Recovered by Louis Ohland, edited by Major Tom. Original archived
Timeless Tech offers the following information
for our IBM 730T Thinkpad customers from our researches:
The following information is provided by Timeless Tech
as an aid to using the IBM 730T ThinkPad tablet computer. We'll keep this
as up-to-date as we can. As soon as we learn anything new, we'll upload
it to this page. Customer comments are shown lower on the page - some are
very interesting! Bidders and customers questions and answers near the
bottom of the page.
What OS's we hear will run on this machine:
(We will be testing as many of these as we can and reporting
PenPoint, by IBM - this is what was on the systems
when they were in service with their previous happy owners, but was wiped
off the HD's before we came across them. We may be able to ship the unit
with this on it on a "demonstration/must be wiped off by the user" basis.
Microsoft Pen Computing on Windows 3.1 - we put in
a call to Microsoft and they do not support this any longer. We're still
talking to them to see if we can somehow get a copy.
10/1/99 -- found this is available from Annasoft
PC DOS 6.3
IBM Pen for OS/2 1.0 - OS/2 2.11
Win95 will load as long as you click the laptop or
notebook option - should take up 66MB on your HD. There is pen support
in there somewhere, with a file name like penwin.dll, or something like
that. Best site with tips for loading Win95 is Dan Basterfield's: http://www.basterfield.com/tp730/w95/win95.htm
Windows for Pen Computing 1.0 or later
There is a Microsoft package called Pen Services for Windows
95 that is available from Annasoft
Systems. You can read about it at their web site, but Annasoft, however,
will only sell the software in a package of 10 at a time :-( !
Downloadable OS's on the 'net - we're checking into
this since we have heard rumors of their existence, but haven't found 'em
yet. We will post the link on this page as soon as we find it.
PenRight! from PenRight Corp. 1.0 or later
10/1/99 -- We just hit the motherlode in the search
for information about currently available OS's for these pen computers:
A "must read" article in Pen
Computing Magazine #7, December, 1995 on WinPen 2.0
sells Pen Services for Windows '95.
Later 10/1/99: Regarding products from Annasoft: we
found out today that they are bound by contract with the evil empire from
Redmond to only sell these software licenses in packages of 10. They should
be complete with manuals, etc. We will consider buying these 10
packs and selling singles. Is there interest in this? Selling price would
be in the range of $75.00. E-mail us if you want this package -- it will
make any interfacing with your regular home or office PC's a lot easier.
If we get interest in 6-7 OS's (with a commitment to buy - don't fake us
out now, OK?), we'll go ahead and buy the 10-pack from Annasoft on spec.
Our bidders and customers have been most helpful
... with information that they have been able to find, OS's
they've been able to test and comments they have provided:
10/11/99 - One bidder writes:
"P.S. In my surfing I did happen to run into digitizer
drivers for the 360P/750P (distributed by IBM). I have no idea if they
work on the 730T, but they might be worth a try. It would be nice to have
cross system compatability. I may have to wait till I get my own 730T to
"Digitizer drivers, 360P, 750P v 1.10
10/13/99 - A customer writes:
"NOW For Something Interesting About the OS... In IBM
PC DOS 7 there is an option In SETUP Called PENDos... according to the
IBM manual you should be able to install this thing called PENDOS. I think
you will have to do a little VooDoo with the Emm386. I will keep you advised
of my findings with this black magic Operating System..."
and on 10/25/99 - same guy says:
"After reading in the manual for IBM PC DOS 7, the complete
operating system is in there. Looks like it's not going to be too hard
to load. Do a standard install, then do a RamBoost and go back with
a switch to install PEN DOS." [he makes it sound so easy!}
10/15/99 - A customer writes:
"For loading the OS, I was planning on putting the hard
drive in another ThinkPad I have, then install the base portion of PC-DOS
6.3 with PCMCIA and PenDOS support that way. And I was going to also add
a network cardand Windows for Workgroups to the system."
10/15/99 - someone writes to us:
"Pen Services for Win95 are at:
"Frankly, however, I think that Pen Services 1.0
for Windows 3.11 (won't run under W95) is much better. The drivers for
IBM are at:
"You will still need the other Windows for Pen files
which can be had at:
10/16/99 - one customer says:
"I am very interested in getting PenPoint O/S on to the
730T. I use it daily on 6 TP 710T tablets at work but have not been able
to to get it installed on my TP 730Ts, TP 360P/PEs or TP 750Ps. I think
there is a special driver (?..tdtp2524.exe..?) which I don't have and have
not been able to find anywhere. I have attempted the installation with
the original installation disks for PenPoint for the 710T, as well as,
several TPF flash cards with PenPoint embedded. Please advise if you can
help me get PenPoint installation diskette or the specific driver for the
Timeless note: "We're looking for all of
this, too. We'll post answers to this page as soon as we know where to
10/17/99 - a customer writes to us:
"I saw that you were looking for info regarding the 730T
machines... Well, I'm in the process of expanding my site to include 730T
info, and started with a "howto" on installing OS/2 with support for the
"Also, I've got files up for setting up the machine
with Windows '95 as well:
"You'll find my specially-adapted PCMCIA driver
there along with the Pen Services extensions. I've also just put together
a little package that will soon be available on my site. It's an old application
from Microsoft called "Winpad" that's designed for pen tablets and runs
pretty nicely on the 730T...
"Also, I've just put up pictures of my (what I believe
to be complete) 730T playing an MPEG video stream off a PCMCIA CDROM drive.
The system is setup with Windows '95 OSR2. The pen, mouse, and trackpoint
all work simultaneously! Feel free to link to it for your auctions if you
"One last thing...
"Here's a shot of my 730T surfing eBay using a DSL
line connected via a 3COM PCMCIA 100mbit ethernet card:
"This is Windows '95 with Internet Explorer 4.00
running on the 105MB PCMCIA hard drive... surf from bed!"
and on 10/18: "Check back to the site periodically
for updates. I'm a software developer, and am contemplating writing a special
version of the Internet Explorer browser so that it supports the pen better...
