be careful with the floppy drive ribbon cable. Once you get to the floppy drive (it requires a full ...


4

One disadvantage is that they are hard to use for users that prefer using a mouse at high acceleration and with the wrist resting - of course using it with a fingertip like a mouse wheel is possible, but rather awkward (especially when the trackball is not made very precisely and tends to seize and jam a bit)....


3

I'm using a trackball myself right now. I saw about 12 of them on sale at Best Buy last week. Three of my coworkers use them. I"m not sure where you get that they 'went away' but they haven't. I think it's great for desk space, for precision (I love to game with it over a mouse, which I have to pick up and move back all the time) and to reduce hand fatigue.


3

As the other answer said, trackballs are live and well. I use a track ball on my PC as well as Mac. I found a fantastic brand whose trackball lets it connect with 2 different computers. I will add that I find trackballs hard to use for games like fornight where you need to move your player fast. For this, I prefer a mouse. Other than that I will take ...


3

My first engineering job was to create a drop-in trackpad replacement for PowerBook trackballs. We had potential customers with thousands of PowerBooks for sales, inventory, anything that would use an iPad today. The trackballs were the least reliable part of the computer due to "DNS Failure": Doritos 'n' soda. Sadly, by the time I got the microcontroller ...


2

There is a usb hdd adapter witch have usual laptop and desktop ide ports (2.5" and 3.5" hdd) Also sata port and usb. You can copy stuff in each of them when connected to a modern Pc. Make sure it has power supply included, if a need transfer from bigger drives as they require more power. I bought this. Just make sure voltage rating suits your ...


2

Making your own cable is another option. Flexible blank PCBs such as this (Pyralux) or these (1-ply fiberglass) are available1; they can be etched using standard home etching techniques2. You could scan the existing cable, use a paint program to trace the tracks (in black-and white), then etch the board as normal.3 Alternatively one could use a commercial ...


2

Cables and Chips in NYC might be able to make one. They do all sorts of one-off custom cables. Not sure if they do flat flex though. Got a custom SCSI cable for an ST from them back in the day; they had it done within an hour.


2

Most laptops of that time period used a straight through flex cable with the same pitch connector on both ends, so yours is custom made for that series/model. While there may be other laptops that used the same pitch on the motherboard connector, finding one that would be long enough, and even which model laptop has such a compatible cable, would be a ...


1

These NiMH batteries usually have very simple charging circuitry and replacing them with generic 3 or 6 x 1.2V NiMH cells in series will almost certainly be fine. I remember there were even (3.6V) battery packs being sold in the past for just this purpose. As the resulting capacity will be higher than that of the original batteries, they will need more time ...


1

One advantage of the mouse is that multiple features can be combined into a single device, which can be more ergonomic than nubs and trackballs, making them a more attractive choice. A typical mouse at least combines pointing and selection/activation (clicking) in a way that minimizes hand/finger motion. Many mice also include scroll wheels which allows the ...


1

There are several types of interaction between pointing devices and displayed information. The first three that come to mind are: Point and click Point and drag (moving, sizing) Point and paint (selecting multiple, adjacent objects (including selection of text)) All devices mentioned by the OP are good at point and click. The trackball is good at reaching ...


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