I think that would really make the 730T a great surfing unit."
10/17/99 - a customer writes to us:
"I got your note on the OS & penpoint. It is ok if
penpoint can't be installed. I will be looking into other resources anyway
including Linux, Win 95, or finding a copy of Win 3.1 for pen computing.
"I am actually thinking a lot about Linux because
I like the idea of "open computing" and the ability to download all utilities
with source code (rather than Microsoft's idea of charging for every little
thing that actually should have been a standard option)."
Timeless note: "Yeah, let us know what you
come up with in the Linux area -- that would be very useful!"
10/18/99 - one bidder says:
"Fujitsu has downloadable pen driver software including
handwriting systems for their Stylistic 1000. When I get my 730T I'll test
We found Pen
& Mobile Computing
10/21/99 - a customer writes:
"Excellent news - looks like I got the mouse part of
the machine working with Win95... I'm waiting for the hardware detection
process to finish, then see what else happens. Now it's detecting new hardware,
such as the communications ports, etc... Now it's rebooting, and things
seem to be a success...
"Whenever I upgrade the RAM and after I get the
replicator, I can try doing some screen shots, and send out any files anyone
needs in getting setup.
"And if you'd like, you can put firstname.lastname@example.org
as my email address for anyone having questions about my installation.
"PS. I'm sending this about 30 minutes after I originally
started composing this message - Windows 95 OSR2 works great, no problems
Timeless: "Thanks, Paul, I'm sure your offer
is greatly appreciated by all."
later on 10/21/99, Paul writes:
"To subscribe to the ThinkPad List (an informative email
based list for all kinds of ThinkPad owners), click here (Ed.: dead, removed).
You will recieve an email shortly thereafter confirming your subscription.
"If this does not work, please send me
email so I can fix my handwritten HTML code. You should enjoy this list
- my 730T is my 5th ThinkPad I own now, and I know it's a great resource
Timeless: "This sounds like it will be a
great resource for everyone!"
10/22/99 - a customer tells us:
"I have just found a really neat web site that I plan
to use with my 730T as soon as it comes. It is a keyboard that you click
on the keys, then it is typed in a text box. Then just use copy paste it
or drag it into the address window. Here is the url:
"Hope this is helpful to others."
10/28/99 - One customer writes:
"The fact that the Thinkpad 730 has a cordless, batteryless
pen leads me to believe that it has a Wacom digitizer of some sort, and
XFree86 will support this as a mouse if so. A search for "Wacom"
or "pen driver" on www.freshmeat.net should turn something up there.
If it works out that far, then there are programs for Linux that will put
a keyboard on the screen, one of which is called, I believe, "xkeycaps".
I did a little dabbling in this area with a Toshiba T200 and it worked
pretty darn well. It should be fairly easy to install Linux on this
with another laptop and the PCMCIA drive in it, or possibly via a PC card
10/28/99 - Now, here's an interesting history lesson from a customer:
"I really appreciate your making available the 730T's.
I used one for a couple of months back in 1994 and found it to be quite
rugged and reasonably responsive for PenPoint 1.01. Well, I was in
the GO trenches as a ISV starting in 1992 and perserved, even past the
bitter end. Fujitsu Personal Systems of Santa Clara, one of eight
of the former GO Corp. hardware alliances, still produces the Stylistic
for a company called MobilePoint that still uses PenPoint under AT&T
license. AT&T punished GO back in 1994 since its AT&T Microelectronics
division that manufactured the Hobbit CPU (92010) that was core for the
former spin-off manufacturer EO Inc. They lost about $200 million
on the poorly marketed PDA chip, when in fact it really was an excellent
32-bit embedded processor. PenPoint 1.01 ran apps on both Intel and
Hobbit without any visual differences to the end user. EO produced
a handful of pen tablets in two model: the 440 and 880. I've got
one the 880's, of which only 400 were ever produced which left the VAR
market starving for hardware. IBM PC Co. would only produce 730T upon special
order in medium quantities at a premium price. Almost like crying over
"The greatest "crime" perpetrated by AT&T was
blowing off the deal with NEC of Japan. NEC built a Japanese specific hardware
pen tablet based on the 980X PC architecture. GO followed-on with a Unicode
version of PenPoint 2.0J. The 2.0J SDK was really cool with an excellent
Kanji-Kana recognition engine. Along with early development of PenPoint
3.0, the oriental visual language user interfaces for Chinese, etc., were
only a few months away from realization when AT&T nuked GO. Perhaps
the COMDEX 95 would have featured an EO tablet second-sourced by Olivetti
and NEC that would have had pluggable language engines, i.e., we heard
that you could have switched the UI between English, Japanese and French
with a PenPoint Settings Notebook field for language preference; with a
tap gesture voila! Menu button labels, titles, menu dialogs, and all text
strings (within PenPoint all text were objects) would be updated with specific
language selected by the user.
"The object was to build and market a truly global
platform. Hard to believe that conglomerate politics destroyed their achievable
vision that GO's founders had in mind to prove to the marketplace. I think
the personal computer marketplace was set back several years by Microsoft
and AT&T (Incahoots?) hanky-panky. We'll probably never know
the details know by those respective boards of directors, maybe a calculated
techno-infanticide? [Guess Andrew Grove was correct in claiming "Only the
11/1/99 - and, of course, everything does not always go perfectly
"I'm hoping you can help me. This is what happened:
"After installing the LAN card...all hell broke loose.
Successfully installed Dos 5.1
Successfully installed Doc 6.22
Successfully installed win 3.1
Successfully installed Window for pen
Successfully installed pcmcia cdrom
Successfully installed win 3.11
Successfully installed Window for pen
Tried to install LAN card
"When I power the sytem it:
"I then attempted to re-install Dos 6.22. It forced
me to fdisk and format the drive.
"The install as successful, but if I remove the
floppy and try to boot from power-on it still hangs."
"Any suggestions...This is ssssoooooo frustrating."
11/3/99 - A happy user writes back:
"I finally fixed it.
"The bottomline was that some installation utility
ended up trashing the MBR(master boot record). I used fdisk /mbr
to write a new record and we were golden.
"Pass my thanx on to Terry."
11/3/99 - A "master computer crafter" writes:
"Using parts from the case I managed to make a mini port
replicator. Took me and a friend 6 hrs but I cut the ribbon cable and re-soldered
the ps2 kbd, serial and parallel port onto the docking connector making
the mini port replicator about 4.5" x 2" x 1.5" in size.
"I've the pinout for the serial, parallel and kbd
port if anyone is interested. However, the pitch of the docking connector
is very small. I believe the contacts are about 1mm apart and there are
4 rows of contacts. Sodering the middle rows was a big pain.
[Good luck with the following diagram, you may have
to re-format it a little for readability, Timeless]
Pinout for IBM730T docking station connector
/ Ribbon cable \
| x x x x x x | Row A
| x x x x x x | Row B
| x x x x x x | Row C
| x x x x x x | Row D
| to 730T |
col 5 4 4 4
0 9 8 7 ... 2 1
-1 -3 -49
-2 -4 -50
To make counting easier when counting right to left, the pins are numbered
1-50, when counting left to right they are numbered -1 to -50.
| a b c d | Too lazy to find out how a ps2 kbd is labeled.
| e f |
Serial port 730T
3 - 9b
4 - 8b
8 - 9a
9 - 8a
Parallel port 730T
"The 730T is loaded with Street Atlas and I am using
it as a map display for a GPS. A 9.5" map is so much better than the 2.8"
map on the GPS.
"Also I've recieved the batteries, thanks again.
But the life of the batteries are pretty bad ~1.5hr for both of them. Oh
well they are used.
"Don't worry about the memory, I just got a 8mb
mem card that I know will fit the 730T. The 730T uses the same memory as
the ThinkPad 360."
11/6/99 - A customer writes that he was able to obtain Pen Point
"The IBM FRU No. 39H6022 is a 260MB PCMCIA HD preloaded
[He also said it was very pricey!]
11/8/99 - A new customer says:
"Re: the Thinkpad you shipped me, everything works great...
I got win95 on there with the correct pen extensions and it seems to work
very well. I tried very hard to find Win for Pen but I think it's pretty
much gone.. :) If you guys happen to come across a drive on one of those
730T's that doesn't have that wiped yet.. you might want to extract and
zip it up along with the drivers for people like me.. :)"
[Timeless: Pen Point has been very unfriendly and
we have been as of yet unable to make a runnable copy, and also, we have
since found it is still an existing product -- we thought it was dead.
We have every reason to try to make you guys happy, but we'll be happier
out of jail!]
11/9/99 - A happy customer says:
"By the way, I had no problems setting the 730T up. I
just popped the PCMCIA hard drive into another laptop and copied over a
setup of Windows 3.1 for Pen. Everything worked the first time. Can't ask
for much more than that... except maybe this docking station! I left some
positive feedback for you on eBay."
11/9/99 - Another happy customer writes:
"I received this thinkpad tablet friday, and its
working great, thanks.
"Thanks, and its been a pleasure doing business
11/10/99 - ...and regarding the portable modems we're selling to
go with the 730T's:
"Yeah, I got it yesterday :) It works fine, both
on my laptop and connected to my Palm PDA. I'll submit positive feedback
as soon as possible."
11/10/99 - A longtime Pen Point user says:
"I have used PenPoint since 1993 in my medical practice.
All my patient records were pen'd in to a 710T Thinkpad and converted to
a *.rtf file for transfer by PCMCIA card monthly to another computer so
I can search and retrieve documents anywhere, anytime on any patient (via
"I have the original installation disks for PenPoint
and several PenPoint based applications both for Intel and EO tablets (e.g
spreadsheet; DataBase; Visio-like drafting program; Fax; Calculator; Money
Exchange; Handwriting Recognition programs; etc). I have only been able
to get PenPoint to run on the 700t and the 710t tablets.
"All PenPoint applications are installed by a "Quick
Installer." I believe that PenPoint utilizes the drivers in PenDos in order
to interface with the 710T (model 2523) tablet (e.g. tdtp2523exe; dfe2523.exe,
ibm2523.ini and ibm2523.mil). The model number for the 730T is "2524" so
I suspect that the drivers are in the C: drive or [PENDOS] directory and
have "2524" somewhere in their filename.
"The architecture of PenPoint is very different
that DOS. It is hierarchal and utilizes an outline format to organize their
files. Each "doc" file is made up of two subordinate files (doc.res
"On a 25MHZ 486 tablet, this makes it slow as mollases
if you store more than 60 files under one directory. I was hoping that
if I could get it on a faster tablet (a whopping 33 mHz 486 730T) and
that it may make the file transfers faster. I personally had to adjust
my file storage methodology to avoid exceeding 60 files per directory and
have had no problem.
"Frankly, the only reason I have stuck with this
obsolete operating system on obsolete low end platforms is that it is the
most phenomenal pen-centric system I have ever used. I have tried Newton,
EO, win for Pen (win 31) and pen for win95 and none of them can touch this
"Unfortunately, EO developed PenPoint for IBM and
EO platforms was bought out by ATT and quickly killed. A Taiwan company
reportedly bought PenPoint but that was over 5 years ago and nothing has
been heard of it since. I know this from chatting in forum with previous
PenPoint developers and the rapidly dwindling number of PenPoint end-users.
I had heard from one person that it could run on a 730T several years ago.
"Well, that is the long and the short of it. I suspect
that the company you got these tablets from used Numero! (a spreadsheet
program) to develop a proprietary application. Again, I am simply
an end-user and not a hacker or software developer. I simply want to put
Penpoint on a 730T. I know of no other tablet or notebook that used Penpoint
prior to its demise in 1994.
"Hope this is helpful."
[Timeless: Yes, this is great info. Where is the
PenPoint forum you mentioned? I'll post that for all to see if you have
11/13/99 - A customer informs us:
"Here's some information you might want to pass along:
"There is a pen-friendly text viewer/e-book reader
(for generic text files such as are found on Gutenberg) available at: http://members.xoom.com/amk12/reader/
The software is free, so be sure to thank the author."
11/13/99 - A customer writes:
"Just a little heads up - check out eBay auction
Item #202406430 - not only is the guy over priced, but he's stealing your
"Thanks again for your great service - got my 730T
running Windows 95 just fine (though 3.1 actually handles pen input better)...
"your faithful customer,..."
11/18/99 - Here's a good tip from a customer:
"I found a neat little thing that can be useful to other
730T owners. I run drivespace on my laptop. The drivespace
that came with my laptop got me about 150mb from my 105mb drive.
I took the drivespace utility off a windows98 disk and it gets me over
170mb. Big jump!"
11/18/99 - a similar GRiD machine:
"The 2260 is a 386SL with up to 8MB of RAM. 1 PCMCIA
type II slot has parallel, serial, VGA out, and a modem 2400 or 14.4, PEN
used in windows and DOS. for more information go to www.pd.com and follow
the leads from there. just look for GRiD there is a GRiD spec page
that has data on about 90% of all GRiD laptops built. including the 2260.
"hope that helps, 'Joe Customer'
"PS - the 2260 is a convertible unit it has a keyboard
under the screen which flips up to show the keyboard otherwise it looks
like a PEN tablet which it is."
11/18/99 - A customer writes regarding power supplies:
"I received the package today in good shape. Everything
works fine. By the way for reference a power supply for the Libretto laptop
works great, same voltage more current reserve same size connector."
11/21/99 - A customer writes regarding his OS and other things:
"I have it up and running on win95b. I need to try to
adjust the press sensitivity of the screen and I am trying to find a portrait
video driver if I can find out what video chip was used."
[Timeless: "Someone mentioned the portrait video
driver to us - whoever it was, if you're reading this please email us and
we'll post that to this page. Thanks"]
11/23/99 - A happy customer writes - we love it when this happens!:
"I received the 730t in good working order. I have installed
win31 and pen extensions, with no problems.......works great!
"I'll leave positive feedback."
11/24/99 - A customer gives us an inside tip on his 700T, Type 2521,
which "only runs Pen Point" (he found out this info by actually calling
IBM in Boca Raton, FL):
"Hold down the 2 contrast buttons and the brightness
buttons when you turn it on, and it will boot to DOS."
11/26/99 - A customer took matters into his own hands:
"I looked for days to find MS pen extensions. I'm not
sure if they are "Public Domain" or not.... I found these files on an old
GRiD site....... sorry my NTserver crashed and I lost the bookmark
ALSO!!!!! there are specific instructions included for the 730t. It took
me about 10 minutes to load these and make the changes to the system.ini
file. There are other files you may need."
12/5/99 - Our most knowlegeable PenPoint user/customer writes:
"I would be very pleased to talk to "anyone" who is currently
using PenPoint. Please give my name to them or give me their email addresses
and I would be only too happy to share my "experience" with PenPoint."
Timeless: Just to keep this guy from being swamped
with queries, we didn't publish his email address. Plus, we'd love to publish
the questions and answers. Just email us if you want to be put in touch with
this very experienced user.
12/6/99 - Some good news about the floppy drives that will work:
"I use an external floppy, from my Thinkpad 701CS, for
my 730T. Only change needed is a cable that has the same size connector
(centronics?) on both ends.(same size as connector on floppy) Don't remember
where I got my cable, but appears aftermarket.
"Hope this helps."
12/8/99 - A serious board level researcher writes us:
"I want to let you know about a site in Japan that has
pictures of the inside of the computer. Maybe you can get somebody to translate
"Also, did you know that this computer was manufactured
by Panasonic in Japan?
"Check it out at:
"I am working to overclock the CPU to 40MHz. I will let
you know if it is possible."
12/14/99 - A start-up question:
"I am trying to install Pendos on the 730T.
"I am missing 1 file that you may have or
know who has it.
"It is probably in IBM PC DOS 6.3.
"The file is DFE2523.exe.
"This is the Digitizer front end for the
"The 710T and 730T have the same digitizer.
"Let me know if you can find it and I will
write how to setup Pendos for your Web Page."
12/15/99 - Later, this customer found what he
was looking for on an IBM site:
"Here is the link for the file:
"Put a copy on your site in case IBM decides to erase
12/16/99 - A computer hot-rodder writes:
"I was working on my 730TE recently, ripping it
apart when I realized something about the processor. A while back
I ripped up one of my Compaq LTE Elites (486 DX4@75) and the processors
have the exact same connector as far as I can remember. I though
it might be possible to throw an lte elite cx/75 processor into the 730T
and effectively (except for the little "730T" logo on the front) make your
own 730TE. If this works, it means that anyone with 20 bucks can
buy a dead cx/75, gut it for the processor, swap the processor on their
730T and have a 75Mhz unit. I would like to know if anyone can get
this to work. It would be a wonderfuly cheap way to hot-rod your
730. Of course I already have a 75Mhz unit, so this would be of no
advantage to me... Let me know if it works."
1/1/99 - A happy and helpful 730T user writes:
"Subject: Pen Services for Windows95 "http//tagwerks.com/pencomputing/files/730t/win9x/pen/
"The above link will take you to the file ps20.exe "It will extract the
Pen Services for windows95 program into a folder "You can then got to the
add/remove program icon in the control panel in windows95 click on Windows
Setup click have disk and specify the folder where the ps20.exe files
extracted to. "It will then pull up the Pen Services options.
Click on this option and restart computer. Voila, you now have a
pen based system that will work with any program you install in windows95."
1/5/2000 - A quizzical user writes (then answers his own question):
"I have downloaded the ps20.exe file from your link
but it seems to be lacking a setup file. Do you have this for download
or what? If not how do I get pen services working???? Any help will be
"Please disregard previous E-Mail, I was overcome with
stupidity. Trying to install pen as device and software. Brain stuck in
neutral. Have since come to my senses.... everything installed and performing
1/6/2000 - Another user -- another approach:
"OK, I'll check out your web page for the technical
info. It came today and everything checks out OK. I can mount the ATA drive
on my notebook under Linux, so it will be trivial to build a boot disk
for the 730T even without the port replicator/floppy."
1/18/2000 - A happy customer writes (sorry, no new technical info
here, just pats on the back - we love it!!):
"I got my 730T Today. Other than normal wear it's
in great shape. Setup was a snap thanks to your web page (it helps to have
a 360 Thinkpad, too) Happy Days Are Here Again!!!! Had a Toshiba
T200 so I was in a hurry to replace it. Plenty thanks to you and your crew!"
"I use Mine for G.P.S. On a service truck. Had to
tweek the software. This Pen Computer is one tuff mo.fo. If all goes right
I will be in the market for more. (still have some toshiba's in other trucks
but they are on there last legs)."
1/18/2000 - Another customer says:
"Well, after some fiddling around, I managed to
get W95 up and running on it. It fits with no problem on the 105 megabyte
hard drive. The hardest thing was getting the 32bit PCMCIA access working.
The first time I installed, BTW, it was via a parallel port ethernet adapter,
networked to my wife's powerbook, running Virtual PC, sharing it's CDROM.
"The bigest thing I've been doing with it is that
I purchased one of those surplus IBM wireless LAN access points and now
I can get on the net and/or access my local documents from bed, or the
can, or sitting on the couch with the family watching TV.
"I found a batch of 8 megabyte credit card memory
upgrades and have been auctioning them off bit by bit (no pun intended)
- used one in my 730.
"I purchased another 730T (not from you guys, sorry)
strictly to get the small port replicator and a 16 megabyte memory card
and a 360 megabyte hard drive (but mainly for the port replicator). My
intent was to turn it around and auction it off sans the parts I wanted,
but the one I bought from you guys died while the other one was in transit.
I did a drive transplant when the second one one arrived and found that
the data was intact. Then I learned that the dead one would boot when supplied
with charged batteries, but would not from the power supply, nor would
it charge the batteries."
[Methinks the problem in the last paragraph was
that the old batteries had had it. They form internal shorts as they age,
and his shorts were too much! One customer told us how he "shocks" these
batteries back to life with a car battery (burns the shorts out)! I hope
he will write in with his procedure and we'll post it here.]
2/7/2000 - A creative tinkerer says:
"Just thought some of your other 730t customers
might be interested in what I did with the field kit.
"The docking station/stand uses only the parts from
the field kit except for about 12 pop rivets, 6 screws and 2 tie wraps.
The power supply for the filed kit is mounted under the 730t and seems
to run very kool. If anyone wants more detailed information on doing this
or more pics they can contact me at email@example.com"
"Basically I cut the internal mount from the field
kit in half to build a clone of the desktop docking station.
[some pictures of Kate's work at this link]: Kate's
pictures "I'm going to add more to the site and some more pics later
this week showing better the construction."
[P.S. Kate gives a step-by-step procedure to loading
the OS & starting up the system. Hooray, Kate!]
2/7/2000 - A great tip from a user:
"I just installed WFW 311 on it! What an advantage
in speed over 3.1 For some reason, the notebook application does not run
when the hard drive spins down. Wierd. If this is the case
for other machines, there should be a HUGE warning telling people to not
set their machines to spin down the HD.
"By the way, I've found that both batteries together
last 140 minutes on average with the hard drive running and the backlight
2/9/2000 - A skilled user tells us how to get a system up from a
"For No OS on PCMCIA HD the IBM370T. The minimum
system you need is:
1) Notebook or Desktop with PCMCIA that supports
CompactFlash Memory with PCMCIA Adapter.
2) CompactFlash + PCMCIA Adapter. I confirm Simply Technologies
1) Format your compact flash from existed PC with /s
2) copy all in 730T system diskette + any installation
3) put CF into slot 1 in 730T and ATA (105M or more)
4) power on 730T. and install 730T system program (you
will see new CONFIG.SYS)
5) reboot, then you will get Drive E
7) power off and put ATA to slot1. so you can do many
2/15/2000 - Another approach:
"Got my 730T working by using a PCMCIA/ISA adapter
in a PC. Long story, but it is running Windows 3.1 and Pen Services
1.0 and works perfectly."
[Can I publish this to our web page for others to
"Sure. The key is that you have to use PCCINIT
to initialize the hard disk. Then, you can copy files to it under DOS -
**NOT** NT; 95/98 I'm not sure."
2/18/2000 - Glad to hear it!:
"The computer runs great. I got pen for windows
running on windows 3.1. I ordered a ThinkPad keyboard that has the
TrackPoint on the keyboard. I got the portrait drivers working, also."
2/24/2000 - A downloadable OS!:
"I don't own one of your systems that you're have on auction,
however, you may want to investigate using NewDeal Office on your machines.
NDO requires only DOS 3.3 or better, and only 1MB of memory or better.
It is a FULL OS, with applications to do everything that MS Pen does.
AND IT SUPPORTS PC CARDS.
"There is a way that you can even use a floating
keyboard within the applications, as well as email and webbrowsing. The
package installs from a set of floppies or from a CD...which is the only
downside. The way I would get around it, if I bought one of your
machines, was to use a ZIP Drive to install the floppies or CD from, and
install it from the ZIP drive.
"Third party applications are available as well...not
a whole lot, but enough to make it work.
"You know, you're making me curious enough to see
if it'll work on your machines....
"http//www.newdealinc.com is where you can get a
FREE 30 day eval version of the complete package (less email and browser).
"Hope this helps out your customers...you must be
doing something really great to get that much feedback!"
[Aw, shucks .... blush.....]
3/3/2000 - Wow! Linux info ahead!:
"Well when I got the unit the hard drive had only
command.com on it, so with no floppy I had no way to transfer files to
it. It would help a lot if you included intersvr.exe and interlnk.exe
(which come with DOS) for transferring stuff over a serial cable.
"I then tried to mount the PCMCIA hard drive on
a coworker's Thinkpad running NT4. It didn't have a driver available.
So I tried to find a floppy drive but the official floppies are hard to
find. I have one on order from an ebay seller that is meant for a
ThinkPad 760 but uses the same size connector so I'm hoping that will work.
Meanwhile I also bought a CallunaCard 520M PCMCIA hard drive. I asked
the seller to put a full copy of DOS on it, and specifically mentioned
I needed intersvr.exe, but he also put only command.com on the drive.
Geez. Anyway that one I was able to mount on my coworker's laptop.
So I guess not all PCMCIA hard drives are the same.
"Then I installed intersvr.exe on the drive, brought
it home and used a serial link to install the drivers for my parallel port
zip drive, and hooked up the zip to the docking station. That works
"Then I downloaded one of the Linux distributions
that allows booting from a DOS partition (loop-linux) onto a zip disk,
and installed that. It uses kernels from the latest Slackware.
It boots fine from the ramdisk but I get hard drive errors when the kernel
tries to do its partition check. Oddly enough it is detected as hdc,
not hda. After all the errors and timeouts it detects the partition
hdc1. Similarly running fdisk causes more errors and timeouts and
eventually I can see the partition. Maybe this is just CallunaCard
oddness; but so far I cannot put both drives into the system at the same
time and see them both, so I still have no way to put Linux onto the IBM
105 meg drive and try that one. I saw the pointer from the guy that
booted from a compact flash card... maybe I need to install drivers to
make the second hard drive show up in DOS.
"I also have a Windows for Pen distribution that
came with my Dauphin DTR-1 so I may try that eventually.
"Feel free to list my email address; I want to get
in touch with anyone else who is trying to get Linux installed."
3/3/2000 - Some PenPoint copyright info from a customer:
"You know I've got installation disks for PenPoint
now. The ones I'm using are doctored 710T diskettes (they work),
but I just got disk images of the originals yesterday. I think there's
a good argument that the PenPoint license was sold with the PCMCIA harddrives.
After all, they've got the PenPoint trademark printed on them and the Part
Numbers for the drive with PenPoint preinstalled from IBM. So if
you want them, you might get away shipping them with the PenPoint OS.
Some of the other surplus traders are shipping the units with PenPoint
installs. I got one that way and so got an idea of what it was.
"There's no way the application software
can be put on without copyright violation. At any rate, there will
be a site with much of the application software, I imagine in a week or
so. There's a wordprocessor, spreadsheet, a program like the MacIntosh
hypercard program, a vector drawing program, a notetaking application,
that I've found so far.
"The website will take a little longer, but you
can give my email address to people who request PenPoint information."
Here goes!: firstname.lastname@example.org [I hope he's serious,
because I know you readers are going to write this guy!] Note: address
expired, as of attempt on 16Nov2000.
3/17/2000 - Happy customer tells how he did it - "what's the link,
"Just wanted to advise you that the IBM Thinkpad
730T with accessories arrived yesterday. I just wanted to test the unit
out before sending you this note. The unit arrived in excellent condition,
I just charged up the batteries, installed the Windows95 from another PCMCIA
enabled laptop, then inserted the newly loaded Hard Drive in the TP-730T.
All that had to be done was install the Pen for Windows95, downloaded from
the internet. [Everyone would love to know the link - can you send that
to us for upload to this page?] I will be leaving positive feedback for
you with Ebay. It's been a pleasure doing business with you."
3/20/2000 - How to direct link?:
"Got the 730 up and running with Win 95 but have
you heard where anyone has had problems connecting to other computers thru
the serial or parallel ports??
"I have tried with direct cable connection to connect
to either of 2 other computers, both of which will cable connect to each
other with no problem, then I've also installed windows ce services and
tried to connect my Velo to it. no luck there either. Keep getting messages
that ports not available, used by another resource, or just can't be installed,
and the ports are working.
"Any help would be appreciated."
[Anybody out there have a clue what the problem
3/22/2000 - Get this guy a modem!
"I actually upgraded my 730t to a 340 meg and I
still have the 105. Until I can figure out how to get a PCMCIA modem working
in it, I can't really do a lot with it. It is fun to draw on it, but you
either need the field kit or a PCMCIA modem to have real mobile computing
portability or you are tied to that darn dock. The PCMCIA hard drive somehow
interferes with the 32-bit PCMCIA program. I went back through my old literature
and some of your other clients have had the same problem. One solved it
by putting in drivers from another computer that uses a PC HDD, but I had
never heard of it."
3/24/2000 - A little help from a friend!
"All the following comments are in regard to the
attached post to your site, if you could forward this message to him I
think it might help. One thing to look at when selecting a modem for the
730T is whether or not it is a 32-bit modem (the 730T has no 32-bit ports).
Also some PCMCIA modems that I have tried require a 32-bit OS. If you are
using Win for Pen 1.0 (i.e.. Win 3.XX) and need a simple Dial-Up connection
for Win 3.XX download a copy of Internet Explorer ver 3.02 as it contains
a Internet dialer that works wonderfully with earlier versions of windows.
If on the other hand you are running Win 95 then the problem might be related
to a conflict arising when windows tries to gain access to the PCMCIA ports
that the 730T system disk has already setup to work.
"I would suggest dropping a note to email@example.com.
or check out his page at: http://www.basterfield.com/tp730/ .
"P.S. the Win 95 Pen services drivers can be obtained
http://www.basterfield.com/tp730/w95/win95.htm for info
on how to install them"
3/24/2000 - Processor board replacement?
"As an FYI for the web site, I tried to use the
Compaq LTE Lite 486/75 processor board with the 730T. It WOULD NOT work.
The Compaq board has the same style connector, but different spacings and
sexes. I did notice that the IBM 486/33 board had the label PANASONIC,
so there might be some hope there. The board also only housed the chip
and a few resistors and caps, so it might be able to simply desolder and
resolder the faster chip on (assuming you have access to a hot air desoldering
"On another note, I've had a helluva time getting
Win95 to NOT run MS-DOS compatibility mode on the PCMCIA drive I'm using.
I'm using 730T PCMCIA drivers and a Calluna card drive (no drivers needed?).
Win95 won't even install a hard disk driver or tag for it in the Device
Manager. Any info?"
3/29/2000 - Flash card question?
"I can read files loaded on flash cards (e.g.Intel
series 2) but I can't get the 730T to load files via the File Manager.
I always get an error message saying "Access denied". Should I initialize
the cards somehow? I've tried to format the cards but the File Manager
can't get access. Any suggestions?"
[Can anybody help out here?]
3/31/2000 - Y2K, screen buffing, OS's and more!
"The trinkets I have to share with you today--
"1) The BIOS IS Y2K compliant. All a user
has to do is remove both batteries, AND the BIOS rechargable battery- it's
under the internal pen slot, and let the system sit for about 5 minutes.
Reinstall all three batteries, WITHOUT the PCMCIA hard drive installed,
and you should come up to the system BIOS screen. In it, you can
change the time and date, and run system diagnostics. And, if you
change the date accordingly, you will see that dates after Y2K are acceptable.
"However, those users with Windows 3.11 for Pen
will find that the date doesn't mean a thing, as if the OS clock goes over
Y2K, it will revert to sometime like mid 91 or somesuch.
"2) For all those users who happen to have a system
with a scuffed screen, such as mine, the owner can use automotive wax,
mainly Meguiar's Cleaner wax or similar to buff the scratches out of the
plastic surface. I suggest taking the unit's case apart for doing
this, as it can get very messy (I masked mine off before doing this, but
would still suggest taking the case off). But, using said product,
the owner can get a much better idea of how clean the screen can be- I
found that about 95 percent of the scuffs on my screen were eliminated
the first application once I removed it from the box at home.
"Hopefully, with some things going on this week,
I may be able to assist in answering some more questions related to OS
install and such.
"Also, as a sidenote, here is a place with Windows
3.11 and multiple versions of DOS downloadable for anyone that could use
4/3/2000 - Kenneth gets it together!
"Turns out that Win 3.11 can accept dates after
2000. For some reason, after the date switch on Jan 1st, it reverted
to the early nineties. But I guess I just forgot to reset the BIOS
date and time after I bought the unit. Well, it had been in pieces
for the last couple of days (I've been stripping the case to paint it),
and after I entered the BIOS and reset the date and time, voila!
Windows accepted the date and time like it was nothing. Rather embarrassing,
I just didn't realize at the time.
"Oh well- proper update for Y2K for these I guess
"1)Pull batteries as mentioned previously
"2)Enter BIOS as mentioned previously
"3)Check time and date in Windows OS.
"Whatever works with these little gadgets, I guess!"
4/3/2000 - Rotate the view - here's how!
"I managed to find files for portrait video drivers
that will work on the TP-730T unit. They are from a site for GRiD Pen Tablet
units. It was the only location I could find the rotate.drv file required
to rotate the tablets display from the landscape to the portrait mode.
"The address for the site the files are located
on is http//www.dancesweb.com/kc5wov/GRiD/ the two files required are pendisk1.zip
and pendisk2.zip. These are the installation disks for the Pen for Windows
Ver. 1, they also contain the rotate.drv file.
"Please note the system you run the install on will
have all the various files required to run Windows with Pen Extensions
copied to various WIN.INI, SYSTEM.INI, Windows Registry, CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT
and start-up files. The system, if a non-pen type will stop functioning
after the installation. Either create a copy of these files in a safe location.
Or use a utility such as Config Safe to back-date the above files to a
previous version after the install has been run, but before the system
has been restarted.
"You can install these files directly to the 730T
using the "install" command, or if you are running Pen extensions ver 2.0
you will want to extract these files onto a different system, then copy
the rotate.drv file to the C\Windows\System folder. Then go into
the system.ini file through the sysedit command, ";" out the existing display.drv=.
You then type in display.drv=rotate.drv, save the file. Remember if you
restart at this point the display will be portrait mode but the digitizer
will still be in Landscape mode. To switch the digitizer to Portrait
mode download the Driver available on this site address http//www.basterfield.com/tp730/w95/win95-4.htm,
follow the detailed instructions on the downloading and applying of the
digitizer drivers. After the digitizer has been updated there will be a
730T (Portrait) option in the Pen Services in the control panel, General
Tab, Pen Options. You can now re-start the system and both portrait drivers
will take effect.
"I do not know if the total installation of the
two diskettes and the Pen for Windows ver. 1.0 will work with the TP-730T,
since I already had Ver. 2.0 installed on my system."
4/29/2000 - PCMCIA info on all varieties!
I think I've finally gotten the pcmcia problem sorted
out on my 730T. I installed DISKDRV.SYS (the IBM driver available from
the usual sources) and M-Systems driver (emailed to me by M-Systems) and,
as a result, can work with the following cards:
SRAM, ATA/HARD DRIVE CARDS. The diskdrv.sys software
allows both read, write and formatting operations.
LINEAR CARDS. M-Systems drivers will allow read/write
operations as long as you format the card first with the utility TFORMAT.EXE
which comes with the driver package. Linear cards can only be read by diskdrv.sys.
TRUE-FFS CARDS. M-Systems drivers will allow read/write
The diskdrv.sys and M-Systems drivers cover all
of different types of cards I've encountered. Unfortunately, they can't
be loaded simultaneously -- at least not yet, and I have to "REM" out one
or other depending on the type of card I'm using.
I'd be happy to share the information with anyone
having trouble with flash cards in their 730T's. Email Jim at: Bmwm61@aol.com
for his tips.
5/23/2000 - Some details from Mr. ThinkPad!
Just had some updates for your page - it appears
the 32MB DRAM card for the 360/750/etc. doesn't work with my 730T, but
I'm getting a 730TE next week, so maybe that'll work.
Also, I managed to track down what looks like the
PenPoint installation disks, and got it to the point where the pen works,
and tells me my 10MB test flash card is too small.
Just thought you'd like these updates.
So now I have 24MB of RAM on my machine, an el-cheapo
network card, and Win95 A (from floppies), and it works like a charm.
02/07/2001 - OS and Application availability!
I have floppy images for PenPoint, the PenPoint
SDK, and a number of PenPoint apps (inkWriter, Numero, etc). I think I
also have a PenPoint installation set that'll work on the 730TE, but I
don't have one so can't test. I'd be willing to provide copies to anyone
interested. Thanks, Eric Dorman firstname.lastname@example.org
If you find any more OS or other technical information in your searches,
we sure would appreciate it if you would send it to us, and we'll post
it here for all to see. email us!
Some questions that our bidders and customers may know the answers
... even when we don't. If you know the answers email
Timeless and we'll post them here!
Question: 2/23/2000, a bidder asks: "Your technical
pages do not say if it is Y2K compliant. I would like to know...how
would I find out? If it is not, there may be a BIOS upgrade available.?"
Answer: 3/31/2000, a customer writes: "The
BIOS IS Y2K compliant. All a user has to do is remove both batteries,
AND the BIOS rechargable battery- it's under the internal pen slot, and
let the system sit for about 5 minutes. Reinstall all three batteries,
WITHOUT the PCMCIA hard drive installed, and you should come up to the
system BIOS screen. In it, you can change the time and date, and
run system diagnostics. And, if you change the date accordingly,
you will see that dates after Y2K are acceptable.
"However, those users with Windows 3.11 for Pen
will find that the date doesn't mean a thing, as if the OS clock goes over
Y2K, it will revert to sometime like mid 91 or somesuch."
Another answer: 4/8/2000, a customer writes:
"a customer asked a question about y2k compatibility:
go into the BIOS,
click on date,
change year to 2000,
that's all there is to it."
On external (Floppy, CDRom, Zip) Drives:
Question: 10/19/99, a bidder asks: "...one final question-
is it possible to connect a floppy drive to the docking station without
it being one of the IBM drives made for the 730T?"
Answer: do you know the answer? Help me out
here -- thanks! email me if you know. Thanks!
Question: 11/26/99, a bidder asks: "BTW,
have you all ever heard of a Zip drive being used on the system with the
docking bay? I would think it would be possible, for those users
without a external CD-ROM to get the Win95 OS onto the system."
Answer: "Haven't heard of it, but our technical
head says it should be possible through the parallel port." email me
if you know. Thanks!
Here's a great tip!: 3/17/2000, floppy compatibility:
"Just wanted to advise that some of the newer Thinkpad's External Floppy
Drives will function with the 730T. I was using the External floppy from
my 765D system, FRU# 66G5069 P/N 66G3696. The floppy drive is also used
in the following Thinkpad units, the 360, 355, 370, 701, 755, & 760.
This drive unit should be easier and less expensive to obtain than the
original unit" [Thanks, Ronald]
Question: 10/24/99, one bidder asks us : "...the batteries
for 700 series THINKPAD IBM on ebay -- DO you know if these will fit the
755C THINKPAD IBM?"
Answer from a multi-Thinkpad user: 11/21/99: "Jack,
on your page, someone asked if batteries for the 755 would work in the
"Batteries, NO WAY."
"The battery is about half the size of the screen.
"I wish I could put my 750's battery in there, though.
"I get about 3.5-5.0 hours off of it, and I use my 750
for a fileserver."
Question: 11/23/99, a ThinkPad fan asks:
"Out of interest - what price are you asking for a battery quick charger?
I need to recondition my 730 batteries, and I know that with other models
the quick chargers do a great job of rejuvenating tired batteries."
One user says: "I've found that both batteries
together last 140 minutes on average with the hard drive running and the
backlight on full."
On hard drives:
Question: 10/28/99, one bidder asks us : "you guys
don't know offhand how big a pcmcia HD these units can handle eh?
I saw anywhere from 300MB to 1 Gig drives on ebay... I'm thinking I want
to buy something a touch bigger than 100"
Answer: 11/18/99, one customer/user: "In answer
to the question about the max hard drive size, I am using a 520meg HD without
On the connectors and ports:
Question: 11/29/99, one bidder asks us : "Is the included
port replicator a standard small replicator for TP 730 (the one that can
be taken out of the case and attached to the side of the computer), or
is it some custom device which is meaningful only as part of the field
kit ? How is it connected to the docking station in the left part of the
case ? Does it have its own jack to connect directly to the 730 ?"
Answer: "The tablet has the one big docking connector,
useless without some external dock, etc. We presently sell the field kit,
which has a docking station built into the suitcase and cabling (flex circuit)
over to a small complement of connectors. We also sell the tilting docking
station, which has all the ports you need. We did not get any of the small
port replicators (which IBM does make), but everyone wants these!"
Question: 1/18/2000, one bidder asks us : "Have you
or any of your customers run linux on these? I'm mainly worried about the
pen digitizer. Thanks!"
email me if you know. Thanks!
Other technical information can be found through the following
Searching IBM for information: http://www.ibm.com/search/?v=9&q=2524&x=9&y=9
A customer/researcher: "I think I found the main page for
the 730 Info:" http://servicepac.mainz.ibm.de/eprmhtml/epr2b/4527.htm .
Hint: "Increment the 4-digit file name in the URL to go to other pages.
Apparently the whole set of IBM documentation for this product is in there.
There just aren't links to the pages."
IBM tech info on the system board: http://servicepac.mainz.ibm.de/eprmhtml/epr2b/4569.htm
Picked up somewhere: http://www.ideasign.com/bobz/tp730T.htm
From one of our customers: Thinkpad
From another Thinkpad fan - THIS ONE IS BEAUTIFUL!: Dan's
IBM ThinkPad 730 pages
Timeless Tech's home page coming soon! (Somebody beat
us to www.timelesstech.com, so we'll think of some other slick name soon.)
Timeless Tech's "730T
items for sale" page (archived).
Another seller of 730T items is Computers for People (dead).
Write Jack to say HI if you're an old (or a new) customer!